ISIS has hit Paris, the City of light, and at least 120 people have been tragically killed. This is the deadliest attack on French soil since WWII and President Francois Hollande has called this act of terror an “act of war”.
In 2003, the United States led the invasion of Iraq, a protracted conflict that led to the loss of at least one million lives and destabilized the entire region.The war created very harsh and extreme living conditions for the Iraqis, making Iraq a breeding ground for militant groups like Al-Qaeda and eventually this led to emergence of the Islamic State, ISIS.
ISIS is an armed group that has captured massive portions of land in Iraq and Syria.
Africa is fast becoming the new frontier of terror attacks. This scourge on the continent’s soil equally deserves more attention and serious action to contain it by the global community than it gets.
- Al-Shabab is a militant group from Somalia. It started out as one of the many factions that were fighting against the U.N backed Transitional Government based in its capital Mogadishu.
- Al-Shabab is one of Somalia’s largest armed militant groups and has also pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda.
- Al-Shabab has been labeled a terrorist organization after staging attacks on some prominent targets both national and foreign.
- In 2013 Al-Shabab attacked Westgate Mall in Nairobi killing 67 people and took dozens of hostages.
- In April of 2015 Al-Shabab struck again killing 148 students at Garissa University in the northeastern town of Kenya.
- Al-Shabab appears to have been boosted by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.
- ISIS has also recently affiliated itself with Boko Haram an insurgency group that originated from the impoverished northern region of Nigeria that seeks to establish a “Caliphate”.
- In April 2014, the Boko Haram group made international headlines when it abducted more than 200 girls from a boarding school in the region.
- Dozens of Boko Haram gunmen in a convoy of vehicles stormed the Girls Secondary School in Chibok, west of Maiduguri and took away over 200 defenseless girls and most of them have not been found yet.
Unless Africa’s leaders address the youth opportunities challenge, the continent could become a breeding ground for extreme sentiment that can lead to a security threat susceptible to violence, crime and extremism.
In the advent of globalization and social media connectivity the African youth is exposed and wants the same branded consumer goods just as the youth in the United States, Hong Kong or South Korea.More importantly they also aspire for the same opportunities for a descent education and a career.
They share a noble ambition like any other youth in the developed world to become business entrepreneurs, medical doctors, Scientists and Engineers.Yet this generation is captive to unrealistic expectations when the economies they live in are not delivering the kind of growth that would sustain this exploding demographic.
For example, South Africa is a relatively young nation with about 40 percent of the population born after 1994 and youth unemployment is more than 50 percent for this generation, double the national average.Nigeria is the most populous nation on the African continent with a population of over a hundred and fifty million people.An estimated twenty million Nigerian youths are unemployed.
Developmental initiatives across various sectors of government aimed at primarily addressing the problem of unemployment in Nigeria are regrettable and hardly visible.
Most of the initiatives fall short in terms of scope and scale.Added together, interventions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors reach fewer than one hundred thousand youths per year out of twenty million unemployed.
Youth unemployment in Africa is a “time bomb without borders”.
By Joshua M. Ngoma