During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where top executives and world leaders are meeting this week, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed, has warned Europe against turning inwards in response to the refugee and migrant crisis.
As the 28-country European Union struggles to cope with the influx of migrants, she said the arrival of people from conflict zones such as Syria should be seen as “good” for the economically stagnant region.
Speaking yesterday (22 January), she said Europe should follow the lead of other regions, where refugees and migrants contribute to an opening up of societies and an acceptance of diversity.
Mohamed said that she hopes the current experience in Europe “does not lead to protectionism” and that it “underlines the urgency for economic growth.”
“Is only when societies become stagnant and do not grow as fast as they have been growing for a while that they begin to look inward and close others out”, she said.
The seriousness of the situation was underlined by news that at least another 42 people drowned on Friday when two smuggling boats carrying migrants sank in the Aegean Sea.
While initially welcoming of migrants, mass sexual assaults, rapes and muggings have made many Europeans sceptical about the benefits of mass migration into their countries.