Hassan Yera came to Spain as an illegal immigrant a couple of years ago. Now and thanks to other immigrants he can stay and he is trying to find a job and also helping other people that are in the same situation that he was. He gave us a few minutes of his time.


Interviewer: What does Africa mean to you?

Hassan Yera: There are a lot of things…home, family, beauty…..but poverty is also in Africa, it is the worst of Africa indeed.

I: You came from Ivory Coast. What it is the actual situation there?

HY: It is not like before…not that much pain you know…two years ago the civil war ended; now things are calm over there.

There is no organization at a governmental level and the politicians are strange. Corruption is killing the country you know.

I: Why is Africa not moving on?

HY: Because of the poverty, is poverty, poverty is what causes the wars, refugees…and corruption. Poverty and corruption are killing the inside of Africa. Did you know that the police accepts bribe for leaving peaceful the refugees and immigrants?

I: No, I did not know.

HY: Of course they do that, the problem is that either the cops are corrupted and evil or they are so poor that accept the money in order to buy the meal of that day.

I: So, Mafias are installing in Africa?

HY: I would not say they are mafias; at least not in Ivory Coast. I cannot speak for the rest of Africa. But in my country there are no mafias….no organization…most of them are thieves (here he smiled) but no like the concept you have here, no, no, no… there a thief can kill you…no doubts…it is not like here. It is the desperation you know, it leads them to murder.

I: And what about enterprises? Are they profiting of Africa?

HY: Everyone, everyone…everyone takes advantage of Africa. Africa has no friends, Europe, America, the Chinese all of them profit at our expenses. And they do not pay anything, no, no, not at all, they get rich, leave Africa and leave us with nothing. Africa has a lot of resources; and where is everything? Not in Africa I am certain about that.

I: Moving into the education. There is no stability?

HY: In my country you go to school when you are five or six…you continue if you have resources if you do not, you are nothing.

I: Nevertheless, a lot of help is given to Africa in education matters?

HY: Yes, yes, but no. The problem is not to built schools; it is to give resources to the families so the kids can go and stay in school.

I: Africa has big issues with the children, hasn’t it?

HY: Bufff; you have no idea…here…in Europe is different but very different. Here you hit a children and cops suddenly everywhere….but there! Bufff nothing happens, children gets hit even with sticks by persons that are not even they parents….is radical…radical.

I: Any international or Foreign efforts (international and humanitarian aid, NGOs…) are not working there?

HY: No, no, no…the “middle man” end up with that aid you know…because of responsibility and things like that. They came with the aid, but the responsible of spreading it are the government or the army and they start to take things for themselves. They give a part to people so here people belief they are really helping, but they are not.

I: Then, How do we really help?

HY: By spreading the aid yourselves, do not leave that to the local government, do it face to face to the poor people, it is like this. The world should do until the end…no “middle man”.

I: Another big issue of Africa is immigration. How do we solve this?

HY: Oh la la…difficult really difficult. Immigration is force…always…in Africa 95% is force or because of necessity. From my country to here…long journey, very long….you cross to Mali, then to Mauritania then you can try to reach Europe in a boat if you have the money you know…or go north to morocco and try there. But the problems are in the coast…crossing those countries is alone it is when you reach the coast when the criminals are organized and they take all the money from the people and sometimes they dropped them there with nothing, if you are lucky you reach Europe.

I: Is there hope for Africa?

HY: I will not lose hope, but I know it is going to take time. A very slow process but it is my house and my country, family and friends are there so I will not lose hope, sure.

I: Thank you very much for your time M.Yera.

HY: You welcome.


Thanks to M.Yera for his time.

Andrés Escorial


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