The ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has condemned the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa and called on African governments and the African Union (AU) to speak with one voice and take the necessary steps in finding a lasting solution to the violence causing rage, loss of lives and livelihoods in the continent.
Speaking on Saturday in Abuja, the AAN Country Director, Ene Obi, highlighted the drivers of the dastard act as unemployment, poverty, widening gap of inequality, little investment in human capital development; particularly lack of investment in the youths across the continent, and lack of service delivery, which are governance shortfalls.
Obi said: “As an anti-poverty organisation, we are concerned about the situation and how it undermines Africa’s socio economic and political integration, which is needed to fight poverty on the continent.
“For instance, the Africa Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) that envisages an African market without borders, provides for exchange of technology, sustainable development models among others may not yield the desired result, and these reprisals, if not curtailed quickly, will undermine efforts at building an integrated economic power that is able to compete and negotiate with regional blocs such as the European Union (EU).”
According to her, the World Data Lab which states that one in three Africans, that is 422 million people, live below poverty line and represents 70 percent of the world’s poorest people, showed that the fight against poverty in Africa required a united policy front between African governments and a strong relationship between and within the people on the continent rather than disunity.
“We implore all African Governments and the African Union to develop and build the mutual trust among its member countries that is required to move the continent forward,” she said.
Speaking on the reactions by Nigerians to a fake video that led to reprisal attacks in Nigeria, she said “Journalists and media organisations in the country have a strategic role to play in countering fake news quickly before things degenerate”.
While urging journalists in the country to always fact check information before circulation and for all Nigerians to be calm and law abiding, she urged the Federal Government to ensure the safety of all Nigerian’s in South Africa and the diaspora in general.