African Youth account for 65% of the continent’s entire population

“Our youth accounts for 65% of the continent’s entire population. Unfortunately the majority are unemployed and exposed to trafficking of people and drugs, to violence and forced migration.”

Archbishop Ignatius KAIGAMA, President, CBCN

The Vatican news agency, Agenzia Fides (11 April 2017) reported on a meeting in late March attended by the Archbishop of Jos, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Chairman of the Regional Bishops Conference of West Africa, and the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States. During the meeting Archbishop Kaigama stated:

“Our youth accounts for 65% of the continent’s entire population. Unfortunately the majority are unemployed and exposed to trafficking of people and drugs, to violence and forced migration.”

Also attending the meeting, held at Assinie, Cote d’Ivoire, were the Catholic Bishops of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Senegal and Togo. Amongst a number of concerns, they urged their respective heads of state and government to recognise that widespread unemployment is the main concern because it makes young people “easy prey of guerrilla leaders and criminal politicians anxious to enlist them to commit violent crimes and acts of terrorism”.

The Bishops’ also raised concerns about religious intolerance and extremism” and the menace of herdsmen who, “often armed with dangerous weapons, are associated with rape, murder, destruction of farms, kidnaping and conflicts.”

You may read the full Agenzia Fides report by clicking here:

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