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A migrant in the sea after a shipwreck
Image: Getty Images/AFP/A. Paduano

Africans weigh in on Germany's refugee policy debacle

Abu-Bakarr Jalloh
June 21, 2018

Germany's migration policy debacle is also making waves among Africans online. To the big question facing Chancellor Angela Merkel – whether or not to shut the door on asylum-seekers – some Africans are saying "Why not?"


"Africans should stop giving negative notions about themselves," wrote Chijioke A. on DW Africa's Facebook page. "Stay in your homes and sort out the problems."

The ongoing political debacle in Germany over what to do with refugees has threatened to tear Merkel's coalition government apart. Merkel is locked in a power struggle with the interior minister, Horst Seehofer, over his "master plan" to turn certain asylum-seekers away at the border.

At the height of Europe's migrant crisis in 2015, Germany took in the bulk of the migrants wanting to enter the European Union (EU). That year the country recorded the highest number of immigrants in its postwar history.  

"Net migration of foreign people amounted to 1.14 million. This is the highest net immigration of foreigners ever recorded in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany," the Wiesbaden-based federal statistical office said. 

Read also: Merkel, Macron announce plans for new eurozone budget

Merkel insists on a EU solution to the migrant crisis. The executive arm of the 28-member bloc, the European Commission, is exploring options for a "disembarkation scheme" under which migrants rescued at sea would be taken to sites in North Africa where their requests for asylum would be processed.

Merkel: "The cohesion of this European Union is at stake"

Such an approach would allow officials to assess whether or not migrants qualify for asylum before they set foot in the EU.

Merkel is seeking to lay the practical foundations for how Germany might stick to these principles.

DW Africa's Hausa, Kiswahili and English language services asked their Facebook users whether or not Merkel should keep the door to Germany open for asylum-seekers.

"No one would like to be a refugee in another man's country," wrote Achilis G. "She must leave the gates open as long as there is no solution to what the people are running away from."

Among the nearly 100 responses gathered in the survey, only a handful clearly stated they support Merkel's stance of keeping the door to refugees open.

Angela Merkel (CDU) sitting next to Horst Seehofer (CSU)
Seehofer (right) and his CSU party have put up stiff challenges to Merkel's (left) refugee policyImage: picture-alliance/dpa/K.Nietfeld

Open-door policy

  • Achilis G: No one would like to be a refugee in another one's country. She must leave the gates open as long as there is no solution to what the people are running away from.
  • Abdullahi A. Nigeria: Merkel, may God help you to assert your support for the refugees.
  • Miraji Z: Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy on migrants has made her very weak and it has reduced her popularity in Europe, but for Africa we congratulate her in caring for migrants.

Those not in favor of a German open-door policy gave reasons that vary from the need to address the reasons that force migrants to flee their home countries to European support for dictatorial regimes in Africa.

Read also: Germany's Angela Merkel accused of 'buying' deal on asylum with Emmanuel Macron

Closed-door policy

  • Chijioke A: We've got all it takes to get it right, from natural resources to human resource to market. Enough of looking up to the Western world for help, shame on African leaders.
  • Femshang U: The issues causing migrants to move away from their homes should be the main priority and not the closing the border from entering.
  • Nforgue J: They should start by stopping dictatorship in Africa, stop supporting dictators who spend 35 years and more in power. Stop ripping from Africa rather do invest more to create jobs for the youths and not corruption. End wars in most countries in Middle East. By so doing the Refugee will cut down 80 % and No body will think of moving and suffering in Western countries.
  • Okwutex M: If it is not political to me, it's okay to close it.
  • Emmanuel C: It is better for Angela Merkel to reinforce the immigration laws and regulations as soon as possible before the country gets into crisis, there is a Swahili saying "If you do not amend the cracks on the wall you will have to build a complete wall."
  • Kalele L: If Angela Merkel is not careful with the question of migrants in her country, it will cost her a lot and make her not been trusted by other coalition parties.
  • Pius D: Peace be upon the sister- party of Angela Merkel's CSU, we are looking forward to the new laws of strengthening the migrants rules or to leave the country get into political crisis.
  • Reina S: Angela Merkel needs to strengthen the migrants laws so that political crisis does not arise as it is been said.
  • Mimwani K: This situation in Germany is clear; the coalition government is heading to collapse. Angela Merkel is not going to fulfill the limits made by the sister-party.
  • Mohammad U: The refugees should also think, because they should not expect to be released from a difficult situation in which they have set themselves.

A host of comments did not fit exactly into the open-door or closed-door categories. 


  • Babatunde O: Until countries like France, Britain, Germany, Belgium stop supporting dictatorship, tyrants, bad governance, kangaroo democracy in Africa that create chaos, unrest and conflict, Europe will keep experiencing migration. A peaceful Africa will give Europe peace.
  • Hezron K: Europe needs to stop funding and lending African States. Corruption and bad governance leads to this migration.
  • Kwasi Sarpong B: You don't like our people but likes our mineral resources?

As the migration debate continues, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union-led governing coalition is seen to be buckling under the strain brought by the open rebellion of its sister party, the Christian Social Union under Seehofer's leadership. 

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