August 1, 2019
Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on Wednesday urged African leaders to do something about the exponential growth of youth population in the continent or risk a full-blown insurgency sooner than expected. Noting, it has become imperative for African leaders to take pragmatic steps to address the problems associated with youth population, considering that their involvement in all spheres of life would save the continent from “justifiable anxiety”.
President Julius said leaders across the world are concerned about the situation in Africa, particularly as the number of African youths keeps growing daily with the challenges of poor infrastructure, poverty, lack of opportunities, lack of quality education and rapid urbanisation, among others.
The Sierra Leonean President expressed the concerns while delivering the Graduation Lecture of Course 27 at the National Defence College, Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The lecture, titled: Youth Inclusiveness and Good Governance: Imperatives for Regional Security and Development. It has attendance top military officers, including representatives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Service Chiefs and representatives of the Inspector General of Police and the Comptroller General of Customs Service (NCS) and Controller General of the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS).
The Sierra Leonean President, Julius Maada Bio was accompanied by his wife, Fatimah, and other Sierra Leonean top government officials, said statistics had shown that over 60 per cent of African population from age 0-24 comprises young people.
The Sierra Leonean President noted that the youth population is projected to grow by 50 per cent in 2050.
Adding that “By 2050, sub-Sahara Africa will have overwhelming youth population in the world, estimated to be in the region of 945 million people, meaning that compared with South Asia, Western Europe and North America, by 2060, 86 per cent of the poorest people in the world will live in sub-Sahara Africa.
“So, one can easily deduce that the majority of the world’s poorest people will be young people who will be on our continent. It is, therefore, important that we provide solutions to this challenge because the youth population can be assets or liability, depending on the approaches adopted by governments in the continent.”
President Julius called for the involvement of Africa’s youths in all spheres of socio-economic and political developments in the continent.
The Commandant of the college, Rear Admiral Mackson M. Kadiri, praised President Bio for delivering the lecture.
He said to the students of Course 27 had 127 participants comprising 50 from the Army, 21 from the Navy, 23 from the Air Force and three from the police.
Kadiri, who said the graduation lecture provided a platform for interaction on global issues bordering on security and development, added that there were 16 participants from ministries and other agencies while 17 were from allied countries: Europe, America, Asia and Africa.