A controversial proposal by a German minister that foreign powers should acquire land in Africa to curb migration has been rejected by the African Union, as reported by BBC’s Dickens Olewe.
The Proposal states that the European Union, or a body like the World Bank, should build and run cities in Africa in order to boost job creation and development on the continent, Germany’s Minister for Africa, Gunter Nooke, told the BBC in an interview in which he outlined his thinking on how to stem migration to Europe.
This will mean African countries leasing their land to a foreign body to “allow free development for 50 years”, Mr Nooke said.
But critics rejected the idea and called it controversial, as reeking of colonialism. But others like Carol Musyoka, an academic at Strathmore Business School which is one of Kenya’s top universities are open to the concept.
In a BBC interview, Ms Musyoka described the proposal as “fascinating”, and said she would support it if it was a genuine attempt to ensure that Africans and not foreign powers will be benefited.
American Nobel Prize Economist Paul Romer developed the idea a decade ago.
In 2009, he said developing countries should consider surrendering part of their territory to foreign states which would then build what he called “charter cities” from the ground up.
The cities, he added, would operate under a set of laws separate from the host Country.
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