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Focus on enabling infrastructure to curb youth migration – ECOWAS Commission

Mr Abdel-Fatau Musah, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), says West African leaders must focus on creating enabling infrastructure for youth development.

He said such an infrastructure would be the panacea to curbing youth migration and insecurity in the sub-region.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS.

Mr Musah said this at the 3rd Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum (KAPS Forum) held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) under the theme: ‘Migration and Societal Resilience in a Multipolar World Order: Addressing Conflicts and Building Peace in Africa’.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), he said the limited availability of enabling infrastructure and environments in West African countries, had caused an increase in migration of the youth from the subregion towards the more prosperous global north.

‘The quest to migrate has
been exacerbated by the increasing insecurities in the region and coupled with climate change challenges,’ the Commissioner said.

He said the developed countries had made infrastructure a primary need and a necessity where they had 24-hour electricity supply, and meaningful and productive education for young people to thrive.

‘We are not talking about just learning to read and write but to transform knowledge into productivity. We need to improve these so that the natural tendency for people to move from places of scarcity to places of abundance is curbed,’ Mr Musah explained.

He called for inclusive development in the governance systems to prevent the feeling of remoteness which also triggered migration.

‘If you do not promote inclusive development, governance becomes a winner takes all; people do not take part in governance because they feel alienated and marginalised, a tendency for them to escape’, he added.

The 3rd Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum serves as a platform to discuss how best the cont
inent and the sub-region could effectively address issues of climate change, conflicts, transnational crimes, and their impacts on migration trends.

It also brought to the fore how the continent’s leadership could devise solutions and coping mechanisms to deal with them.

The forum was established in 2019 to honour the memory of the late Kofi Annan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations, who used his office and position to promote peace globally.

The conference had in attendance diplomats, Former Heads of State, Continental, and regional block leaders.

They included Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, African Union Representative for Silencing the Guns, Yayi Boni, a Former President of Benin and Hailemariam Dessalegn Boshe, a Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Source: Ghana News Agency