John Fitzsimons, Camara Education CEO shares his thoughts on the importance of and need for sustainable development…..
It is dark outside. I look out the window and wonder what is happening 36,000 feet below. We are passing over arguably the most controversial sea of current times, the Mediterranean. Previously most famous for holidaying, now for the deaths that are occurring from people taking on perilous journeys. The good news (if I can call it that), is that for whatever reason, it is making mainstream news. The bad news is that the reaction is more of the same; lock the borders, prosecute the traffickers and rescue people. While the latter is to be welcomed (especially seeing an Irish naval vessel active and saving people), sometimes the humanitarian effort masks the underlying issue. Sometimes when we are sick or injured there is too much emphasis on treating the patient and not enough on the prevention.
The situation that is unfolding is entirely predictable. As an engineering graduate I am only too familiar with Ohm’s law which states that the current between two points is proportionate to the differential between them. The difference between Africa and Europe in terms of security and life chances is huge. Hence people are prepared to take great risks when the potential is so great for them and their families. Only when the differential is reduced will we see the flow stemming. This will only be achieved through long term sustainable development. So as I drift asleep looking out the window, I dream that one day maybe the flow will be reversed and maybe we have people returning to live a safe, secure life achieving their potential in the country of their birth.