Unemployment the root of youth problems, Buhari says

Buhari said Nigeria and South Africa will unite to address the economic challenges that threaten both nations.

President Muhammadu Buhari [Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg]

The Nigerian president said this on Thursday, October 2, 2019 when he met with South Africa's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, as part of his three-day state visit which commenced on Wednesday, October 3.

During his address, Buhari said Nigeria values its relationship with South Africa as a strategic partner and will unite to address the economic challenges that threaten both nations.

Nigeria and South Africa both have millions of unemployed people, and Buhari noted that this is a big problem that must be addressed.

He said, "I welcome the robust defense cooperation between Nigeria and South Africa and call for more support and solidarity with us in our fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

"We also welcome the increased collaboration against arms and drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking.

"We're committed to greater cooperation to address the economic challenges facing the people of our two countries; especially with regard to unemployment which we believe is at the root of so much youth restiveness and radicalisation."

Buhari further noted that his administration has made doing business in Nigeria easier and created more opportunities for foreign investors. 

He called on Ramaphosa to do the same and open up South Africa's market space for Nigerians willing to do business in the country.

Buhari's state visit is coming a month after Nigerian businesses were attacked by rioting local South African mobs who looted and burnt the places of business of foreigners early in September.

The attacks caused diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and South Africa as hundreds were evacuated back to Nigeria.

While speaking on Thursday, Buhari condemned attacks and called for the strengthening and implementation of all necessary measures to prevent a recurrence which he said would threaten the relationship between both countries.

He said the relationship will continue to be anchored on regular consultation, collaboration and cooperation.

Ramaphosa also condemned the attacks during his address and promised that his government is committed towards preventing future attacks.

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