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Rwanda or UK

By Cllr Mike Eddy, Deal Town Council

The Government’s big idea for stopping asylum seekers (and most are granted asylum) crossing the Channel in small boats is to fly the arrivals to Rwanda. A strange choice.

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa and one of the smallest. At 242,749 km2, the UK is 9 times bigger than Rwanda (a mere 26,338 km2).

Depending on which census and population estimates you take, Rwanda’s population density comes out at between 470 people per km2 and 513 people per km2. The UK as a whole has a population density of some 270 to 280 people per km2. The figures for England (around 426 per km2) are closer to the lower end of Rwanda’s population density, though they are still below it.

The UK’s population growth rate is around 0.7%, whereas Rwanda’s is about 2.5%. So Rwanda is filling up with inhabitants quicker than the UK without the need for “importing” asylum seekers. This is despite the fact that Rwanda’s life expectancy is the 26th lowest (out of 224 countries and territories) while the UK enjoys the 35th best life expectancy rate.

As I say, a strange choice, made even stranger by the fact that Israel tried a similar deal with Rwanda a few years back. It failed badly.