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Xenophobic attacks may affect African trade deal, ActionAid cautions

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ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has raised concerns that the raging Xenophobia attack in South Africa may negatively impact the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) if not curtailed.

They 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 in the Continent.

Action Aid Country Director, Ene Obi pointed out that the ACTFA may not yield the desired result, adding that if the reprisals are not curtailed, it may undermine efforts at building an integrated economic power that is able to compete and negotiate with regional blocs such as the European Union.

Obi attributed the drivers of the attacks to include unemployment, poverty, widening the gap of inequality, and 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.

She said: “We implore all African Governments and the African Union to develop and build the mutual trust among its member countries that are required to move the continent forward. “

“As an anti-poverty Organization, 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,” she stated.

Obi pointed out that about 422 million people in Africa currently live below the poverty line, stressing that 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.

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”.

Obi called on all journalists in the country to always fact-check information before circulating and also implored Nigerians to be calm, law-abiding even as she called on the Federal Government to ensure the safety of all Nigerians in South Africa and the diaspora in general.


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