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ECOWAS declares youth unemployment ‘a disease’, vows to cure it

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By Victoria Ojeme

The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has described the problem of youth unemployment in the sub-region as a disease while stamping its commitment towards resolving it.

The Speaker of the Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, made this remark, Thursday, at the end of the Extra-Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament held in Dakar, Senegal and called on governments in the region to face the challenge of youth unemployment to curb the dangerous adventure of undocumented migration from the region.

“Our parliament expects to hold a forum on this subject in the second semester so as to define the outline and recommend avenues for putting an end to this disease,” he said.

Cisse Lo also called for the mobilisation of financial resources to tackle the menace arguing that it is necessary for governments to promote good economic policies, a healthy management of public assets and the fierce combat of corruption.

He emphasized that as far as the next delocalised meetings of the parliament are concerned, “The subject that will be dealt with is “Employment of Youths Within West Africa through Entrepreneurship.”

“Let me convey once again our concern for the most important sector of our population indeed not only that the youth represents the majority of the population in West Africa, but also they continue to be a very fragile sector, ” he said.

“Should we sleep, in times of violence and proliferation of violent extremism? I will like to talk about terrorism, drug trafficking, arms trafficking-these plaques which breed in ignorance and extreme poverty hit the youths very hard.”

“Indeed, the concerted efforts of our leaders, both at the national and regional levels, in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, have led to significant reduction of terrorist attacks that sow desolation and cause our populations to mourn on a daily basis,” the Speaker stated.

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