An expert, Dr Mohammed Mouline has described as premature plan by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ascend to common currency in the region by 2020.
Mouline, the Director-General, Morocco Royal Institute of Strategic Studies, spoke at the closing/Gala Night of a two-day international symposium in Rabat, Morroco on Saturday.
The symposium had as its theme: “Youth Integration: A priority for Sustainable Development in Africa’’.
The event was organised by the Foundation of MiftahEssad, and the Morocco International Cooperation Agency (AMCI), in collaboration with some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Morocco.
He said that full economic integration among ECOWAS Member-States should be realised first.
“The regional integration in the zone is rather still weak. This is in spite of efforts at common custom and tariff regime,” he said.
Citing the similarity between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in terms of operations, Mouline said the political motive that birthed the EU had since evolved into viable economic motive.
On the challenges being faced by the African continent, he urged Africans to unite and speak with one voice.
According to him, there must also be a rethink of African narratives at the national, regional and global level.
“It is important to stick together as a group in confronting major problems, especially as they affect African youths and integration.
“The human capital should be mobilised to promote emergence of new African leaders.’’
Also speaking, Prof. Basher Ethyl,
a researcher and president of Alternatives International Association, Morocco, urged world leaders to build institutions to cater for illegal migrants, especially from Africa fleeing conflicts in their countries.
According to the researcher, the funds being used to construct walls to prevent illegal migrants from gaining entry into Europe can be channelled into other productive ventures.
Ethyl, also a professor of African History and Trans border Studies, Southern Africa, Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique, said there was the need to include youths in issues affecting them.
He also urged African leaders to take measures to check the high rate of migration, especially among the youth.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the event said migration, legal or illegal if not checked could have negative consequences for the continent in terms of skilled labour.
According to the stakeholders, the migration of Africans, especially the youth is due to poor living condition and lack of jobs among others in their countries.
“Youths want access to education, empowerment for agriculture, decent housing and jobs among others,’’ the stake holders said.