BEYOND THE BORDERS : YOUNG LEADERS OF TOMORROW- Interviews at CMF-Brussels-
photo from left : Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (former president of Mauritius)
Percy Morapedi Koji, chairman of TWC south african travel agency. Africa Economic Leadership Council.
"YOUNG LEADERS OF TOMORROW" - CRANS MONTANA FORUM - BRUSSELS 2022
1. BEYOND THE BORDERS
Mobility of the internal continent and the external South/North globally. How do you see the question of the borders of your country from the lived reality in Africa where you live. A multiplicity of artificial borders that prevent the release of social energies and block the possibilities of mobility. A double prison: internal circulations and external movements, in particular to Europe?
Percy Morapedi Koji : Mobility of of the internal. Continent and external South/North is what I advocate for,. Provided every country has done enough to build capacity around "migration in general" to make sure each citizen is documented correctly, that all citizens are treated equal particularly women and children across, it's important to have one voice. One policy and one approach to consolidate on continental support and economic collaboration. Make movement easier will add value to the entire African economic growth and opportunity. Europe will continue to grow provided Africa is better developed to collaborate and work together as a long term partner.
photo : Kévin Dormoy,
president KHOMBISA france association, Cameroun
Kévin Dormoy: The drawing of African borders during the Berlin Conference was done according to the location of natural resources, more than according to ethnic ties within the States concerned. This may explain the legitimacy problems of some African governments as well as the many inter-ethnic conflicts.
Regional mobility from South to North is therefore linked to the distribution of wealth, the inequality of which is exacerbated by tribalism at all levels; road, educational, health infrastructure etc.
In Africa among more than fifty States there are many micro States which have four or five borders with their neighbors. Can you tell the nature of the continent's interior blockage? Are today's walls doomed to fall?
Percy Morapedi Koji: This is correct, however as young African leader on the rise, we've set up an organization called AELC (Africa Economic Leadership Council) with the aim to advocate for (easier access cross boarder in the continent, build capacity for our entrepreneurs, improve trade amongst young people, build netwoek for access to financial support in the continent, the interior blockage has been reduced and will continue to be reduced, we aim to make sure that all our African brothers and sisters, the youth must have access to travel in the continent, trade in the continent, employ more youth and provide support.
Kévin Dormoy: It is not so much the presence of borders that matters but the desire to create commercial and cultural bridges between these borders. Namely, regional alliances. The "walls" may therefore be called down in the context of regional cooperation.
What is the prospect of Western Sahara conflicts? Since the 1991 ceasefire, the "Moroccan wall" has now become the border de facto. Wall falls Berlin in 1991 & between Gaza strip and Egypt in 2007, absolute hopes to demolish DMZ of 2 Koreas, but the 4 great powers prevent it. Immobilism versus movement. Death against life.
Percy Morapedi Koji : Every conflict around the world will be resolved through a peaceful dialogue and partnerships, like our former president in South Africa Hon. Dr Nelson Mandela said, it seems impossible until it is done" meaning we can overcome all possibilities if we're prepared to engage on dialogue and discussions all the time, we were able to overcome "Apartheid in South Africa through a series of dialogue, it takes more conversations around the table to agree on the best possible way"
Kévin Dormoy: Armed conflicts in Western Sahara are not inevitable and can be reduced if jobs are created in the region and offered to the youth who take up arms out of necessity; they earn a salary there that they cannot find anywhere else.
What are the prospects for African migration to Europe? How do you analyze the dependency with France-Belgium and Europe, Asia (China, India, Korea and Japan) and America?
Percy Morapedi Koji: Dependency with France - Belgium and Europe, Asia (China, India, Korea, and Japan) and America was as sa result of colonial Power and lack of meaningful opportunities for our people in the continent) we can only be free from such dependency if we create global economies with a local focus, local focus is being inward focused in the continent of Africa, but also we nedd to continue collaborating with the rest of the world to create better growth, trade and job creation across the globe.. Africans will always migrate to Europe for Better opportunities and collaboration, capacity building and growth!
Kévin Dormoy: African migration to Europe is much less than intra-African migration. But climate change can accentuate the phenomenon of migration to the North. An appeasement of armed conflicts would promote better prospects for sedentarization.
Are you in favor of the abolition of borders and a fundamental right to mobility?
Percy Morapedi Koji: Yes I am. There's more benefit to a centralized approach to growing the economy and trade, also create a seamless movement in that sense! Growth will always happen as a result of collaboration! Collaboration can only happen if contries are willing to work together!
Kévin Dormoy: Boundaries are a foundation of animal life. Thus, humans are born with the notion of territory and territorial defense. Men have a need for anchoring and the border, even if it is a mental construction, contributes to the mental comfort of human beings and to their feeling of belonging to a community. The abolition of borders would not only be a diplomatic or political question but above all a psychological and philosophical one. It is also a legal question, with the notion of individual property. Assuming that states remove borders, how do we get past private property and large privatized estates?
Therefore, the removal of physical borders is a utopia. However, digital borders may evolve. In any case, the exploitation of a territory will always be subject to a framework that can be described as a border.
2. MIGRATION AND ALTERNATIVE CITIZENSHIP
What are the migration trends of your country and neighbors?
In which direction youth migration from your country is it predominant in the internal continent? What internal movement of neighbors ?
Percy Morapedi Koji : Australia, New Zealand and other European countries such as the UK, America (Washington & New York are very popular among migrants particularly in South Africa).
Europe has great potential provided it is well promoted in the SADC (Southern African Developing countries) and other neighborhoods.
Kévin Dormoy :In the case of Cameroon, we are witnessing a return of the diaspora who come to invest and bring their skills to the service of the development of the nation.
There are also migrations of war exiles from the northern regions of Cameroon. These English-speaking exiles who go to the Center and Littoral regions find themselves without ties, in French-speaking regions, and without prospects for the future.
Dual nationality What would be your country's primary dual nationality goal? For the return of European and American compatriots ? Could it attract other Africans in the continent? to attract compatriots' families or FDI (foreign direct investment)?
Percy Morapedi Koji : I've been assisting a lot of Businesses to set up in South Africa, there's a lot of benefits in having dual nationalities, I have to consider one myself and for my immediate family!
It will attract more African countries due to the benefits that comes with it, such as traveling, investing and seeking opportunities elsewhere!
Kévin Dormoy : Dual nationality can facilitate FDI in Africa indeed. It is a status that is currently not recognized in Cameroon, which discourages some of the diaspora from coming to settle there. Furthermore, FDI must be in harmony with local cultures and follow a model of sustainable and eco-responsible development.
e-Residency of Estonia is open to individuals from all countries, from Africa to Brazil. Most e-residents are entrepreneurs who work digitally, are location-independent and want to start and run an EU company. Direct access into EU markets digitally. Since 1983 St Kitts & Nevis (Caribbean Island-state), CBI (citizenship by investment) programs have proliferated and today approx. 70 countries offer RBI/CBI programs to attract FDI. Is your country considering to start this kind of program?
Percy Morapedi Koji: More and more South Africans are looking at investing outside of South Africa and creating value for family wealth, it's amazing how this has become a Centre for decision making,
South Africa is accelerating in Direct investment and opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment, with opportunities for tax reduction and job creation for locals, we already have the program and need capacity to ensure more and more investment, our President is doing his best to fight corruption and create jobs in South Africa, he has started an investment drive into South Africa to help reduce unemployment and focus on the youth and job opportunities for locals which forms part of growing the appetite for Foreigh Direct Investment.
Kévin Dormoy: An interesting initiative, which is in harmony with the development of the digital industry and the tertiary sector (services). Always keep in mind that algorithms cannot be eaten and that the natural resources essential to humanity are subject to physical exploitation and logistical issues.
(For Percy Morapedi Koji) ACTIVITIES OF YOUR FOUNDATION IN SOUTH AFRICA, EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT FOR +10 000 KIDS
Current education situation of South Africa, experiencing EDU supports,
Perspectives of Foundation activities and communication ...
Percy Morapedi Koji : my aim is to help improve the quality of life through education, giving rural across South African children & youth access to education and making sure all "women & children are supported through my foundation" I have also supported an exchange for students at University level to travel to other countries and learn about "culture, language, education opportunities and future employment choice" also encouraging youth to be "Global Citizens of the world and that we are all one"!
It is through the foundation that we encourage a girl child to be anything they want through supported "Leadership Programs, mentorship, career guidance, exchange programs,
My foundation aims to increase support to over 50 000 kids being supported, I can support more if I had addional resources, I'm determined to make it work and use every resource that I have to benefit those less privileged across..
Kévin Dormoy: For citizenship by investment, it is unlikely in Cameroon since the status of dual nationality is not yet recognized. For the residence permit by investment, it is a possibility but which would bring little added value. The current problem is not the right to remain in the territory, but the capacity!
(interviews by Hyong-jin KWON)