Diadie Aboubacar had an epiphany in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea as the boat taking him and other migrants to Europe was waylaid by a gang of Nigerian, Guinean and Senegalese pirates who later sold them to slave merchants. It was September 2017, two years after the young Guinean had left to find a better life in Europe via North Africa.

“I decided to return home if I survived,”

he recalls. He did survive, thanks to a chance interception at a Libyan prison by officials of the International Organization for Migration a month later. These days, the 28-year-old runs his own pineapple plantation just outside Kindia, Guinea’s fourth-largest city. Aboubacar is among a growing number of Guineans who are part of an ambitious experiment to turn one of the world’s poorest nations into a major pineapple producer and reduce dangerous economic migration.


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