African Exodus

Asfa-Wossen Asserate / Introduction by David Goodhart / translated by Peter Lewis

‘Asserate’s short book is a plea for joined-up thinking on migration. It seeks to examine the forces driving people to leave home.’
Financial Times

‘In this short, snappy book, Asserate places the recent surge in flows of migrants from Africa to Europe in the context of the centuries-long relationship between the two continents.’
Foreign Affairs Magazine 

‘A bitter and clear portrait of how Europe, instead of fighting the causes of immigration, is fighting the refugees themselves.’
Die Zeit



‘Amid the hysteria and distortions that surround immigration, in African Exodus Asfa-Wossen Asserate presents a sober and authoritative account of migration from Africa – and manages, with some verve, to unearth central and crucial insights. This book, really, is about the universal human desire to be free.’
Alex Perry, author of The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free

‘A powerful book encapsulating first-hand experience with bold statistics giving testimony to the claim that we are facing the greatest refugee crisis of our age.’
Victoria Schofield


By 2050, Africa’s population is projected to have doubled. Already the UN is reporting a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of refugees within Africa. For many of Africa’s economically strained nations the consequences could be catastrophic.

In African Exodus, Asfa-Wossen Asserate argues that the failure of European nations to confront this seismic demographic shift will result in greater instability, widespread unemployment and the entrenchment of poverty across the continent. Migration to Europe across the Mediterranean will dramatically increase over time.

This challenging book asks: Why does the European view of Africa remain so distorted? What can Europe do to combat the corrupt authoritarian regimes that stymie progress and development? And why do European governments seem so willing to sleepwalk into crisis?

ASFA-WOSSEN ASSERATE studied at the University of Tübingen, the University of Cambridge and for his PhD at Frankfurt University. A member of the Imperial House of Ethiopia, he became a refugee in 1974 after the overthrow of the monarchy. He works as a political analyst in Germany, where he has lived for the last 40 years. A bestselling author, Asserate has been the recipient of the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize for Literature and the Jacob Grimm Prize for the German Language. Asserate is an honorary senator of the University of Tübingen and the founder of Pactum Africanum, a foundation that promotes understanding among the Abrahamic religions. He is the author of King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

PETER LEWIS has had careers in university teaching and publishing and now works as a freelance translator and author.

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