Africa will become very important. Will Arabs force Europe to take in Africans, or will Europeans force Arabs to take in Africans?
Africa is in the news again, and as is so often the case, the reason is tragic. The drowning deaths of hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean has put the plight of tens of thousands who make that hazardous crossing on the map, and forced European leaders to debate how best to respond to a burgeoning influx. But this tragedy is already slipping off the front pages, and if the past is any prologue, Africa will soon sink into obscurity again.
Africa is the largest place on earth that it is possible, most of the time, to ignore. It won’t be forever. The journalistic cliché is that, as the 20th was the American century, the 21st will be the Chinese. But there is a plausible case to be made that, within a few short decades, we’ll be talking instead about the African century.