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African leaders urged to stem migration

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Dozens of illegal immigrants gather in a yard guarded by Libyan police in Misrata, Libya, on Feb. 18, 2015. Libya has long been a transit point for migrants seeking to reach Malta, Italy, and other places in Europe

African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma urged African leaders to do everything they can to stop the migrant crisis as a new wave of African migration to Europe has made international headlines.

 Dozens of illegal immigrants gather in a yard guarded by Libyan police in Misrata, Libya, on Feb. 18, 2015. Libya has long been a transit point for migrants seeking to reach Malta, Italy, and other places in Europe
Dozens of immigrants gather in a yard guarded by Libyan police in Misrata, Libya, on Feb. 18, 2015. Libya has long been a transit point for migrants seeking to reach Malta, Italy, and other places in Europe

Failure to do so would risk reversing the gains the continent has made in the past decade, Dlamini-Zuma said at the 25th AU summit taking place in Johannesburg.

She said there have been concerns that African states would face skills shortage and struggling economies as a growing number of migrants and asylum seekers try to flee Africa, Xinhua news agency reported.

The AU summit, which began on June 7 under the theme, “Year of women empowerment and development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063″, will culminate on June 14-15 when heads of state and government gather to discuss issues facing the continent.

“Africans should only move out of Africa when they want to, not when they are forced by circumstances,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

If Africans continue to leave the continent in droves, the continent may find it difficult to achieve its Agenda 2063 goals for a prosperous continent at peace with itself, Dlamini-Zuma said at the opening of the AU Executive Council meeting, a gathering of foreign ministers representing the 54 member states of the organisation.

“Africans should be able to acquire and use skills within the continent. We want to ensure that African citizens can use their qualifications to work anywhere in Africa,” Dlamini-Zuma said.