Climate and the Continent or Why I No Longer Want to Move to Africa

Climate and the Continent or Why I No Longer Want to Move to Africa
by Simon Chilembo

As a child I heard my mother speak often of Marcus Garvey and “back to the Motherland”. She wasn’t particularly into the idea. She was just teaching me history, her living history. She didn’t just read about Marcus Garvey and his quest to use the money he amassed and the ships he could muster to take peoples of African descent away from slavery, away from building an America that took all and gave back little, she heard the message everywhere in New Orleans from around dinner tables to over fences and wash lines strung up in the sun.

Garvey was never able to fulfill his dream. Others took up the mantle but still no mass movement to return people from the diaspora to the continent.

WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A TIME WHEN AFRICA IS STARTING TO EVOKE IMAGES OF VIBRANCY AND GROWTH INSTEAD OF POVERTY, WAR AND STRUGGLE. IN THIS CONTEXT, GHANA IS FAST BECOMING A MECCA FOR BLACK AMERICANS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR LUCRATIVE OPPORTUNITIES IN A NEW

ENVIRONMENT. ACCORDING TO RECENT REPORTS ABOUT 10,000 AFRICAN-AMERICANS VISIT GHANA YEARLY. CURRENTLY ALMOST 3,000 AMERICAN BLACKS RESIDE IN THE CAPITAL, ACCRA, THE MAJOR HUB OF GHANA.

Time for Awakening Media

While there are not huge numbers moving to Ghana for instance, the numbers are significant.  Almost six years ago there were only 1,000 African-American expatriates living in Ghana.

Ghana is attractive for many reasons, employment opportunity especially in tech fields, no Trump, beautiful beaches and ..… This sentence comes to a screeching halt. Beautiful beaches?

Lately  if one is paying any attention to climate change, Africa is one of the last places to which one would hope to migrate. Second only to just about any island nation or coastal city. At least you might rethink the move if you are planning generations of family after you. Though pretty much the entire planet is screwed, some areas will fare better than others. Africa will be one of the hardest hit from warming. Ghana will fare slightly better because it is one of the more technologically advanced countries on the continent.

africa-climate_edited-1

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-countries-most-likely-to-survive-climate-change-in-one-infographic-a7915166.html

According to an article in the Guardian by John Vidal

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/23/from-heatwaves-to-hurricanes-floods-to-famine-seven-climate-change-hotspots Looking ahead, scientists expect average annual temperatures across southern Africa to soar, possibly as much as 3C by the 2060s, to 5C by the 2090s – a temperature that would render most human life nearly impossible. But estimates vary greatly. Rainfall, says USAid, could decrease in some places by 13% and increase in others by 32%. Little rain, great heat means massive crop failures among other problems.

In North Africa, Egypt could lose 15% of its wheat crop if temperatures increase 2C – 36% if they rise 4C. Morocco expects crop yields to remain stable up to about 2030, but then to drop quickly afterward.

More hot dry weather over the Sahara desert also means more probability of hurricanes forming off the coast of west Africa and heading out across the Atlantic. There is a lot of information on the web about the African winds that spawn hurricanes. So if you are curious…

The bottom line? I no longer aspire to move to a tropical island to write books and play in the waves. I also have totally given up on my future generations living on the continent. I’m just worried about all the future generations everywhere and particularly my roots on the continent of Africa.

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