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KANTANDE: Task the youth to resolve migration crisis

UNHCR’s Kantande (left) argues for more youth involvement in finding solutions to global issues. PHOTOS LOUIS JADWONG

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The UN Refugee agency representative in Uganda Bornwell Kantande has said a dialogue between the youth of Africa and Europe is key to finding a solution to the migration crisis the world faces.

Speaking at one of the sessions of the ongoing 4th International Conference NOW in Kampala, UNHCR country representative Kantande stressed that the youth should be empowered to make decisions on global issues. The youth of both continents, Kantande added, understand the issues related to migration better, and therefore are in a better position to suggest solutions to the growing crisis.

“The youth of Africa and EU need to discuss with each other to find global solutions to global problems,” he emphasised, “Africa and European Youth need to dialogue and find solutions for challenges facing the two continents.”

He said the delegates from Europe at the ongoing conference are not youth, and urged that both continents involve youth more in resolving the migrant, refugee and trafficking issues that mainly involve the younger generation.

Hannes Swoboda, head of the International Institute for Peace IIP, had also earlier stressed the role of dialogue. “Europe needs a stable partnership with the African Youth for a common future, based on equal terms,” he stressed.

The conference has brought together over 45 participants from up to a dozen Sub-saharan countries, with a few European experts and politicians and is focussing on African youth and migration.

Related to migration and refugees, Kantande urged the delegates at the conference to also focus on resolving the issue of human trafficking.

The 3-day International Conference NOW that ends September 5, is organised by Act. Now in cooperation with the International Institute for Peace IIP and supported  by local partner organizations.

Participants at the NOWconf on African Youth and Migration  in Kampala.

Kantande capped his presentation by praising Uganda’s approach to refugees, which ensures dignity for both the refugees and the hosts.

He narrated how Uganda gives refugees land to build homes, grow crops, allows them to work and start businesses. This he said eases the pressure there would be on the hosts to provide fully for the refugees.

He revealed that the Uganda government gives extra funding to ensure infrastructure does not come under pressure in places that host refugees.

Petr Pribyla, the programme adviser, delegation of the European Union to Uganda stressed that key to resolving the refugee issues especially in South Sudan, is to resolve the political problems.

He also praised Uganda for helping change the narrative, and urged that the refugees be listened to, for they understand what works for them best.

The Kampala conference aims to share perspectives from European and African delegates and come out witth solutions to make it easier for migrants and also find solutions to encourage youth to stay in Africa.

Musa Ecweru, State minister of disaster preparedness and refugees, opened the conference on Sunday September 3.

Key findings and recommendations from the Kampala conference shall be published for the 5th EU-Africa Summit taking place from 28‐29 November 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.




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