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Job Creation In Africa Vital To Stop Crisis

Job Creation In Africa Vital To Stop Crisis On Morocco-Spain Border – UN Official

New York, Oct 10 2005

Voicing concern over the situation of migrants trying to cross from Morocco into Spain’s enclaves on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a senior United Nations official in West Africa today warned that what is happening there now with African youth is nothing compared with what might occur within a few years.

“I dread to think of the scenes we may be contemplating in, say, 20 years if we do not make a massive consolidated effort to create jobs and opportunities in West Africa,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, said, reiterating Mr. Annan’s call for immigration laws and obligations to be implemented humanely.

Tens of millions of youths in West Africa lack proper employment, and their realization that their prospects are so limited in their home countries is driving ever more of them to undertake the desperate measures necessary to emigrate clandestinely to Europe or North America, he added.

Six of those trying to make the crossing through the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla were reported killed last week in the latest of several violent incidents, prompting Mr. Annan’s earlier call.

At a news conference in Geneva today, Mr. Annan said the “very serious situation” of migrants trying to cross through the enclaves vividly illustrated the issue of international migration which “will consume far more of our energies in the years ahead.”

What is happening today with African youths is “insignificant compared to what we may be facing in a few years time,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.

For this reason, the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), based in Dakar, has been working with many of its partners both inside the UN system and outside, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and civil society organizations, to propose a series of practical recommendations for youth employment directed at national governments, the private sector and The report will be finalized in the coming weeks, well in time to inform discussions at the France-Afrique Summit in Bamako on 3 December which he said he is “delighted will be focusing on the vital issue of the future of African youth.”

ENDS

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