Create more jobs, opportunities for youth – Mahama to African leaders
Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama is calling on African leaders to create more opportunities for the continent’s youthful population in a bid to prevent violent extremism and terrorism.
The former President, who is currently serving as the Chair of the Tana Forum on Security in Africa said it is important to create more job opportunities for the youth.
The call comes on the back of recent activities that show West Africa has become a hotbed of terrorist and extremist activities, as a result of greater activism of groups operating in the North East of Nigeria and the Greater Sahel.
Speaking at the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum, former President Mahama explained that it is important for Africans to notice the threats of a possible violent extremism and terrorism and put measures in place to prevent any future occurrences.
“Unfortunately violent extremism is a new norm that we might have to live with in Africa for sometime into the distant future because we fail to cut off the roots of this problem,” the former President said.
He added “There is a need to create more job opportunities for the youth, bridge the gap between the rich and poor and also solve the issues to do with climate change adding that this will prevent future violent extremism and terrorism. ”
He recounted an incident in 2015 when a ‘charitable religious group’ recruited people from the tertiary educational institutions and shifted them to Libya to train as terrorists.
“These are students in the University who are supposed to be enlightened but since the opportunities are not readily available, it becomes easy to lure them,” he stressed.
The former President is calling on leaders of countries and various stakeholders to create more opportunities for the youth.
The Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum was on the theme: “Peace operation in the context of violent extremism in Africa.”
The two-day forum was attended by political leaders, diplomats and security experts who dialogued and shared ideas on critically evolving trends on peace and security on the African continent.