How African migrants, refugees affect their host communities through entrepreneurial skills
London, Dec. 29, 2019 (AltAfrica)- One of the most debated issue in recent times is the economic impact of migrants and refugees on destination countries, particularly on host communities
For those on the side of the argument there is no victor or vanquish and there are both winners and losers. They are of the opinion that despite overstretching the social amenities of their settlement areas, migrants and refugees are of great benefits to their host communities, in very many ways
First, an economic stimulus may be generated by the presence of refugees and or migrants and can lead to the opening and development of the host regions. This stimulus takes place, inter alia, through the local purchase of food, non-food items, shelter materials by agencies supplying relief items, disbursements made by aid workers, the assets brought by refugees themselves, as well as employment and income accrued to local population, directly or indirectly, through assistance projects for refugee areas.
The presence of refugees also contributes to the creation of employment benefiting the local population, directly or indirectly.
But for others opposing argument stressed that from the moment of arrival, refugees compete with the local citizens for scarce resources such as land, water, housing, food and medical services. Over time, their presence lead to more substantial demands on natural resources, education and health facilities, energy, transportation, social services and employment.
Recently, UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR attempted to put the raging argument to bed with a joint photo exhibition at the Palais des Nations in Geneva showcasing the contributions of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to the development of their host communities and communities of origin
Since Africa is our primary focus, we have selected those African migrants and refugees making significant impact to their host communities
Digital Mind By Monica Chiriac
Digital Mind is a communication agency based in Niamey founded by Lisa and Ben, two young entrepreneurs from Benin. After settling down in Niger in 2016, they decided to open Digital Mind to provide their future clients with high quality communication products
Once he received assistance from IOM, Aziz gathered enough courage to open his own welding company, “Al-Oumma” in Tahoua, Niger. Aziz has been living with polio since he was a toddler, but he is a strong pillar to his wife, three children and extended family, always trying to fill in the gaps in the family revenues.
Outdoor Furniture By Adélie Breil, September 2018
Jenny is a refugee from the Central African Republic living in Salé, Morocco, where he decided to open his own outdoor furniture company four years ago. He uses recycled material for his products.
Peanut Butter By Stephanie Loose, November 2018
Congolese refugee producing and selling peanut butter at Koboko market in Uganda.
Love Spreads Through Food By Dan Prits, August 2017
Refugees and migrants from Eritrea, Syrian, Iraq and Iran offer catering services of their home cuisine to local Estonians to bring together people and share cultures. Köömen is a social enterprise led by resettled refugees and migrants, the ethos of which can be found in the Estonian folk saying «Armastus käib kõhu kaudu» (Love spreads through food)
7. Becoming a Chef By Sanne Biesmans, October 2019
Claire fled her home during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. She moved to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. She tried many things and failed, before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a chef. She bought pots and pans and opened a small restaurant. She recently opened a second one and is now employing 17 people.
9. Leaving a trace By Romain Langlois, January 2017
Migrants and refugees from Iran and Guinea are working together on a sculpture as part of the collaborative artistic project “Akène” in France.
12. Beauty By Alina Kovalenko, March 2019
A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now the owner of a beauty salon in Ukraine.
13. Chef Found By Alina Kovalenko, August 2019
A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working in one of the top seafood restaurants in Kyiv, Ukraine. The restaurant, owned by a Ukrainian, was looking for African chefs. A local NGO saw the advertisement and organized an internship, which resulted in three refugees from the DRC received an offer of employment.
14. Power of Family By Oleh Kutskiy, August 2019
A family of Somali refugees started a small business producing sauces in Odesa, Ukraine. The owner, Lul Ibrahim Mohamed, 34, started her business with the support of her children Munira, 16, and Ibrahim, 15. They have registered ‘Lul sauce’ Ltd and received relevant certificates on compliance with technical standards.