A Family Mobilization for Migration to Europe from Casamance, Senegal
The ratio between basic salaries in Western Europe and in sub-Saharan Africa is at least of a factor ten. Many young Africans therefore dream of emigrating to Europe. However, the air route remains a privilege reserved to members of elite families: to take a plane one needs a visa for most European countries. Without a visa, the only two possibilities are the sea route via coastal navigation along the African coast and the land route through the Sahara. These are the very dangerous and uncertain routes that tens of thousands of migrants nevertheless take each year. This article examines the case of a family of small-scale subsistence farmers in Casamance, the Southern region of Senegal. It shows how this family of 42 persons decided to send one of its members to try to enter France illegally. How they chose the migrant, how they collected the necessary funds, and what happened during the two attempts. This detailed case study gives an idea of the steps taken each year by tens of thousands of other families in Africa who try sending one of their sons across European borders.
Copyright (c) 2022 Abdoulaye Ngom
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