The others are Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. The conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have also helped to fuel the insidious migration.In all of these countries, the citizens are traumatized by harsh economic realities coupled with political upheavals that compel them to seek refuge elsewhere. Misery, dejection and gloom pervade the spheres in which many citizens found themselves.
Which is why the issue of rural transformation, hardly mentioned by African leaders is critical to saving the continent. Consequently, the rural communities, where the majority of the population dwells, are blighted and problem-prone, lacking social service amenities such as water, good roads, healthcare facilities, and so on. Such areas need to be transformed otherwise they will continue breed youth who are desperate to flee.
It is against that background that the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, recently called on countries in Africa to reconstruct the rural areas from zone of economic misery to that of prosperity.He said this would in turn expand economic opportunities for the African youth, leading to improvement in their lives, thereby stemming migration.
The challenge of food insecurity is, therefore, critical to addressing the more complex issues of migration and displacement.Similarly, reducing inter-communal conflicts over scarce resources such as water and pasture for animals is also critical. There is need for new agricultural innovations besides transforming agriculture into a sector for creating wealth.
As far as Nigeria is concerned, the country needs a kind of Marshall Plan to change the current apathy towards agriculture.Regrettably, Nigeria started on a sound footing rooted in agriculture but lost it. The North was famed for the groundnut pyramids. The East produced palm oil, the West produced cocoa and the Mid-West was noted for rubber.
Unfortunately, when money came by crude oil, agriculture was abandoned. The focus changed to the nation’s detriment. Governments at all levels advised to do something to revive agriculture and make it the bedrock of the nation’s wealth. There will be no industrialization, anyway, without agriculture.