African Immigrants search for new life in Asia
During the last year over 70 000 immigrants from Africa have come to Malaysia in a search of better life. According to the immigration department of Malaysia 79 352 African immigrants entered the country. Around 25 000 student visas were issued to African students to pursue higher education in the country. Whether working or studying, African immigrants aspire for the same thing – a chance for a better quality of life in Malaysia. Many of them however continue struggling after immigration. Some are being offered “jobs” by members of Nigerian criminal gangs, which include drug running, sex trafficking and scams. Considering the fact that Malaysia imposes death penalty to everyone involved in trafficking most of the immigrants do not get involved in such activities.
According to Koffe Addo, who works in the Ghanaian embassy in Kuala Lumpur a lot of the black people who come in the country are being stereotyped by the locals. “The media, in some ways, is responsible for this. Every article where Africans have been involved in a crime, or immigration issue, their country of origin is never clarified. They are just ‘Africans,'” he said in an interview with the German BroadcasterDeutsche Welle.
The trend of African immigration to Asia is still new. The cause is the continuing economics struggle in Europe which has led to the tightening of the immigration rules there and has led potential immigrants from Africa to search for alternative opportunities. Over the past decade, hundreds of Africans have died trying to cross into Europe, and if some do make it, increasing restrictions have seen dozens deported. Those who manage to remain there come to the realization that the life in the European Union has become extremely difficult due to the largest recession on the continent since the Second World War.