Africa urged to educate young or face 'terrible future', migrant deaths
Source: None - Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:26 GMT
Author: Stella DawsonMore news from our correspondents
By Stella Dawson
WASHINGTON, April 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The deaths of
hundreds of migrants fleeing north Africa by sea this year highlights
their desperation and the failure of African governments to provide
training and education for their young people, billionaire
philanthropist Mo Ibrahim said.
Up to 900 people were feared dead after their boat sank on its way to
Europe from Libya at the weekend, including many women and children
locked below deck.
In total, some 1,800 migrants are reported to have died in the
Mediterranean so far this year compared with fewer than 100 in the
same period last year, the U.N. refugee agency says.
Ibrahim, a Sudanese telecoms tycoon, told the Global Philanthropy
Forum on Wednesday that more Africans would leave the continent unless
their governments did more to help the 20 million youngsters entering
the job market each year.
"It will drive people to their deaths in the middle of the
Mediterranean or violence in the streets unless we do something about
it," Ibrahim told the Forum, which brings together donors and
"If we fail to train our kids for jobs of the future, we are in for a
terrible, terrible future," he said.
Roughly half of Africa's 1 billion population is under the age of 19
with unemployment rates equally high, Ibrahim said.
Seventy percent of Africans make a living from agriculture, yet only 2
percent of university students study agricultural sciences, needed to
improve land productivity and reduce hunger in Africa, he added.
Ibrahim, whose foundation publishes an index on African governance and
rewards outstanding African leaders, said it was wrong to cast Africa
as a centre of corruption and poor governance - problems that were
The chief executive of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, his daughter Hadeel
Ibrahim, said illicit financial flows and tax evasion sucked billions
of dollars out of Africa each year, far more money than arrives as
More than 60 percent of that money is taken not through corruption but
through corporate trade mispricing including by multinationals, she
"All this aid you are giving us, when you are taking out an awful lot
and throwing us back pennies," she told the Forum, urging a frank
conversation about international finance and aid.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also told the Forum that illicit
finance that robs developing countries of revenues was an issue that
deserved more attention.
(Reporting by Stella Dawson; Editing by Katie Nguyen)
Received on Thu Apr 23 2015 - 14:32:45 EDT