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AU-ECOSOCC Chairman Speaks on Corruption, Refugees and Forced Migration

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AU-ECOSOCC Chairman Speaks on Corruption, Refugees and Forced Migration – African Leaders should fight corruption and provide against conditions for refugees – Saffa Abdulai

Sierra Leone’s renown lawyer and humanitarian activist who doubles as chairperson of African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Committee, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq, has called on African leaders to fight against corruption and provide better conditions for refugees and displaced persons within the continent at the AU-ECOSOCC conference for civil societies and African political heads on 5th and 6th August, 2019 in Casablanca, Morocco.

In his opening statement on 5th August, Chairman Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq said, the AU-ECOSOCC must at first thank the host nation (Morocco) of the conference for taking the major role in pushing the AU’s agenda on forced migration, internally displaced persons and refugees.

Mr Abdulai said, Morocco is leading the policy reforms and implementation of the African Union Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons, which was the theme for this year’s AU-ECOSOCC conference.

“Morocco has established the laboratory to gather data on forced migration, internally displaced persons and refugees. “We therefore urge the Moroccan government to expedite these processes for speedy reforms”, he stated.

He said the AU’s framework on refugee and internally displaced persons calls for action to eradicate the root cause of humanitarian situation. A situation all must look behind and examine the causes of civil war, forced migration and lack of economic opportunities.

“The African continent is plagued with corruption and the absence of good governance”, he said “African leaders know the problems and are now stepping out of the cold to highlight them as the AU the past year, centralised the fight against corruption as its annual theme.

He explained how corruption have badly imploded and exploded nations, which has been key reasons forcing the young and old
to flee.

“Corruption has perverted national resources, denying millions the opportunity to get food on the table.

“Corruption has starved nations from foreign investments, wrangled local investments and deprived the people of Africa economic growth that provides jobs and opportunities.

Certainly, corruption has led many young people to flee even at the risk of crossing the Mediterranean sea in unsafe means”, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq explains.

Mr Abdulai said, African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance would be a good framework towards addressing the root causes behind refugees, returnees and displaced persons.

“The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance is a great document and needs to be implemented wholesomely”, he noted. He added that democracy that focuses on the provision of social services such as clean water, food, education for the young, the poor and the needed, needs to be the order of the day.

He called on the unconstitutional change of government and asked sitting governments avoid changing constitutions to prolong their stay governance.

“Sitting governments should be discouraged, punished where necessary, for changing constitutions in a bid to have long stay in power”, he continued.

He begs for the aggressive minimisation of corruption by African leaders using the “African Convention Against Corruption” urging member states to domesticate the document and provide political will to fight the graft.

He said AU-ECOSOCC is geared towards promoting continuous dialogues between all segments of the African people on issues concerning Africa;
Forge strong partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, women in particular, the youth, children, the diaspora, organised labour, private sector and professional groups.

The AU-ECOSOCC in furthered, will promote the participation of African civil society in the implementation of policies and program of the Union. Support policies and programs that will promote peace, security and stability in Africa, and foster development and integration in the continent.

The AU-ECOSOCC he also said, promote and defend the culture of good governance, democratic principles and institutions, popular participation, human rights and freedoms as well as social justice; and also promote, advocate and defend a culture of gender equality.

By Morlai Kargbo

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