Experts at the just concluded Second International Conference of Social Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have raised the alarm over high rate of unemployment in African continent, particularly Nigeria which in effect is creating modern slavery market.
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr Ganiat Adesina-Uthman, in her welcome speech said the steady rise of unemployment, coupled with uncertain economic, political instability and low standard of living have led to the creation of an infamous ‘modern slavery market’ where illegal immigrants that are being trafficking end up being sold.
“It has also led to different economic migration programmes through which skill and semi-skilled workers are evaporating from Africa-their home countries to develop other continents. It is therefore, imperative that Africans intensify researches on Diaspora issues to formulate policy, enforce anti-trafficking laws and to promote Africans in Diaspora who have excelled in their residence countries.”
Speaking on the theme, “Africa and Its Diaspora: Opportunities, Challenges and The Future, Adesina said the African Union can avoid wrong and stereotyped image of their citizens by the International community if anti-trafficking laws are entrenched, if the pattern and root causes of irregular migrations are addressed and if legal migrations are regulating to avoid brain-drain for African economic development. “The ICOSS’ 2019 theme is timely when the happening in the continents, from Africa especially West African countries through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, to the Europe, which is full of nightmares and peril than greener pastures are considered.”
President of Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Dr David Wilson who was the keynote speaker said “Africa and the African Diaspora are, in a very positive way, the last frontier in the modern world, and we hold in the palm of our hands the key to shaping the destiny of our population on this frontier-to promoting its prosperity and growth and preserving our history, culture and natural resources to our own benefit and not just the benefit of others but we must be very shrewd and cautious in bringing the best of Western-style development into our world without compromising or abandoning all of the positive attributes that we have constructed as a culture over the centuries.”
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu said the Conference which brings together global leaders, thinkers, businessmen, bureaucrats, foreign mission representatives among others want aimed at forging not only academic unity, but also blending ideas of change and transformation and application of the results of scientific research in Diaspora issues to create a bridge of knowledge transfer.”The Conference is expected to come up with policies to assist home countries in tracking down the emigrants to their host countries.”
On her part, the Chairman/CEO of Nigerians In Disapora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa while commending the organizers said a lot of opportunities abound in Africa and its Diaspora with the relative challenges. “It is from this perspective that any discussion of the Nigerian Diaspora is important in many ways. One of the ways is the high level of financial remittances from $10 billion in 2003 to over $25billion to Nigeria alone as at December 2018, the highest in Africa with over 25 percent remittances to Africa coming to Nigeria. This means that President Buhari has taken the issue of Nigerians in Diaspora more seriously than previous Presidents had taken them,” she said.