Africa: Drought and Jobless, Hopeless Youth, Fertile Grounds for Extremism
ROME/OUAGADOUGOU, Jun 19 2017 (IPS) – Ignoring the plight of jobless young people in sub-Saharan Africa is a recipe for political instability and global insecurity, warned a high-level symposium of Africa’s interior, environment and foreign affairs ministers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The high-ranking officials also called for partnerships to create 2 million secure land-based jobs through rehabilitation of 10 million hectares of degraded land.
As well, they called for investment in rural infrastructure, rehabilitation tools and skills development and prioritisation of job creation in unstable and insecure areas.
Drought, Unemployment and Hopelessness, Fertile Grounds for Extremism Presidents Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali and Mahammadou Issoufou of Niger stressed that drought, food insecurity, water scarcity, unemployment, hopelessness about the future and poverty are fertile grounds for extremism, and a sign of insecurity, instability and unsustainability.
“Millions of rural young people face an uncertain future due to the lack of decent rural jobs and continuous loss of livelihoods due to land degradation and falling yields…Frustrations will boil over with more migration and more conflict over a shrivelling resource base.” The challenge is bigger than just a matter of a million young African’s attempting to make the move towards Europe over the course of a year, she said, adding that the UK Ministry of Defence estimates up to 60 million Africans are at risk of distressed migration as a result of land degradation and desertification pressures in the next two decades.
The Land for Life China award was given to Ms Yingzhen Pan, Director General of National Bureau to Combat Desertification, China.
As stated in the theme of the World Day to Combat Desertification, Our Land, Our Home, Our Future must be preserved against all forms of degradation or desertification, said the minister.
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues.
It promotes good land stewardship, and its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.”