The same courtyard

Publish date 09-12-2023

by Stefano Caredda

We are and will increasingly be a small hospice overlooking the courtyard of a very crowded primary and middle school. A small number of people, now well advanced in age, who find themselves faced with an exorbitant number of young people, animated by that strength and freshness that we have now consumed. It is also with this image that the relationship that already today but even more so in the near future will bind the European continent and the African continent is told, in a synthetic, immediate and almost inexorable way. The first with a declining population and an increasingly higher average age and the second with an increasingly numerous population concentrated largely on the younger age groups. Two completely different worlds, like the atmospheres that differentiate a retirement home from a school.

Although inevitably crude and a little coarse, the image of the hospice overlooking the crowded and dynamic courtyard has the merit of clarifying what the world in which we and our children will live will be in the next twenty and thirty years, and even beyond. A world that will inevitably be shaped by well-established demographic trends and which for this reason is also destined to see styles and ways of living partially redesigned.
World statistics tell us that after a few decades in which the number of people in conditions of absolute poverty has been decreasing globally, as has the number of people suffering from hunger (the two situations are not completely comparable), at least for a For a decade now, things aren't going completely right. From 2014 onwards, for example, the number of those who do not consume the necessary daily calories has grown and the majority of this increase refers precisely to Africa, which is also the only continent in which, in the same period, there has been an increase also poverty. In short, instead of bringing it closer, we are moving away from the goal of defeating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.
With the aggravating circumstance that, as is known, there would be enough food (even net of the waste of rich countries) for all 8 or more billion human beings on the planet, if only the production and distribution system took into account the needs of all.

In our area, not much is said about what is in fact a very serious failure of the international community, of governments, of international agencies and ultimately also of civil society. Instead, there is much discussion about the manifestations closest to us of one of the phenomena that is closely linked to this situation, that of migration. But the capacity for analysis and depth of judgment are largely lacking.
A problem if we do not realize that an epochal challenge such as the quality of future coexistence between the inhabitants of Europe and the inhabitants of Africa will also depend on the choices made today.

Stefano Caredda
NP November 2023

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