The issue of youths embarking on the perilous journey to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea is not only a concern to governments in Africa but the world at large. Ranking high among the various reasons driving youths to risk their lives is the search for greener pasture, better living and employment opportunities.
Most youths labour under the notion that Europe has the magic wand to wave their many problems away, thereby imposing onerous expectations on their families to support them in their quest to enter Europe. The mass exodus of youths who are the future leaders of tomorrow should prompt the government to do even more by working with other development partners to stop young and energetic youths from embarking on such life-threatening journey to Europe that has claimed thousands of African lives. African governments should come up with programmes and policies that will generate greater employment opportunities for youths.
Closer to home, we have recently been seeing and reading media reports concerning migrants drowning in high seas and in most case killed in the journey through the desert .This has created a heavy cost on their families, who kept mourning their loved ones. Others have made it to Europe through the back –way and able to live a better life but the number of lives claimed at the sea is alarming.
The Standard newspaper on Tuesday reported a story about a Gambian woman who gave birth to a bouncing baby girl whose heavily pregnant mother was among a group of would-be immigrants rescued after their vessel got into difficulty off the southwest coast of Sicily. This story is indeed sad considering the dangers at the high sea. It is also alarming that women who had taken aback seat in the journey are now in the forefront to reach Europe just like their male counterparts. Reports suggest more women and children are risking their lives to reach Europe.
Africans can only develop Africa, so if all our youths are risking their lives on the perilous journey, what would happen to the future development of the continent? This mass exodus of youths will lead to a significant demographic decline which will have a significant impact on their socio-economic development. Youths should be encouraged to stay home and work hard to develop our continent which is known in the West as a continent of diseases, famine and poverty.