African emigrants to Italy
|Regions with significant populations|
|Rome, Milan, Turin, Palermo, Bologna, Brescia, Bergamo, Florence|
|Italian, Afro-Asiatic languages, Niger–Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages|
|Predominantly Roman Catholicism (Orthodox, Others Christians) · Sunni Islam|
Africans in the Roman Empire
North Africans have been immigrating to Italy since the Roman Era.
In 2017, there has been a 40 per cent increase in the overall number of migrants arriving in Italy and in 2014 over 170,000 migrants arrived which represented the biggest influx of people into one country in European Union History. A large percentage of them arrive via Africa.
The African migrants specifically use the coast of the country Libya in order to travel across the Mediterranean Sea in large numbers hoping to land on Italian shores. Although departing from Libya, most of the emigrants are from the following countries: Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Eritrea, and Syria. The route is dangerous and often unsuccessful; in 2015 2,000 people died crossing the Mediterranean and the Libyan coast guard intercepted a large number of the boats which were transporting the illegal immigrants from Africa and into Italy. As this route begins to gain more and more publicity and attention, smugglers are using alternate routes such as Egypt, the Balkan route from Greece, and a very risky route from mountain passes in Albania.
In 2017 propositions were made for the European Union to open asylum centers in Libya with the goal being to protect vulnerable refugees. The benefit of these asylum centers would be access to healthcare. One major problem with the refugees’ path to freedom are the detention centers within Libya which the European Union claims violates human rights. A second major problem is that the entire refugee process has fueled the creation of an illegal human smuggling market which earns a profit by granting asylum seekers from Africa access to Europe in very dangerous conditions. There are numerous non- governmental organizations which aim to save stranded refugees by monitoring certain areas of the Mediterranean. This isn't as beneficial as it sounds because it doesn’t allow for legitimate government organizations to record realistic migrant numbers. The influx of migration leads to fear for security, finances, and quality of life.
In 2016, Italy’s finance minister pushed for financial compensation from the European Union for the country’s financial losses as a result of mass migration. As of 2016 the European Union had put forth 1.8 billion Euros for the entirety of Africa’s refugee efforts in Europe which isn't nearly enough.
North and North East Africans
The largest group of immigrants from Africa are from North Africa, numbering 666.585 official residents in 2016. By country of origin, most of these recent arrivals are from Morocco (437.485), Tunisia (95.645), Egypt (109.871) and Algeria (21.765). Italy also has a number of immigrants from Libya (1.819), Somalia (7.903), Eritrea (9.597) and Ethiopia (8.000), territories where Italian expatriates had a presence during the colonial period.
West and Central Africans
Compared to North and Northeast Africans, the percentage of West and Central Africans as a proportion of immigrants to Italy from Africa is 33.2% (344.568 official residents in 2015). Most come from Senegal (98.176), Nigeria (77.264) and Ghana (48.637).
The following is a list of notable African nationals who have immigrated to and now at least partially reside in Italy.
- Matteo Ferrari - Footballer born in Algeria
- Paolo Dal Molin - Athlete born in Cameroon
- Edwige Gwend - Karatè born in Cameroon
- Jacques Riparelli - Athlete born in Cameroon
- Audrey Alloh - Athlete born in Côte d'Ivoire
- Sumbu Kalambay - Boxer born in Zaire
- Migidio Bourifa - Athlete born in Morocco
- Zahra Bani - Javelin thrower born in Somalia
- Mostafa Errebbah - Athlete born in Morocco
- Gert Peens - Rugby player born in South Africa
- Desmond N'Ze Kouassi - Footballer born in Ghana
- Lorenzo Bandini - Motor racing driver born in Libya
- Nicola Pietrangeli - Tennis player born in Tunisia
- Christian Manfredini - Footballer born in Côte d'Ivoire
- Jaco Erasmus - Rugby player born in South Africa
- Nicholas Northcote - Cricket player born in South Africa
- Marcello Fiasconaro - Athlete born in South Africa
- Ahmed Aboul Gheit - Diplomat born in Egypt
- Cécile Kyenge - Politician and Minister of Integration
- Magdi Allam - Politician born in Egypt
- Dacia Valent - Politician born in Somalia
- Jean-Léonard Touadi - Politician born in Republic of the Congo
Media and literature
- Nour Eddine - Singer and filmmaker born in Morocco
- Edwige Fenech - actress born in Algeria from Maltese father and Italian mother
- Saba Anglana - Singer and actress born in Somalia
- Senit - Singer born in Eritrea
- Remo Girone - Actor born in Eritrea
- Bruno Lauzi - Italian singer born in Eritrea
- Sandra Milo - Italian actress born in Tunisia
- Tahar Lamri - Writer born in Algeria
- Claudia Cardinale - Italian Actress born in Tunisia
- Josephine Bakhita - Catholic saint born in Sudan
- Michele Amatore - Italian army captain born in Sudan
- Adel Smith - Italian Muslim born in Egypt
- Dati ISTAT 2016. "Cittadini stranieri in Italia - 2016". tuttitalia.it.