The major cause of voluntary movement of populations between and within national borders in recent years is rooted in the initial and growing disparity in development between and among states. The causes and consequences of such movement have economic, political, social and demographic dimensions.

In Africa, the historical evolution and stages of political development are crucial to an understanding of migration in general.

Africa is home to over 3,000 distinct ethnic groups and 2,000 languages. Today we are dealing with an ongoing crisis at the northern most tip of Africa, as "desperate young Africans are drowning in the Mediterranean whilst trying to get to Europe."

According to European Commission statistics, the EU received approximately 626,000 applications for international protection in 2014, the highest number of asylum applicants within the bloc since 1992.

More recently, on the south end of the continent poor black South Africans have risen against poor black immigrants from African countries. Back in 2008, anti-immigrant attacks swept South Africa, resulting in at least 67 deaths. In May 2015, seven dead and many more injured and worried for their lives.

Is this crisis really being addressed as a critical problem? And how can leaders come together to solve it?

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna debates the issue with:

Jeff Radebe: Minister in the Presidency of South Africa
Khalid Koser: Executive director, Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund
Ann Bernstein: Executive director, Centre for Development and Enterprise
Erik Charas: Founder and managing director, Charas

Editor's note: This debate was organised with the World Economic Forum.

Source: Al Jazeera