Over the past 35 years, the African population has grown from 550 million to 1.3 billion people. Kechlibar believes that most of the inhabitants of Africa want to head to Europe and it has severe implications. The number of young people, who are usually those willing to embark on a long journey, is increasing rapidly, he added.
In the 1980s, the biggest boom was expected in Asia. But it seems that countries in Asia were able to adopt the idea that families should have two children. And even India was able to do so, apart from the poorest parts of the country. In China, it has fallen to one child per family, so the high birth rates are only seen in Afghanistan and Yemen, Kechlibar explains.
“In Africa, this process seems to be slower, especially in the territory between Senegal to Somali, and today it seems that the estimates were not correct,” Kechlibar said, adding that by 2050, it is estimated that there will be 2.5 billion people in Africa, whereas in the 1980s the UN estimated that it would be well below 2 billion. The important question is what will happen in the second half of the century because the estimates say it could be over 4 billion.
According to Kechlibar, the problem in the future will be small amounts of fertile soil. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of deserts is increasing. For example, in Niger, where in over 50 years the population has increased from 3 million to 22 with an outlook of 70 million, the population shares about 15 percent of fertile land.
“What Europe faces in the form of mass migration is just a fraction of how Africans migrate within Africa. For instance, there is a large percentage of people from Zimbabwe in South Africa because the Zimbabwean economy is at a critical level. It is, of course, closer for them to go to South Africa than travel to Europe,” Kechlibar says.
According to him, it can therefore be expected that Brussels will quietly undertake the Italian route, thus closing the ports and preventing migrations. “And everyone will be relieved,” Kechlibar concludes.