By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–GOOD socioeconomic policies coupled with emplacement of conducive environment are key ingredients in ending migration in sub sahara Africa,the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,UNESCO, has said.
UNESCO’s observation came as a foundation under the aegis of Art for Humanity Foundation,advised against illegal migration, noting that migration without legal documentation posed great risk to migrants.
The global organisation which advocates peace through education, sciences and culture, noted that providing only quality education without good socioeconomic policies besides conducive environment for citizens cannot solve migration crisis.
Officer-in-Charge, UNESCO Multi-sectoral Regional Office in Abuja,Mr Lamine Sow, who spoke at a photo exhibition organised by the foundation to retell migration stories,attributed migration to given environment, policies, economy, social values and norms.
To this end,he urged authorities to emplace quality education, socioeconomic policies and plans with a view to effecting a conducive environment for investment, importation, exportation and strategies that encourage sound development.
He posited that:”Providing them (youths) with some hope and a better future,part of which is also making sure that they get good and decent jobs”,could end migration.
“Most of the time,if you try and understand the root cause of immigration among youths, it has to do with a lot of things — unstable environment, the policies, the economy, social values, social norms,it’s a combination of multidimensional effects of their lives,” Mr Sow said.
He explained that the exhibition,tagged: “En route’’,which had ten photojournalists trained on art photography, was meant to retell stories on immigration in an ethical and unbiased way.
Explaining the choice of the exhibition,he said:” Art exhibition tells a lot, sometimes, images and expression can tell louder than words, express ideas in a better way,in more compelling way than words.”
The project, which saw ten young Nigerian photojournalists put on rigorous training,he explained, is supported by UNESCO Abuja and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
The retelling of migration stories through photo exhibition, according to the UNESCO representative, was aimed at disabusing the minds of people who got wrong information about migration, thus negatively impacted on harmonious and peaceful living among people in the societies.
Noting that the youth make up greater portion of the region’s population in the sub sahara region, he regretted that migration was having a heavy toll on its development.
Hear him:“When we talk about immigration, we talk about our youths and our youths are the most valid portion of our population and youths in this region are assets in the sub-Saharan Africa. The youth can also be a menace or threat depending on how we build their capacity. If the youth leave our country and our region when they are well trained, because families and the state have invested in building the capacity of the youth, it is brain drain. That kind of brain drain resulting from that phenomenon will affect the long term development of our region.”
On his part,the Creative Director, Art for Humanity Foundation, Mr Osaze Efe,advised against illegal migration, saying it had so many known risks.
According to him, “any migration whether genuine or not,must have legal documentation.”
He said:“If there is any genuine reason for one to travel to other places, whether local or foreign for a better living, make sure you have the competence and the legal documentation to travel.”
“Without legal documentation and the means to travel, it is risky, you are going to have issues with the law and you will have issues of survival,” he advised.
Efe explained that the selected photojournalists had been earlier trained to retell the migration stories through photography.