Border and Poor Migrants: An African Moral Philosophy View

Anno LVIII, n. 237, maggio-agosto 2023
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


The problem of substantial migration of the poor fleeing their nations into other states has continued, even though some politicians, mostly those in the host nations, are against the immense movement of people on shared state borders. In this philosophical discussion I use South Africa – Zimbabwe boundary, one of the busiest land borders in the continent of Africa and the only point of entry on land between these two African countries, as my main example. By drawing on an ubuntu/hunhu ethic, i.e., an African moral philosophy that is common among the people who live in the Southern region of Africa, I  contend with the problem of borders in relation to poor migrants. Firstly, I lay out key facts pertaining to the South Africa - Zimbabwe border regulations, which invite moral reflections. Secondly, I articulate the
ubuntu ethic. Finally, on the basis of the ubuntu ethos I propose concrete changes for borders. By engaging the question of borders with African moral philosophy, namely, an ubuntu ethic, and also providing concrete proposals for the problem of the border and the poor migrants, this discussion brings originality to the migration debate.