According to him, a large number of the youth in African countries risk becoming a danger to the continent if opportunities and jobs are not created for them.
The President was speaking at the 9th High Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa on the theme: ‘Strengthening the African Union’s Conflict Prevention and Peacekeeping efforts’.
He challenged African leaders to mobilize the “good energy” in the youth towards the development of the continent.
“We are required to pay attention to the bubbling volcano that is the army of the young unemployed. The World Bank tells us that in forty African countries, over 50% of the population is under the age of 20. Indeed, the median age across the continent is stated to be 19 years and five months,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“That is a lot of good energy that can be mobilised for the development of the continent. We must create opportunities and jobs for our youth or they risk becoming instruments of instability or targets of recruitment by terrorists.”
The President also touched on ways by which African leaders can develop strategies that would lead to security sector reforms and peace support operations.
He said one of the key things to this regard is to organise rehabilitation programmes to persuade the youth from joining extremist groups.
President Akufo-Addo’s remarks were supported by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, who added that the fight against conflicts on the continent requires the collaborative efforts of all African Union organs and partners.