IOM urges West African youths to exploit opportunities in the region 

 Adoba Echono ,Abuja

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The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has called on West African youths not to lose hope in the region.

The  IOM Project Officer, Niger, Christina Atekmangoh who made the call this  during an interactive session at the three-day Parliamentary Sensitization Forum on Migration in West Africa held in Niamey, Republic of Niger, disclosed that from IOM’s experience in the region, migration seemed to be something really embedded in the socioeconomic life of West African young people.

The call by IOM is sequel to the numbers of irregular youth migrants from the region who go through the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean sea to seek greener pasture in Europe.

Mrs. Atekmangoh said: “For young people in the sub-region, it is not to lose hope because I think they are frustrated with so many things as they think that maybe life is always better out there.”

“I think home is always home. It can be difficult, yes, but we can’t always think that migration is the only passage to success. I think that there are other alternatives that we can try at home to also succeed back at home.”

Mrs. Atekmangoh further enumerated areas such as school, small business enterprises, farming, mechanical work, carpentry, farming whereby youths in the sub-region can be engaged.

While noting that migration was not new in the region, Mrs. Atekmangoh added that the dynamics of migration have however changed.

She said in time past, people used to migrate from one country to another within the same region, but at the moment, migration had taken a different dimension whereby people migrate from one region to another.

Mrs. Atekmangoh however said going by the changes in the migration dynamics; IOM had also changed its strategies in order to meet the challenge of migration in contemporary times.

Ime Njoku