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AFRIK-IT  July 1995

AFRIK-IT July 1995

Subject:

boarders/immigration

From:

Hewitt Chizyuka <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Mon, 10 Jul 1995 13:16:37 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

Hi,
Having appreciated the courtesy of people who have done it let me also
introduce myself as this is my maiden posting.
My name is Hewitt Chizyuka. Iam from zambia and currently residing in
Washington DC in the US. Iam associated with an on-line company that
facilitates standard internet activities but also does a wide range of
organisational development and communication strategy consulting.The
company is called Metasystems Design Group and is located in Arlington
Virginia.
 
I feel really good to be on this list because iam postitoning myself to
find a career niche in telecommunications.
 
I just wish to comment on the issues that David Lush raised on cross
boarder attitudes in his "Africa's distortions" piece, and the follow up
comments that Valerie made.
 
Immigration (as Valerie correctly pointed out) has become a standard
scapegoat for apportioning blame when people get restless about their
quality of living in a country. The US is at this point the perfect
example of how this issue is played out. A guy called (David?) Brimelow
has written a book entitled "the alien nation" in which he laments the
dilution of Amrican culture and character by the influx of "aliens" (is
there another country that uses this term officially to refer to
immigrants apart from the US and maybe Canada?) Brimelow gives a
description of how a person (and iam sure he means a white person)
entering the New York subway suddenly gets exposed to this underworld
that is overwhelmingly populated by colored people and uses this as one,
among many indications that show how America is being overrun by aliens
who once in the boarders are very reluctant to assmilate.
 
His major worry is that if immigration is not substantially scaled back
or halted completely, early in the next century white Americans will be
outnumbered by people of colour. Of course studies done in New York have
statistical results that have recently shown that contrary to Brimelow's
discoveries, on average 45% of the commuters on the New York subway are
white while the remaining 55% is split among the remainder of the great
diversity that New York is made up of. In California, Pete Wilson used an
immigration issue to cruise to governorship and if he decides to run for
presidency he may risk including this issue on his campaign agenda.In
general, the justice department, using a specially appointed commission,
is moving to make it harder for foreigners to enter the US, or once they
enter to stay here.
 
There are a lot of genuine reasons for the US' concern about immigration
trends, especially illegal immigration. But the blanket characterization
of foreigners as an "alien" pestilence resonsible in part for America's
eroding prosperity is more of a human emotional response on the part of
Americans who either cant find the answers to their declining welfare,
real or immagined, or who once they know the real issues causing their
problems choose not to deal with them. Of course this is not a uniquely
American phenomenon. The scrutiny, and near humiliation that, especially
Africans go through at Heathrow airport in London is the manifestation of
the same
issue, and continental Europe is equally notorious for doing the same
thing.
 
As far as how this plays out in Africa, as is the case pointed out by
David in Namibia, the motivation is the same. Preventing foreigners from
coming to diminish national resources. I will point out in a little while
why a Zambian or Angolan would least expect to be treated as an alien in
Namibia even though he speaks Mbunda and has relatives across the boarder.
 
A majority of the countries in southern Africa are going through major
economic turmoil. Never before have citizens in that region had to
scrape for economic survival as they are doing now. Then there are a few
countries that still seem to be doing "ok" and you dont need a calculator
to figuer out why they will attract company from their struggling
neigbours. In particular, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zaire,
and Malawi to some extent are under such economic stress that redemption
plans for years now have been mooted in washington DC by the IMF and
World Bank and other lenders in the west but so far to very little or no
avail. Zimbabwe is struggling too but at a relatively different level as
their industry has held on. Namibia,South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and
Swaziland, have not quite gone belly up. Consequently these countries
have sucked in a lot of qualified and experienced professionals from the
first group of countries to go and work in their various industries which
offer relatively better compensation. So there has been a lot of white
collar immigration. At one point the university of Botswana in Gaborone
was virtually being run by facalty who left the university of Zambia
after the mid 1980s when the economic crunch hit.A lot of good professors
from the university of Dar es-salaam also found their way there. This is
not to mention medical professionals and engineers who have done the same
thing.
 
Namibia only gained independence recently. The very circumstances that
drove people to the country's southern neigbours have been at play there
as well. But what is more, Lusaka (Zambia) was the home of the South
Weste Africa People's Liberation Organisation, SWAPO. The United Nations
Institute for Namibia was also in Lusaka so, were the families of many
Namibians who
fled South Africa's occupatiopn of their country. For Namibians to turn
around and adpot a strategy of hounding out citizens of a country that
was their home base during their time of struggle whether it be Angolans
or Zambians, does not sound like a smart strategy. Sure Zambians or
Angolans have no right to disrespect Namibia's immigration procedures by
thinking they can go in at will. But there is a difference between
controlling illegal immigration and stiring national anti-foreigner
sentiments through actions that seek to bash people that are in your
country but are from another country of origin.
 
This has been a bit long so i will talk about the possible place for the
internet next time.
 
 
hewitt chizyuka

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