December 18, 2017
Erudite international security and foreign policy strategist, Jonathan P.J. Sandy (JPJ) has been recognised for his wealth of experience in foreign policy on international security and terrorism by the prestigious Columbia University in New York, United States.
Sandy was invited as distinguished guest speaker to deliver a talk on the theme “Radicalization and Violent Extremism among the Youth in Africa- advocating for the political rights of youth and the African continent”.
Addressing a well-attended gathering of professors, lecturers, researchers and students, Sandy pointed out that on the continent of Africa youths confront human injustices and conflict, overwhelming difficulties in securing employment, and lack services and support they need to become full and active citizens.
He drew attention to the World Report of 2005 which highlights the enormous impact of armed conflict on young people and on society. He told his audience that in order to achieve development goals, premium should be placed to surmount the experiences and effects of radicalisation and violent extremism, decreasing violence and ensuring the safety of youths and contribution towards the safety of their communities.
He posited that the African continent is now the main theatre of the war against terror, with its porous borders and the prevalence of Non-State Armed Groups, and bedeviled by human trafficking, drugs and a jobless and poorly educated youth population.
The seasoned security specialist, whose presentation was punctuated by resounding applause from the audience, asserted that young people could be dynamic agents of peace and that their efforts in such a direction ought to be acknowledged and supported. They could be sustainers and builders of peace, JPJ Sandy observed.
Having served the UN Security Sector for over a decade now, Sandy’s invaluable contribution in mapping out stabilisation strategies in places such as Somalia, the Maghreb and Lake Chad Basin has won him a string of accolades. He once served as Sierra Leone’s Chief of staff in the Office of National Security.