During German Chancellor Angela Merkel tour to three African nations for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrant.
While this is perceived by a lot of African leaders as a welcome development, the leader of Niger, Mahatma Issoufou in October 2016 suggest it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people from coming to Europe while expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year.
Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world.
Though he gave no details on how this could be achieved, demography clearly holds the key both to Europe's migration crisis and to the African poverty feeding it. As long as population growth in African countries outstrips their ability to educate, house and employ their citizens, large numbers of people will continue to brave the deserts and seas to escape.
But the German Chancellor Merkel, also politely declined the request by Mahatma. It is agreed that the need to lower fertility rates and bring down population by educating and empowering women in Africa is of great importance.
According to the latest U.N. figures With an average of 7.6 children born to each woman, its population is projected to more than triple to 72 million by 2050, from about 20 million. By then, Africa will have more than doubled its population to 2.4 billion.
Niger, a vast, largely desert nation to the north of Nigeria, presents the unadulterated example of Africa's challenges. Frequent droughts in Niger cause hunger, and low investment in education means a dearth of skills. Yet somehow it must hugely increase food production just to stay where it is.
Even though some African migrants are unaware of the likely challenges faced in life as an illegal immigrant in Europe is hardly better than staying in Africa.
Howbeit, the need to create more awareness on the dangers involved in illegal migration and legalities involved in search of better life.
In Nigeria for instance, some citizens who were recently repatriated from Libya while sharing the rationale behind the movement to Libya said the desire to seek decent employment and livelihoods is at the core of their migration. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said the number of migrants leaving Libya for Italy has risen to more than 50% in 2017.
Between March 2016 and December 2016, a total of 867 Nigerian nationals have been assisted home by (IOM). As at February 2017, a total of 1,521 Nigerian nationals that have been assisted by IOM to return back home.”
Fair and effective migration policies that protect the rights of migrant workers and reduce the costs of labour migration will be essential for achieving economic growth and enhancing development outcomes for migrant workers and their families, and for countries of origin and destination.