Ghana – Uganda urge youth to stay at home

In a joint statement of the Episcopal Conference of Ghana and of the Christian Council of Ghana, issued at the conclusion of a meeting held in Accra on 7 June 2016, the ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders called on young African people to stay in Africa as “Europe does not automatically guarantee comfort and pleasure.”

Their joint press release stated:

“We are saddened by the news about the many migrant deaths in the deserts of North Africa and in the waters of the Mediterranean and we appeal to States and African governments to take measures to prevent this tragedy. Even the migration of Africans in South America is becoming an emerging danger.

“We urge African governments to do all they can to create a favourable political and socio-economic environment and employment opportunities for our unemployed youth… We also encourage young Africans to stay in their Countries and to work hard to earn a living. They must understand that Europe and other areas outside Africa do not automatically guarantee comfort and pleasure.”

Their comments echo those of Mr Kahinda Otafiire, Ugandan Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, who gave a similar warning last month at the end of a meeting between Uganda and the Pan African Movement (PAM).

Calling on African governments to create employment opportunities and better environments for young people, Minister Otafiire stated:

“Young people should not assume that Europe and other places outside Africa guarantee automatic comfort and pleasure. The Mediterranean has become a crisis zone because of the large numbers attempting to cross to Europe in boats that are usually ill-equipped and overcrowded.”

Otafiire said Africa has the resources and opportunities that are yet to be tapped.”

Speaking on behalf of the African Union, Commissioner Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, said rather than merely lamenting, Africa must work harder to reverse the dependency which has for so long marked its relationship with its foreign partners. “African leaders must commit themselves with more determination to develop the continent in order to overcome the constraints which still hinder growth and foster youth to flee the continent,” she said.

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