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If the future of Europe plays in Nigeria – Corriere.it

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Paula Tinubu won the Nigerian presidential election. Low turnout: Out of a population of 220 million (87 million qualified), 25 million voted. The question remains about the ability of young people to influence the political development of Africa

Imagine standing patiently in line, waiting to vote, when suddenly armed men on motorbikes arrive and start shooting. Imagine gangs raiding your polling station, seizing the ballot boxes by force and robbing them away. Imagine another full ballot box Cards that have been destroyed. Imagine being beaten to prevent you from voting for a particular candidate, while the police do nothing to protect you. All this happened duringPresidential elections in Nigeria
.

Who writes a great Nigerian writer whose novels are a hit all over the world, including Italy: Chimanda Ngozi Adichie. 45-year-old Adichie is torn between her homeland and her parents United State Where he set an autobiographical novel Americanaa biting satire that reveals, among other things, the racism of local blacks against immigrants fromAfrica. The novelist is a leading exponent of a new Afropolitan elite, comfortable around the world. Its global success is an affirmation of Nigeria’s cultural vitality. But write The New York Times deformation has sucked American Progressive Quarrels. His complaint about irregularities in the March 2023 Nigerian elections ends with an appeal to Joe Biden To do something to save democracy in Nigeria. It is not clear what the address is Washington government you must intervene; And if he did, he would certainly be accused of meddling, neocolonialism, and arrogance by those always ready to criticize The role of the West in Africa.

This does not detract from Adichie’s complaint. Violence, intimidation and violations They registered the votes in the largest country in Africa. opportunity to focus on the situation in Nigeria, Giant focuses on the many problems of all Africa. In particular, its demographic situation deserves our utmost attention: many projections of migration flows from south to north are in fact based on what will happen in the coming decades in countries like Nigeria.

On the electoral topic, a scholar of contemporary Africa such as Ebenezer Obadari—also a Nigerian who relocated to the United States—is less extreme than Adichie in winding up the 2023 vote. You acknowledge that electoral processes have not passed the purity test, but he considers calls to cancel the result irresponsible. Obadari has crafted a powerful image to describe his country: competitive kleptocracy. Leaders have to compete with each other for popular support and this is a feature of democracy. Even if they are then elected, they practice corruption on a massive scale (including allocating resources to their own ethnic, tribal, and religious constituencies, which to some extent share the benefits of kleptocracy).

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The 2023 elections were preceded by exaggerated expectations, linked to the rise of a political outsider, Peter Obia candidate from a secondary formation (the Labor Party), with a strong following among young people who make up the majority of the population (the basic topic of demography and immigration will come back to this). Polls gave Obi the winner, Till the end; Many smartphone polls have been taken and as such have overrepresented the young, original digital enthusiasm of the Labor candidate. The adoption of new vote-counting techniques seems to provide greater safeguards than in the past. In the end, turnout was low: out of a total population of 220 million, and out of the 87 million registered in the electoral register, There were only 25 million participants. The establishment candidate, Bola Tinubu, who had the support of the outgoing president, won Muhammadu Buhari (Former military dictator). Over seventy afflicted with failing health, Tinubu is a multi-millionaire construction tycoon whose most famous campaign slogan was Now It’s My Turn, a reference to the fact that he has long been in the waiting room of power, as one of their most influential. Supporters of the outgoing president. In the end, his victory respected – by a narrow measure – the traditional logic of an ethnic and religious vote, with Muslim candidates taking the top two places. Obi, Christian, finished third. However, the latter managed to win in Lagos, the largest city, which should have been an electoral fiefdom for Tinubu (the former governor of that city). There was a surprise for Obi, but it fell far short of the expectations fueled by his popularity on social media or in Afropolitan disputes. This raises the question of whether young people can have a decisive influence onThe political development of Africa: a problem that fundamentally unites the continent with Western democracies, where the abundance of young people on social media is often not compatible with the same political participation.

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The most pessimistic introduces this problem into a catastrophic scenario for future migration flows: Africa has a lot of young peopleWhere the new generations do not have enough opportunities and do not control their own destiny, they will inevitably export these young people to Europe. Nigeria and 27 other sub-Saharan countries will see their population double by 2050, according to United Nations projections.. During this century, three out of every four people born on the planet will be born in sub-Saharan Africa. Birth rate and urbanization have the most representative focus in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria and the entire continent. In the year of national independence 1960, the population of Lagos was 350,000, which is the equivalent of Florence today. In the mid-1980s, their number exceeded five million. In 2012, it overtook Cairo as the main African city, and its population reached 21 million: the equivalent of Beijing. In 2050, projections give him twice that. For this already exceptional dynamic (not for Africa but for those parts of the world where demographic decline is advancing), composition by age groups is the other subversive aspect. The proportion of Lagos’ population under the age of 15 was 25% in 1930, it grew to 40% in the year of independence, and today it exceeds 60%.. An expert on Africa such as Stephen Smith defines Lagos as the World Capital of Youth, and reminds us that in London and Paris, the population under 15 years of age is only 18% and 15%. The concentration of youth is even more evident in the city’s slums, shanty towns or slums where 95% of the population is under the age of thirty. Young Living Among Other Young People – notes Stephen Smith who has lived in Lagos for a long time – reinvents bespoke norms and values. not necessarily lord of the flies (The novel is about the ferocity of abandoned boys on a desert island, Mr. Dr), although it is not the ideal base for civic education.

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The temptation of automation is easy: from demographic growth to an increase in the number of young people, there arises the inevitable mass migration towards the North, and in particular towards Europe which suffers from the opposite problem (fewer births, scarcity of young people). Other parts of the world, while belonging to The Great Global South, showed that demographic determinism can be escaped. The keys are economic development, women’s education, and birth control policies, and these three components are usually combined. Those who considered a great exodus from Mexico to the United States inevitable have been proven wrong thanks to Mexican economic developmentToday, the desperate people trying to cross the US border come from other regions, mostly from Central America. China and India presented two alternative models for making large populations sustainable by avoiding large exodus. Much closer to sub-Saharan Africa, it’s interesting to rememberThe development of the Maghreb. North African countries have completed a demographic transition: they once had large families and a high mortality rate, and today they have smaller and smaller families and increasing longevity. Therefore, that northern part of the continent has already embarked on a different demographic path, and it is no coincidence that the proportion of North African immigrants to Europe is declining, compared to those who come from sub-Saharan Africa. The crucial question remains economic development, as the great Swedish demographer Hans Rosling noted: If areas of extreme poverty persist where women bear six children and the population doubles within a generation, problems will remain. But the problem is not in population growth, but there extreme poverty Which is the main reason.

March 6, 2023 (change on March 6, 2023 | 1:10 PM)

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