Xenophobia: Nigeria, South Africa to engage youths, launch dialogue initiative




The High Commissioner of South Africa in Nigeria, Mr. Thami Mseleku, Thursday, disclosed that plans are on the way to forge a strong alliance with Nigeria on ways to create social cohesion between the youth of the both countries.

Mseleku, who spoke in Abuja at the 2021 International Youth Day Conference hosted by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), said his country and the Nigerian youth organisations were working hard to launch an initiative called: ‘South Africa-Nigeria Youth Dialogue’.

Some Nigerians who reside in South Africa had in recent time suffered xenophobic attacks; the development that had been condemned by the Nigerian government.

But Mseleku, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Bobby J. Moroe, said through the dialogue, the youth of both countries will work together on issues such as cultural exchange programmes, peace building, conflict management and prevention.

He said: “It is, therefore, necessary that, in response to this challenge, both South African and Nigerian youth organizations are stimulated to forge a strong alliance with a view to creating social cohesion in various areas of common interest and mutual benefit.

“This is why we are currently working hard to launch an initiative called – ‘South Africa-Nigeria Youth Dialogue’. Through this dialogue, the youth of both countries will work together on issues such as cultural exchange programmes, peace building, conflict management and prevention, civic education, tolerance, human rights education and democracy, mutual respect for cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.

“In conclusion, the South Africa-Nigeria Youth Dialogue should  contribute in strengthening existing cordial diplomatic relations between South Africa and Nigeria. It should also create new and innovative avenues through which relations between the two countries can be more vibrant, meaningful and beneficial to the people of both countries’’.

Earlier, the President of Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), Comrade Blessing A. Akinlosotu, said hunger and malnutrition are on the rise.

The team of the conference is: “Transforming food systems: youth innovation for human and planetary health’’.

He said: ‘’ Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. Today, about 821 million – 1 in 9 people – are chronically undernourished, 1 in 3 people are malnourished and 1 in 8 adults suffer from obesity.

“To meet growing food demand from a projected population of close to 10 billion people in 2050, agricultural output will need to increase by about 40 percent compared to 2012”.

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