President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated his call on Africa to create job opportunities to stop its young people from risking their lives to travel to other continents in search of opportunities.
Africans, he said, migrated to seek opportunities, adding, “If we create growth poles in Africa that bring opportunities, the youth will have no reason to migrate to other continents to look for opportunities.”
Addressing journalists in Paris after a meeting between four African leaders and the French President, Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace yesterday, President Mahama mentioned agriculture as one area where opportunities could be created for the youth to tap into.
Regrettably, however, deforestation had taken a toll on agriculture, he noted.
He said climate change, which had brought in its wake reduced rainfall, had affected agriculture, for which reason agriculture was becoming less viable.
He stated that with the Sahara creeping southwards, many agricultural lands were being lost.
President Mahama was in Paris with the Presidents of Benin, Gabon and Ethiopia at the invitation of the French President to discuss climate change, which has become a critical issue in Africa.
The meeting is a prelude to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris early next month.
President Mahama said migration and climate change were bedfellows and thanked President Hollande for the invitation.
He also spoke about the need for the continent to increase power generation to facilitate economic growth.
“The most binding constraint to Africa’s economic development is shortage of power,” he said.
President Mahama said the time was up to put in more generation to accelerate growth, so that more jobs would be created for the youth.
On Ghana, he said the rural electrification programme was achieving results, as more small and medium enterprises continued to be created in the rural areas.
President Mahama said more power could be produced with the involvement of the private sector.
“All we need is a partnership with the developed world to be able to give the kind of guarantees for the private sector to put in its huge investments,” he said.
The President left for Valleta, Malta, after the meeting for a summit on migration today.