Thursday, December 06, 2007

More on rural-urban migration

I still can't get enough of supporting people to move to cities. It's good that Kompas has got another FOKUS on this topic, under the heading "Fencing Jakarta from the Poor." Of course, this is quite a late post, and the features are still related to post Idul-Fitri movement of people into (back) into big cities.

Let me just take this opportunity to highlight other articles I've recently found. The first is something from the Guardian, UK, that says "migrants are a boon to UK economy."
Migrants are more skilled and often more reliable and hardworking than British workers, and are fuelling the country's economic growth to the tune of £6bn a year...
To put things into perspective is this excerpt on urbanization and migration, taken from the Address given at Commonwealth Youth Forum Opening ceremony by Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Migration to urban areas takes place not because of real opportunities for better wages and livelihood but due to the expectations of such opportunities... In other words, people move or migrate not because they will be better off, but because they expect to be better off.

Unchecked flows of rural poor seeking better lives have exerted an unbearable strain on Africa's capitals...

But then we know that migration has historically improved the well-being of individuals and humanity as a whole. Just think how many countries and cities around the world were founded by migrants. Or today, how many economies are driven by the energy and initiative of new-comers. Let us not forget that what we call the “New World”, namely the Americas and Australasia was populated by immigrants from Europe.
Let us not forget that without migrants, Jakarta would not be Jakarta as it is.

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