ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), a non-governmental organisation working on human rights and social justice has condemned the xenophobic attack going on in South Africa and called on African governments, and the African Union to speak with one voice and take the necessary steps in finding a lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks causing rage, loss of lives, and loss of livelihoods on the African Continent.
Speaking in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital, the Country Director, Ene Obi highlighted the drivers of the dastard act “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 are the drivers of xenophobia and other associated reprisals. “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 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.
According to World Data Lab, 1 in 3 Africans – 422 million people – live below poverty line and represents 70% of the world’s poorest people. Evidently, the fight against poverty in Africa requires 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.
Speaking on the reactions by Nigerians to a fake video that led to reprisal attacks in Nigeria, Ene said “Journalists and media organisations in the country have a strategic role to play in countering fake news quickly before things degenerate”. Finally, Ene called on all journalists in the country to always fact check information before circulation and implore all Nigerians to be calm, law abiding and calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the safety of all Nigerian’s in South Africa and the diaspora in general.