It was gathered that the Economic Community of West Africa States has urged member states to sensitise communities on the need to reduce the number of children a family can cater for to enhance economic development and reduce migration.
The President of the Commission, Marcel de Souza, made the call when he received German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the commission on Monday in Abuja.
De Souza expressed concern that the demographic growth in the sub-region was equal to its economic growth, adding that such growth was not beneficial to economic development.
He also noted that migration of African youth from to European countries was on the increase.
De Souza said: “Our sub-region is under pressure; migration is increasing and the same goes for terrorism.
“We need to change this situation and for us to change this situation, we need to create conditions for the youths to stay home.
“We need to take a step and sensitise people on the need to have good control of our families.
“We must sensitise women in our sub-region to make sure that there is a limited number of children that can be taken care of.”
Da Souza further expressed gratitude to the German government for its continued partnership with the sub-regional bloc.
In his remarks, Steinmeier commended the efforts made by ECOWAS in enhancing peace and security in member states.
Steinmeier, however, encouraged ECOWAS to enhance efforts in the establishment of the ECOWAS Standby Force.
He also reiterated the continued support of the German government in promoting security in the sub-region.
Steinmeier said: “We will continue our close cooperation with ECOWAS and also support ECOWAS in implementing security in the Gulf of Guinea.”
The minister further called for improved cooperation to reduce the spate of migration of youths and prevent more deaths from migration.
He also said that increased intra-regional trade and investment would ensure development and create jobs for the youth.
He said: “To attract investors, the right conditions must be in place; and the once the Economic Partnership Agreement is entered into force, it will create room for economic development.”
He, however, encouraged member states yet to sign the EPA to do so to enable to the agreement come into force.
Steinmeier earlier held discussions with the president of the commission to advance collaboration in the areas of peace, security and trade.
Matters of common interest covering a wide range of issues that border on human development and economic integration were also discussed.
The meeting was also being held in preparation for an upcoming German-ECOWAS summit.
This would be the second visit of Steinmeier following his earlier courtesy call in Oct. 2014.