Youth Forum: ECOWAS Parliament emphasises significance of youth empowerment

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Speaker of the West African regional bloc, Ecowas Parliament has emphasised the importance of young people in moving the region towards achieving her ultimate targets, calling for their empowerment as part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment.

Addressing the parliament’s extraordinary session in Dakar, Senegal, Mustapha Cisse Lo called on the region’s governments to face the challenge of youth unemployment to tackle the dangerous adventure of undocumented migration from the region.

He said the parliament is strongly committed to fashioning out ways of curbing the rate of youth unemployment in the region. “Our parliament expects to hold a forum on this subject in the second semester to define and recommend avenues for putting an end to the syndrome, “he said.

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

He emphasised that as far as the next delocalised meetings of the parliament are concerned, the subject to deal with is employment of youth within West Africa through entrepreneurship. “Let me convey once again our concern for the most important sector of our population. Youth represent the majority of the population in West Africa, but also they continue to be a very fragile sector,” he said, and added, “Should we sleep in times of violence and proliferation of violent extremism? I will like to talk about terrorism, drug and arms trafficking. These plaques breed in ignorance and extreme poverty and hit the youth very hard.”

He said concerted efforts of leaders at both national and regional levels in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism have led to significant reduction of terrorist attacks that show desolation and cause populations to mourn on daily basis, saying tackling youth unemployment will help in the economic growth of the region.