Catholic bishops have called for justice and equity in trade in goods and services, and natural resources exported each year from Africa.
They also favour the promotion of local industries and sustainable development of agriculture to help reduce the stress that force young people to leave their homeland.
This would also help to reduce what they called ‘brain drain’.
The position was taken by the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences in the European Union (COMECE) and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) on Sunday.
In a communique, the bishops appealed for more understanding from their nationals that would provide economic opportunities for youths from both continents.
It was signed by Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, the SECAM bishop for Social Communication and bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo.
They said that migration had always been a constant feature of human coexistence in society, saying that migration had come to stay, it would not go away.
The bishops, however, said that it was the responsibility of the political leaders to make sure that migrants were treated with dignity and protected against criminal exploitation.
“In particular, young people will continue to choose to migrate out of professional reasons.
“We hope for a strong statement from the participants of the AU – EU Summit on migration and, especially, the fight against human trafficking.”
In the preparation of future EU-AU summits, we propose to set up a dialogue between political and religious leaders.
The fifth summit of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) which would take place by November in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
“We will expect the summit to reinforce its commitment for sustainable development programmes on the occasion of the summit,’’ the bishops said.
They noted that Africa and Europe were destined for a common future.
They , howeever, said that many of the youths from both continents did not have trust in some of the political and private institutions in both continents.
“To gain or restore trust, participation and a sense of belonging is the key. Effective participation demands transparency and accountability from all parties.
“At the Abidjan Summit, opportunity should be given to young Africans and Europeans to share their hopes and expectations about an adequate environment for sustainable development.”
The bishops said that peace, justice and care should be the guiding principles for long-term policies and strategies designed to prepare their common future.
The bishops commended the theme of the summit which is “Youth’’ adding that it was the same theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church scheduled for next year in Rome.
The bishops said that the opportunities from the summit would also favour the creation of jobs, especially for young people, in local industries and sustainable development of agriculture.
“In order to make use of the opportunities in education and training for all, boys and girls need to be strengthened and redesigned in view of the newly needed communication and technological skills.
“Answers must be given to the youth as they face new ideologies regarding culture, the sanctity of human life, marriage and the family, and loss of spirituality in a world where a materialistic culture is dominant.”