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Tired of uncertain journeys, a migrant opens his business

“I had always thought that my future was far from my country. I never thought I could build a future for myself at home in Agadez” – Akar Ekawel.

Some time ago, Akar Ekawel, a 28-year-old Nigerien man, left his country to try his luck in Algeria. He was turned away before he even put down his suitcase in Tamarasset, but Akar did not give up and would try migrating again. With no travel documents, he was arrested and sent to prison for illegal entry into Algerian territory.

After returning to Niger, he sold off all his belongings and left, but this time for Libya. After enormous difficulties on the road, he arrived in this country and settled in the town of Sebha, starting a job as a night watchman. One evening when he came home late, armed bandits attacked him, beat him and robbed him of all his belongings. They leave him with four fractures in his foot. Akar suffered a lot before he was able to receive treatment, so he decided to return home.

Once back, Akar Ekawel sought assistance from an NGO based in Agadez called Cadev. Young Akar was selected from a group of young people for livelihood training. He learned restoration, and after three weeks the project gave him a complete restoration kit and start-up funding.

With his start-up money, Akar was able to open a fast food restaurant and a shop which bring him income. “Today, with what I earn, I save money to buy sheep for my parents. It is a moral debt. I had sold the animals they raised for adventure. I have to pay them back for this mess,” Akar explains.

Very aware of all the dangers encountered before returning home, Akar persists: “I appeal to young people to stay at home to do any legal work. Irregular migration is dangerous.”

TMP 30/10/2019

Photo credit: mavo/Shutterstock

Photo caption: Focused young African entrepreneur standing at the counter of his trendy coffee shop writing down notes in a book