BURKINA FASO: Poor Governance, the Basis of African Migration, Bishops say

OUAGADOUGOU, MAY 21, 2019 (CISA)-The Catholic Bishops of the Reunion of Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA-CERAO) has asked African governments to provide conducive environment for Africans to live and thrive within the continent.

In a communiqué released on May 20 at the end of the third plenary assembly in Ouagadougou, the bishops expressed concerns on people falling victim to kidnappers, slave traders and human traffickers in their efforts to seek greener pastures abroad.

“We express deep concern for the phenomenon of irregular migration and the refugee problems with their attendant challenges which have brought much suffering, pain and death to hundreds of our brothers and sisters especially the youth,” reads the communiqué.

The bishops highlighted poor governance, insecurity, dysfunctional education system and unemployment in the region as contributors to migration which has recently been on the rise.

“We declare that African migrants and refugees constitute rich human capital and spiritual resources for the countries or places to where they migrate and we therefore demand that the dignity of migrants and refugees be respected always and everywhere,” it adds.

They invited input from political, civil and religious leaders to join their quest aimed towards realization of their vision of their integral human development and to educate Africans.

The Church has held workshops on entrepreneurship as a drive to empower the needy in the society through which “we hope to alleviate poverty and reduce crimes, despair and unemployment in orders to help all, especially our youth who are victims of societal neglect.”

The membership of RECOWA-CERAO comprises of bishops from Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Benin, Mali, Togo, Ivory Coast and Guinea.

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama the President of RECOWA and Coadjutor Archbishop of Abuja was re-elected president of RECOWA/CERAO for a second three-year term.

Archbishops Jose Camnate Na Bissing of Bissau in Guinea and Alexis Touabli of Agboville, Ivory Coast retained their positions as vice presidents.

Others appointed were Secretary General of RECOWA Fr Joseph Aka, Fr Vitalis Anaehobi-First Deputy Secretary, Fr Celestine Sagna-Second Deputy Secretary and Director Center of Pastoral and Mission (CCPM) and Fr George Nwachukwu-Communications Officer.