Xenophobic Attacks Of Nigerians In South Africa And Socio-Economic Development Of Africa: A Case Study Of Nigeria

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Xenophobic Attacks Of Nigerians In South Africa And Socio-Economic Development Of Africa: A Case Study Of Nigeria


Abstract


The study examined xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development with specific focus on Nigeria. The xenophobia situation has seriously affected most African countries whose citizens were attacked in south Africa. Similarly, Nigeria is not left out of this because majority of the persons that suffered these attacks are Nigerians.

The study adopted qualitative method and historical/analytical design was used in analyzing its data. Data were collected through secondary sources which include newspapers, archives, books, conference proceedings, etc.

The findings revealed that; Forceful migration of Nigerians from South Africa to Nigeria due to incessant xenophobic attacks has definitely affected the socio-economic development of Nigeria in several ways;. Consequent influx of citizens into the country has worsened the socio-economic situation, poverty and standard of living of citizens because the volume of persons to be catered for has increased;. The unemployment rate has increased as most South African owned businesses in Nigeria that Nigerians work for were destroyed by Nigerians as a reprisal for killing Nigerians in South Africa, while some shut down to avoid been destroyed.

The study concluded that, the impacts of the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals living in South Africa were detrimental to the safety and well-being of foreign nationals. Also, xenophobia destroyed the already established mutual cohabitation between indigenes and foreign nationals particularly the Nigerians.

The study further recommends that; The government, police and the judiciary need to be educated properly regarding matters concerning xenophobia;. The government of Nigeria should put strategies in place to develop Nigeria’s economy in order to create a better life for citizens including the returnees;. Security agencies in Nigeria should live up to their expectation by curtailing all security challenges that may arise at any time;. Skill acquisition should be encourages and supported by government as a way of curbing unemployment and an approach to enhance the standard of living of Nigerians and the returnees.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Most African nations attained their political freedom in the immediate post-1960s period; socio-economic development is lagging behind with poverty, unemployment and inequalities on the rise. These challenges are famously known as “evil triplets” or “social evils” (Terreblanche, 2012). Ramphele (2018) also argues that many African countries are politically free of crisis but continue to suffer from inadequate economic reforms to strengthen socio-economic development that can able to continue without causing damage to the environment. This discouraging situation is more provoked by autocratic administrative systems which are notorious for displacing African citizens through civil wars that dislocate nationals from their land-of-birth sources of living. Oucho (2016) stated that, unless the economic and political situation get better, bad emotional response, hostility, hatred and fault-finding policies against foreigners would persist.

Due to poor socio-economic development, poor leadership ironically added force to democratic ideals, philosophy and beliefs which has made people to become victims of democracy deficit and greed. The notion of democracy discrepancy depicts the lack of political engagement and participation by the public whereby people will find their way of leaving politics (Crowther & Martin, 2015). Nigeria and South Africa can be identified as the largest economy in the African region. Owing to their achievements, Nigeria and South Africa can be viewed as predecessors of continental development and regional political links in West Africa and Southern Africa respectively (Mbeki, 2016). These two countries have made concerted efforts to position the region as a critical global actor in international political and economic relations. It could be argued that this situation was further perpetuated by political illiteracy on the part of South Africans with regard to African politics, including the significant role played by other African nations in the liberation of South Africa (Shishonga, 2015).

Nigeria is a matchless country where thousands of people who are multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious co-exist (Fayomi, Chidozie, & Ayo 2015). However, competition for the control of socio-political and economic authorities among the various racial groups has led to series of hostility and social unrests. Nigeria is a country with problems not experienced by many African states, if not the whole world (Ogunnubi, 2016). Significantly, the problem is how to achieve solidarity in the action and in the midst of hundreds of ethnic nationalities, with each trying to exert forces on the central issue of one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity; where the desired justice will reign in all spheres of life (Oni & Okunade, 2018).

The rise of South Africa above decades of national segregation and its change to democracy was hailed and seen as the start of a new epoch and espoused with high expectations (Crush & McDonald, 2011). However, this transition was fraught with, uncertainty especially as the country was confused in a range of formidable problems that needed immediate intervention (Collier, Schunemann & Moyer, 2015). South Africa has been exposed to global developments since becoming a democratic society, thus opening its doors and especially its economic sector to the world, and in turn paving the way to the growing influx of foreigners in search of jobs, trading opportunities, shelter or refugees, leisure in the case of tourist and education for students study in South Africa etc (Adam & Moodley, 2013). This influx of migrants has been accompanied by Xenophobic, sentiments and hatred, not only practiced by the public, but also by government officials (Minnar, 2015). South Africa’s political, economic and social revolution and change has endorsed constitutional framework based on the principles of human rights, achievement of equality and social justice, tolerance and non discrimination, what remains apparent is the fact that race-based discrimination still prevails (Nel, 2015).

Despite feasible economic, political and social climate, harmful attitudes by some of the citizens of South Africa towards foreign residents in the country have influenced some African countries, particularly those whose nationals have suffered the chaos, to review their relationship with South Africa (Akinola,2018a, 2018c; Tella, 2016). The ill treatment meted on other nationals by some South Africans is to evict the foreigners from their land whom they claimed to have taken away their businesses, land, wives, among others (Adjai & Lazaridis, 2014; Fagbadebo & Ruffin, 2018; Wilson & Magam, 2018). These actions have resulted in series of killings, massacre, burning and destruction of properties owned mostly by African nationals residing in the country.

The history of xenophobia in Africa has become a general observable fact. This is because a number of countries in Africa have witnessed the xenophobia in their various countries (Akinola, 2018a, 2018c; Oloruntoba, 2018, Oni & Okunade, 2018; Tella, 2018). However, the rate at which South Africa experiences the xenophobic violence in Africa is more common and frightening compared to other countries where the incidence had happened in the past (Gordon, 2017; Ruedin, 2018). This frequent recurrence of xenophobia in South Africa needs to be tackled among the African states. This is because whenever there is xenophobic attack in South Africa, the foreigners who are mainly Africans resident in the country are the main target (Fagbadebo & Ruffin, 2018).

Xenophobic incidents, a recurring phenomenon in many African countries with attendant consequences for lives and properties, have threatened political relations between governments and nationalities (Moyer, 2015). Though the borders between countries are increasingly becoming loosened and multiculturalism taking center stage of global human interactions, ethnic and identity consciousness exacerbated by xenophobia still define the basis of such cross-border and global human interactions (Benyera, 2018). Based on the foregoing, the current research is analyzing xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development of Africa: a case study of Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Xenophobia is a common happening in Africa that has been experienced in countries like Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe among others (Akinola, 2018b; Benyera, 2018; Carciotto, 2016; Oni & Okunade, 2018; Shulika & Sabi, 2018; Tella, 2018). However, the frequent happening of the event of xenophobia in South Africa has become an intense issue in Africa. This has been investigated by several literatures found on the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Hence, Nigeria like many other African countries has cordial relationship with South Africa government which has made it easy for the two countries to work things out together in the African continent such as the contribution to Africa’s peace, stability and development (Colliers, Schunemann, & Moyer, 2015; Obi, 2015). The African nations have always delighted in itself as being hospitable to visitors. South Africa in recent times however, has shown discriminatory tendencies towards foreign nationals resident in their country. So indicting is their resentment towards foreigners a study carried by the Human Science established that South Africa is a society plagued by sentiments and resentment towards foreigners. These resentment and sentiments are increasingly becoming violent and can potentially pose diplomatic challenges for the South African state in general. Nigeria has been greatly affected by this resentment towards foreigners due to their migration back to Nigeria. It has affected Nigerians in terms of their standard of living, employment, insecurity etc.

Past studies such as Obi (2015), Fayomi, Chidozie, & Ayo (2015), Ogunnubi (2016), had been conducted on the Nigeria and South Africa hegemonic influence in the African continent. There are scanty studies on the effects of the ill-treatment meted out on Nigeria’s nationals in South Africa on the economic relations and diplomatic relationship between the two countries. It is important to note that no studies have been conducted on xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development of Africa: a case study of Nigeria both internationally and locally. Hence this study is considered timely.


1.3 Objectives or Purpose of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development of Africa: a case study of Nigeria.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To determine the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on socio-economic development of Nigeria.
  2. To identify the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on security situation of Nigeria.
  3. To determine the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on employment and standard of living in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on socio-economic development of Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on security situation of Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa on employment and standard of living in Nigeria?

1.5 Hypotheses

HO1: The effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa does not significantly affect socio-economic development of Nigeria.

HO2: The effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa does not significantly affect security situation of Nigeria.

HO3: The effect of xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa does not significantly affect employment and standard of living in Nigeria.


1.7 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The outcome of this study will enlighten government, policy makers, stakeholders and general public on the xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development of Africa: a case study of Nigeria.
  2. The findings from this study will constitute a basis for future research and also contributing to the body of knowledge since it will be used as empirical literature.
  3. Outcome of this study will also be a guide for policy formulation both at state and national level.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study will cover xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa and socio-economic development of Africa. It will cover the entire Nigeria. It will also cover issues spanning 2013 to 2017.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Xenophobia:

Is an extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions or prejudice against people from other countries.

Attack:

An aggressive and violent act against a person or place with weapons or armed force.

Socio-Economic Development:

Is the process of social and economic development in a society, it measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment.


Xenophobic Attacks Of Nigerians In South Africa And Socio-Economic Development Of Africa: A Case Study Of Nigeria


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Xenophobic Attacks Of Nigerians In South Africa And Socio-Economic Development Of Africa: A Case Study Of Nigeria


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