Originally posted August 21, 2019.
Last year Stephen Smith, an American-born longtime Africa correspondent for the Paris dailies Le Monde and Libération, now a professor of African and African-American studies at Duke, published (in French) La ruée vers l’Europe, a short, sober, open-minded book about the coming mass migration out of Africa. The most important book written until then on the subject, it quickly became the talk of Paris. It has now been published in English, titled: The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa on its way to the Old Continent. At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher quotes Christopher Caldwell discussing Smith in a piece from National Review on The Coming Migration out of Sub-Saharan Africa. He writes:
Smith begins by laying out some facts. Africa is adding people at a rate never before seen on any continent. The population of sub-Saharan Africa alone, now about a billion people, will more than double to 2.2 billion people by mid-century, while that of Western Europe will fall to a doddering half billion or so. We should note that the figures Smith uses are not something he dreamed up while out on a walk — they are the official United Nations estimates, which in recent years have frequently underestimated population shifts.
The closer you look, the more disorienting is the change. In 1950 the Saharan country of Niger, with 2.6 million people, was smaller than Brooklyn. In 2050, with 68.5 million people, it will be the size of France. By that time, nearby Nigeria, with 411 million people, will be considerably larger than the United States. In 1960, Nigeria’s capital, Lagos, had only 350,000 people. It was smaller than Newark. But Lagos is now 60 times as large as it was then, with a population of 21 million, and it is projected to double again in size in the next generation, making it the largest city in the world, with a population roughly the same as Spain’s.
Dreher goes on to quote a 2013 interview with Jean Raspail, author of “the dystopian anti-migrant novel The Camp of Saints.” Raspail, writes Dreher, says there are only two solutions:
- Either we try to live with it and France – its culture, its civilization – will disappear even without a funeral.
- At the point where we are, the steps we should take are necessarily very coercive. I do not believe and I do not see anyone who has the courage to take them.
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