In an interview with Euronews in Paris, Guinea’s President Alpha Condé, who is also the current president of the African Union, has called for a new era of self-reliance to drive development and end poverty on the continent.
Islamic extremism and migration
President Condé addressed issues that both Europe and Africa face. “The first battle is the struggle for development, which allows us to fight both terrorism and emigration,” Condé stated.
Islamic extremism is flourishing in the weakly governed, vast and mostly empty spaces of the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa. Al-Qaida linked attacks have rocked Niger and Mali and have also been staged in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Mauritania.
The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram (literally translating as “book forbidden,” and referring to western influences) is also destabilising northern Nigeria and Chad.
So how can Africa address this 21st century surge of Islamist violence on the continent? “Terrorism flourishes on poverty and injustice, so if terrorism develops in Africa, it is because there is poverty,” Condé said.
Over recent years, there has been an exodus of hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of young Africans seeking safer and more prosperous lives in Europe.
Hundreds have died making the crossing in rickety boats across the Mediterranean Sea, whilst many others find themselves stranded in Libya where there have been disturbing reports from the International Organisation of Migration of migrants being sold into slavery.
But, as sub-Saharan Africa faces a population boom, this risky exodus is unlikely to stop. German Chancellor Angela Merkel at one point mooted the idea of a “Marshall Plan with Africa,” drawing a direct parallel with the huge U.S. investment programme that kick-started the ravaged German economy after World War Two.
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