The Spanish government has launched a powerful awareness campaign aimed at dissuading young people in Senegal from migrating to Spain. Those heard speaking are the friends and relatives of young illegal immigrants who have died trying to make the dangerous journey. The Spanish Secretary of State for Immigration, Consuelo Rumi, said: “As long as there is disparity between us, then people will try their luck in the boats, and as long as that continues, then the Spanish government will work to make sure it happens less and less.”
The world-famous Senegalese singer-songwriter Youssou N’Dour also sings the praises of his native country, explaining why he has never been tempted to leave his home town of Dakar. Many thousands of Sub-Saharan Africans try to make the journey to Europe each year, risking people smugglers, deserts and sea crossings, all for the dream of a better life.
Spain’s Canary Islands are a tempting destination for many Africans. Figures show at least half of the 30,000 illegal arrivals in 2006 were Senegalese, prompting both countries to agree a series of measures aimed at curbing the problem.