In 2015, an unprecedented number of people from Africa and the Near East took flight and sought refuge in Europe. By the end of that year, some 1.8 million migrants had arrived in the EU, the vast majority having come across the Mediterranean. Since then, despite measures to host some of the people fleeing the Syrian war in Turkey and concurrent attempts to physically seal off some borders in Eastern Europe, the numbers of refugees traveling to Europe has continued to top half a million annually. A mass migration on a scale not witnessed in modern times is underway, and it has presented Europe with its greatest challenge of the twenty-first century.
Asfa-Wossen Asserate argues here that building higher fences or finding more effective methods of integration will only, in the long term, perpetuate rather than solve the problems associated with these large numbers of displaced refugees. We need to realize that we are only treating the symptoms of an oncoming catastrophe and that, if we are to respond to mass migration, we will ultimately have to understand its causes. African Exodus places its emphasis firmly on the causes of the refugee crisis, which are to be found not least in Europe itself, and charts ways in which we might deal with it effectively in the long term.
In the course of this analysis, Asserate asks why our view of Africa—a troubled continent, but rich in so many ways—is so distorted. How can we combat the corrupt, authoritarian regimes that stymie progress and development? Why are millions fleeing to Europe? How is the EU complicit in the migration crisis? And finally, in practical terms: what can be done, and what prospects does the future hold?
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, he fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup.
Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie’s grandnephew, this is the first major biography of this final “king of kings.” Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Introducing him as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history—with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors—reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself, Asserate uses his own experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives to achieve a colorful and even-handed portrait of the emperor.