Inhuman conditions in camps for African refugees in Libya and Europe: a headache for African leadership?

BY: Dr. E.K. Hayford
Dr. E.K. Hayford
Dr. E.K. Hayford

The concept of mass flow of people from one country of origin to another is an old phenomenon.The practice has existed for several hundreds of years.

In the sixteenth century, there were mass exodus from Europe to Americas. The British, French, Irish, and Italians, all at one time or the other left their countries in large numbers to seek greener pastures in the so-called new world. Before and after the Second World War, there were similar mass movements of immigrants from Germany and Italy to Australia and America. It is therefore evident that mass immigration did not start with Africans and will not end with Africans. It has existed for several decades, with and without Africa. It is a natural phenomenon.

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On the basis of its own history, Europe and America had in the past structured liberal immigration laws, which allowed the flow of immigrants, with the intent to use them to build their expanding economy. As long as the flow of settlers are from European countries there appeared to be no problem, since their press would only publish what they want others to hear about them. During the sixties, seventies and eighties, when Africa experienced its many coup detat, there was regular flow of people from Africa to Europe for political reasons. They were refugees. This was followed by conflicts of varying intensity within the individual African countries; which also led to some flow of African refugees into Europe. During those years there was little or no resistance because Europe was benefitting from Africa as, a source of raw materials, source of cheap labour and a dumping ground for their cheap products. Ironically there is also a large flow of Immigrants from France , Britain and other European countries into Africa. These are cleverly described as Experts. These expects are in their millions and no one stops them. Their presence has led to over 40% unemployment in Africa.

New crop of African Leaders

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In the fifties and sixties, a new crop of African leaders started to question the status quo of Clonialism, and demanded self government now. The fight for independence by African countries was fiercely fought and fiercely resisted by Europe and its collaborators until late fifties and early sixties, when Africa succeeded in driving Europe from Africa. With the help of International condemnation of colonial rule, the remainance of colonialism in South Africa was finally pushed out of the continent.

Paradigm shift

After sixty years, of political Independence and close to fruitless struggle for economic Independence, another crop of African leadership is insisting on a paradigm shift in the prevailing status quo. We cannot continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect a change. We cannot continue to depend on aid to sustain our economy and expect to expand our economy. We cannot continue to be providers of raw materials and expect to be industrialized. We cannot continue to take instructions from Europe and America and expect to be masters of our own countries. We cannot give up the monopoly of our mineral resources and expect to be rich. We cannot be independent, but depend on instructions, which very often do not benefit our nation and culture.

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In 2008, it became clear that Europe and America were putting undue pressure on Africa to legalize homosexuality and lesbianism. That year the then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, threatened to withdraw aid to African countries if we do not legalize homosexuality. The late Prof Atta Mills vehemently resisted and declared in a broadcast that Ghana will not legalize homosexuality, as long as he remained President. Similarly almost all African countries have resisted. The question is, why is Europe, forcing the legalization of homosexuality in Africa, and why is Africa and the rest of the world resisting?


For many years, Europeans have been homosexuals. They see nothing wrong with this obnoxious crime. It is part of their culture. Their laws are actually silent on that issue. They have until now not legalized it because people preferred to treat it as a private matter. In the fifties, it rapidly spread among the elite and the very rich people. Why are the Catholic and Anglican Churches silent on this issue? Are they the engine behind the legalization? Has the language and meaning of the Bible changed? Are the intensive lobby leading to the present legalization in Britain, USA, Canada, and Australia inconsonant with the word of God? No one prevents them from taking the step they have taken; if it suits their people, so be it. The question is, why do they want to force the whole world to go homosexual? Why is the United Nations silent, if it has to do with the interest of the world?

Africa and homosexuality.

Why is Africa refusing to legalize homosexuality? Indeed homosexuality is foreign to Africa and to Africans. There are three major types of religion in Africa; African religions, Islam, and Christianity. All these three types of religion clearly speak against homosexuality. The Bible, the Koran and African cultural practices speak against homosexuality and Lesbianism. It is indeed a taboo. Our culture prohibits and frowns on homosexuality. The African culturally lives in extended family set up, where the man often has many wives and children. The women and children are integral part of the family system and have specific rolls to play. A family without women and children is an abomination. Besides our Constitution speaks against homosexuality and lesbianism. Any African with that affinity or desire for it must have brought it from Europe or elsewhere.

“Jungle Camps” and its Inhuman conditions

Our desire to remain African and to reject homosexuality, and to protect our culture, may have possibly provoked the tightening of European and American immigration laws against Africa. It was during discussions on immigration laws, that Trump called Africa shithole countries. Since 2014, Africans crossing the Mediterranean into Europe, are halted by the Spanish police, and forced into concentration camps in Libya, Israel and other parts of Europe. The inhuman conditions in these camps are so horrifying and yet has never attracted the attention of the so-called Human Rights Activist. Similarly, in Kalley a border post between Britain and France are the “jungle camps”, so called because of its inhuman conditions. In the “jungle camps”, there are no toilets; dug holes are used for toilets and toilet roll and water for washing are rare commodities.

These inhuman conditions are measures to scare Africans attempting to cross the Sahara desert or Mediterranean sea into Europe. Is the change in European Immigration policy the result of our desire to change the existing status quo which denies African countries the right to refuse irresponsible demands from developed countries? Has the thoughtless decision by Trump to calls African countries shitholes got something to do with our collective decision to refuse commands from others? Are we shitholes because we want to take our own decisions. Are we shitholes because our sweat and hard work helped to build European and American economies? This by all standards is not fair and Europe and America must bow their heads in shame.


The visit of the German President to Ghana last month was to get Ghana to accept African refugees into camps in Ghana. Currently, Nigeria and Cameroon are airlifting their nationals from Libyan camps where Africans are being sold as slaves and where the women are being raped. Israel is actively involved in arranging to send some of these refugees to Ruanda. Canadian Human Right Activist, are flooding African countries to “explain to us issues on legalization of homosexuality”. African Presidents are constantly being lobbied against their conscience and against their people. Millionaires and their agents are besieging Africa with dollar cash to force legalization of homosexuality. Why? Why? and again Why?

Ghana, I pray and hope will remain resolute and not legalize homosexuality.

Dr. E.K. Hayford
Retired Senior Lecturer
University of Ghana, Legon