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I have a special interest in Africa because I've lived in lots of African countries, mainly along the West Coast and Central Africa. But this thread also applies to Latin America (don't know much cos I've not been there yet, but will be going soon), and other less developed areas of the world. The thread is also in response to that on immigration issues in the UK, where a couple of comments caught my eye:

1) So some of them are economic migrants, big deal, a lot of people (including Kiwis and Ozzies) leave home to benefit from working or studying in a foreign country but they are welcomed only if they have money or come from an acceptable region.

Its OK for you to bitch like this but if, in twenty years time the tables are turned and YOU are knocking on somebody's door asking for help you'd better pray that they are more welcoming than yourself.
- CiCi Bonus Baby

2)How can you say that only people who are in danger can flee their country and ask for asylum in another. But isn't leaving your country in search for a better life somewhere else also a good reason?

Okay, my question is this: Do you guys honestly think that there can ever be a role reversal or at least some equilibration, in the light of the following:

a) Lukewarm commitment from the West. The US for instance spends less than 0.1% of its annual budget on aid to all developing regions of the world, and about 70% of the 0.1 gets spent in the US before it leaves the shores. (Got that from watching too much C-Span and news stuff, and no, I'm not a boring guy)

b)Punitive tariffs imposed on goods from developing countries. Ghana and Ivory Coast are the two top producers of cocoa and even though have the ability to further process the raw seeds for export, they are very limited cause tariffs of up to 300% are slapped on them by the EU for further processed products. They need to send the raw seeds over to Germany, for instance, rather than processing themselves, thereby losing job creating opportunities. (Got that from Tony Blair, last week. He's looking to introduce some reforms). Same thing occurs in banana and other agricultural products.But most of these countries have to open up their markets and have no protection for local producers because of globalization.

c) General policy on immigration worldwide. People in most poor areas of the world cannot migrate due to economic reason, i.e. economic migrants are generally unwelcome in most developed areas of the world. (please correct me, if I'm mistaken). Advantage here may be the remission to the poorer countries of much needed funds. The toll on the host country should however be considered.

d) Most countries in sub-saharan Africa are extremely young. The oldest is about 45 years. So they really have a lot of catching up to do. The US is just over 200 years and is considered pretty young compared to European countries.

There are lots more problems, some of it self-inflicted, but I can't go into the obvious ones, I guess. Plus, I'm tired.

Okay, sorry for the heavy emphasis on Africa, but thats the part of the developing world I know best.

My belief is the developing world will NEVER catch up with the developed world. I know threads like these don't normally get many responses, but I'd appreciate any comments. Thanx.
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