By Osahon Osahon
Gambia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Mr. Lang Yabou, says African governments and their leaders should rapidly invest in the development of youths in the continent.
He noted that for Africa to secure her future as the next global destination the various governments must prioritise the development and capacity building for its youths to march their counterparts in the world.
Yabou, in a lecture he delivered on Thursday at the first eminent lecture series of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, with its theme; “Sustainable peace, security and social inclusion as catalysts for African’s future and development”, lamented the growing insecurity in the continent.
The Gambian Envoy described the rising inequality and social exclusion as some of the major threats to the peace and sustainable development on the African continent.
According to him, millions of African youths may be lost to despair and idleness, and with dire consequences, if its leaders do not act fast to salvage the continent from the looming danger.
Yabou said to stem the tide, there was need for African countries to create millions of jobs for unemployed youths to urgently address insecurity and myriads of other threatening issues in the region.
“Africa is considered the continent of the future today, so African governments must therefore invest in their peoples by giving them skills, capacities and opportunities to be self-reliant”, he said.
He added that there is also an urgent need to poor service-delivery, feelings of marginalization by citizens and communities and alienation of the people from their governments, adding that such factors easily turn into conflict and open hostilities.
“To achieve accelerated peace and security in Africa, we must engage in proactive, holistic and inclusive approaches to conflict prevention. There must also be local ownership of the initiatives to enhance inclusion and sustainabily.
“African governments must prioritize infrastructural development by investing in new and smart technologies with a view to leap-frogging the economic competitiveness of the continent for sustainable development.”
The Gambian ambassador urged the new African Union Development Agency to invest in continental projects that promote trade, job creation and regional integration across the continent.
In his welcome remark, Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the lecture series is one of the platforms for exchanging knowledge, town and gown interface, as well as community impartation.