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It is a pity that in this 21st century, Africa is still finding it very difficult to provide the necessary leadership for its ever-increasing youth population. Many African youths still cannot see the hope of ever achieving their dreams in their respective home countries, hence, the need to leave their respective countries on this gruesome journey of having to cross the Mediterranean, seeking for a greener pasture in Europe.
The other day, twenty six young and promising Nigerian girls lost their lives on this dreadful Mediterranean Sea crossing, trying to find their way into Italy. The question is: what are they going to do on getting to Italy? Majority of them (if they made it through) would end up as prostitutes and engage in all manner of other vices that are inhumane. I have read with utmost dismay how people blame these girls for embarking on this journey in the first place. The challenge we have as humans is that we are always quick to react to the effect of a thing, and fail to adequately address the cause of it. What would make young promising boys and girls embark on such journeys?
Recently, it also became known how young African men are being auctioned off in a slave trade arrangement in Libya. These were young men also trying to make it out of the continent of Africa into Europe for a better life and future. It is easy to blame these young people for these senseless acts, but we shouldn’t forget to address the root cause of all these problems. The truth is that, African leaders do not really care about its own timid young populace. Let us look at it from this other angle. How many youths from Europe and America are fleeing their countries into Africa, in search of a better opportunity?
I tell you, the answer is none! Many of them that are here are on a business trip to African countries. They didn’t have to come down through the Mediterranean Sea, I bet many of them flew into African countries in first class or business class or even private jets to come establish their businesses here in Africa. If we seat all African Head of States together in one room and ask them what their road map is for young Africans, I can assure you would be disappointed at the end of the meeting. I don’t think there is any continent in the world who has disserted its youth more than Africa.
Take a look at the statistics of those people trying to flee their home countries for Europe, apart from those countries that are being ravaged by war like Syria, the others are from Africa. Italy’s Ministry of Interior’s released figures on nationalities of migrants arriving so far in 2017 had Guinea and Nigeria topping the list. Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal also weren’t left out.
If Africa as a continent would ever become great, it must rise up for its young people. The youths are the glory of this continent, and not all these old politicians parading themselves in the corridors of power. African leaders must quit being irresponsible and wake up to do the needful. It is not enough to tweet and condemn the auctioning of African youths going on right now in Libya, a sustainable and lasting solution must be put in place to help the youths of this continent. Create opportunities for these young ones to thrive in their own countries.
When there are structures and programs in place to help African youths thrive and grow in their own countries, the notion that if people don’t get to Europe or America they wouldn’t make it would be systematically eradicated. Let African leaders develop our educational system and make them robust, let them create opportunities that would create jobs for young people after leaving school. Let African government create opportunities for young people to start their own businesses and then thrive in it, let every bottleneck for young people participating in politics be removed.
Let there be equal rights and justice for all, let our borders be adequately manned by responsible personnel who wouldn’t allow illegal crossing, let corruption be eradicated. In other words, African leaders must wake up from their slumbers and be responsible for their own young citizens – the glory and the future of the continent. If nothing is done now about this migration of young Africans, it would have a devastating consequence on the continent and on its future. The time to act is now!