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Lack of opportunity forcing youth to risk their lives crossing Sahara desert – Mahama

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Former President John Dramani Mahama says the rise in illegal migration is a manifestation of the disappointment of the youth in the leadership of the country.

He says the lack of employment and opportunities for the youth have fuelled their desire to seek greener pastures in Europe through unauthorized means.

“Many of our young people are expressing their disappointment by risking their lives through dangerous journey over the Sahara desert and across the Mediterranean in their quest to reach the shores of Europe,” he said.

According to him, although the country has abundance of resources, development has stifled over the years.

“Our country was also referred to as Gold Coast implying a land of great riches. Today, blessed with abundance, unfortunately our country finds itself in turbulent waters grabbling with self-inflicted challenges that demand our collective attention and resolve to change,” John Mahama added.

He was speaking at the 50th Anniversary of the Sunyani Diocese of the Catholic Church as part of a two-day tour to the Bono Region.

According to the IOM UN Migration, between January and December 2022, about 15,682 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands in Spain.

Though boats arriving at this location reduced by 35 percent, there is still more to be done to curb the situation.

Mr. Mahama believes an urgent measure should be adopted to restore the confidence the youth have in the country’s development.

“We can reverse this by growing our economy and creating more jobs for our young people. I dare say this is an urgent call. I am heartened that my recent suggestion of operating a twenty four economy in Ghana has been heard by the Finance Minister as he mentioned in his recent budget statement in the form he called the night economy,” he said.

Earlier, the Most Reverend Matthew Gyamfi bemoaned the economic challenges bedevilling the country despite abundance of resources.

In a response to issues of corruption, Mr. Mahama believes it is about time a concerted effort was adopted to halt the trend.

“His distressing remarks about the suffocating grip of uncontrolled corruption across our nation’s landscape demands urgent reflection and action by all our citizens especially the political leadership,” he said.

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