Africa is "especially vulnerable" to terrorism, says President of Ghana

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John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The vastness of Africa and its large numbers of unemployed and poor young people make the continent "especially vulnerable to terrorism."

That's what President John Mahama of Ghana told the General Assembly as it continued its general debate at UN headquarters on Thursday.

President Mahama said that in West Africa in particular, the free movement of people and trade, across 15 countries, also contributes to this vulnerability.

"Unfortunately, Africa is especially vulnerable to terrorism. Because of its sheer size and vast terrain, it offers myriad places for terrorists to hide and create safe havens. With over 60 per cent of Africa's population under the age of 35 and a significant number living in extreme poverty, terrorists also have the opportunity to recruit new members by exploiting the ignorance and disillusionment of young people who lack the skills, education and opportunity to find gainful employment." (28")

President Mahama added that the proliferation of technology has made even the most remote areas of the continent accessible with a phone call or key stroke.

He said technology facilitates communication within terrorist cells and between terrorist organizations.

He urged governments to unite and cooperate to fight terrorism.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'20"


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