ABIDJAN – Neither Europe nor Africa will have a future if they fail to invest in African youth, the president of the African Union commission said on Wednesday during the fifth AU-European Union summit.
“Our youth is an advantage ... (and) must be at the center of our actions,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said at the forum on the theme Investing in Youth for a Sustainable Future.
He pointed out that 60 percent of the population in Africa is under 25 and more than 31 percent of the continent’s youth are unemployed.
The high level of joblessness is one of the main reasons why young Africans risk their lives to reach Europe, he said.
Mahamat said that the universal horror sparked by recent CNN reporting about sub-Saharan Africans’ being sold at slave markets in Libya should be a “point of departure” for Europe and African to work together in pursuit of bringing peace to the troubled North African nation.
Another reason for investing in youth, Mahamat said, is the fight against terrorism, especially in Central Africa and in the Sahel, areas shaken by the actions of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.