JOHANNESBURG - Violence against migrants from elsewhere in Africa could likely be contained if they are included to build the economy, according to Marwa Salem, lecturer and researcher in African politics at the Future University in Egypt, a private institution in Cairo.
Salem believes that refugees should no longer be viewed as a burden to the country's resources as South Africa grapples with xenophobic attacks on refugees and asylum seekers.
"Refugees are not a problem and immigration is not a crisis. In the European Union immigration is used to settle political scores," she said during the 53rd training of African journalists held in Cairo, Egypt.
The United Nations Refugee Agency has sounded alarm bells on the risk of increasing attacks with thousands of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing to South Africa to seek a a better life.
"Why do we not turn refugees into a means of production instead of s a burden? Why do we no invest in providing them with skills that will build? This will result in them being producers and not consumers? Why do we not view them in that way instead of as a threat of resource?"
Last month David Makhura, Gauteng Premier threatened to force southern African countries to pay for their citizens' accces to health services, as the province's public healthcare system was under pressure. Two undocumented Malawians were killed by a mob in Durban underscoring the problem of migration ealier this month.
South Africa hosts 65 000 regufees and 295 000 aslyum seekers compared Uganda which is hosting 1.1 million refugees and is the continent's biggest hoost of refugees, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Ethiopia home to Africa's the second largest population of refugees which at 900 000 refugees and asylum seekers after Uganda. Egypt a destination and transit country for numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants from the continent and Middle East . It was also under gappling with refugees and asylum seekers from 58 countries including, Syrians, Sudanese, Ethiopians, and Eritreans.
Meanwhile, Sherif El Khoraiby, chairman of Egypt's trade and marketing body Comesa said that the intergration in Africa was important for improving trade on the continent.
"We need to ensure that Africa attracts invest through improving intergration," saidEl Khoraiby.