Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over African youths, in particular, Nigerian youths migrating to Europe in large numbers.
He stated that the mass movement is having negative consequences for Nigeria’s and Africa’s human capital.
This statement was made by the president at the 6th AU-European Summit which took place in Brussels, Belgium.
In a statement, he urged the creation of possibilities in Africa to keep young people from fleeing the continent. He believes that Africa and Europe can work together to accomplish this.
“By 2050, Africa’s 1.3 billion people will have doubled in number; making up a quarter of the world’s total population,” he said.
Nigeria is expected to double its population to 400 million people by then; surpassing the United States to become the world’s third most populous country. This indicates a massive young market right on Europe’s doorstep, with greater trade opportunities.”
He further said in his statement “Despite the growing possibilities; irregular northward migration from my continent undermines Africa’s skill pool while causing political issues in Europe.”
Opportunities for Africans
He continues to say “Instead, more opportunities for Africans at home must be created; providing alternatives to taking a life-threatening journey to find them elsewhere. To enable job growth, the EU-Africa partnership must be rebalanced. Regrettably, today’s arrangements have the exact opposite effect.”
The president noted that agricultural subsidies in Europe are a major blow to farmers on the continent while explaining why Nigeria did not sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Europe. Africa, he claims, is flooded with “artificially depreciated produce,” which has a negative impact on competition.
He explained that “Subsidy-driven surpluses of European milk, for example, are powdered and shipped to Africa, decimating the continent’s dairy economy.”
He pointed out that “Wheat and poultry production has a similar story. Africa remains a net importer of food while having the world’s most underutilized arable land.”
Over €50 billion is being pumped into European markets to assist farmers to produce cheaper food, according to Nigeria’s president. As a result, Africa is on the losing end; he explained that “African countries are deprived of foreign cash, and agricultural investment is inhibited,” Buhari added, referring to the country’s biggest export market.