African immigrants and asylum seekers occupy a holding center in Holon, Israel. (Courtesy of
African immigrants and asylum seekers occupy a holding center in Holon, Israel. (Courtesy of

​Israel’s government approved a plan that would force tens of thousands of African migrants to leave the country by the end of March or face jail time.

Israeli officials are telling the migrants to voluntarily accept a plane ticket and a grant of $3,500, or face possible incarceration.

“Every country must guard its borders,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while announcing the plan on Jan. 4. “The infiltrators have a clear choice — cooperate with us and leave voluntarily, respectably, humanely and legally, or we will have to use other tools at our disposal, which are also according to the law.”

The plan is the latest effort to expel the hordes of African migrants and asylum seekers, mostly Eritrean and Sudanese, who have entered Israel illegally.

At least 20,000 have already left the country, and Netanyahu said the goal now is to “deport the rest,” The New York Times reported.

Africa Holds First-Ever AfroPunk Festival

Africa’s first international AfroPunk festival recently took place on the continent.

Thousands of people came out to Johannesburg to celebrate alternative Black culture at the festival, which organizers described as “a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you.”

AfroPunk was first held in New York in 2005, initially as a way to pay homage to the music and culture “born of African spirit.” It was started by people who felt marginalized by both mainstream Black and pop cultures and thus drew heavily on the rebellious spirit of punk.

Now every year, continental Africans and those living in the United States freely join together, taking pride in Black hair, beauty and fashion while championing people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

African Millennials Say Yes to Bitcoin

Bitcoin, a newer form of cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system, is making a huge splash throughout parts of Africa.

Known for being the first decentralized digital currency, the system works without a central bank, and the peer-to-peer network and direct user transactions are proving to be very lucrative for ambitious African millennials, particularly those right out of college looking for work.

Kenyan currency trader Martin Serugga said although the newness of the system leaves it ripe for fraud, corruption and illegal activity, he remains cautiously optimistic of its upside.

“If you don’t have factory jobs and you don’t have corporate jobs to serve the thousands of young people coming out of the universities, this is an alternative,” Serugga told BBC.

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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