Find Solutions to Challenges of Migration, Security in Africa “on the spot”: Archbishop

Archbishop Benjamin Marc Balthason Ramaroson of Antsiranana Archdiocese in Madagascar. Credit: ACI Africa

The Archbishop of Antsiranana Archdiocese in Madagascar has challenged political leaders in Africa to seek concrete and feasible solutions to the challenges of migration and security on the continent at the grassroots.

In a Friday, July 29 interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the  19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Archbishop Benjamin Marc Balthason Ramaroson said providing jobs and alleviating poverty are examples of solutions to migration and security challenges. 

“The solution to migration and security in Africa can be found on the spot. That is to say, by doing everything so that young people and those who aspire to leave can find what they want on the spot, what they are looking for elsewhere like work and development depend on good political will,” Archbishop Ramaroson said. 

He added, “African leaders must have a policy that goes in this direction and that should be put in place, a policy that allows for the integral development of the human person.”

 “It is in this sense that SECAM is trying to propose that a solution be found on the spot,” the Malagasy Archbishop told ACI Africa.


Reflecting on the challenge of security in Africa, the member of the Congregation of the Mission (CM) said, “It is poverty that really pushes people to violence.”

Violence in Africa, Archbishop Ramaroson said, “might come from political and religious situations; but I think that it is above all a certain structure that is already trying to drive this violence.”

He highlighted “All the trafficking that takes place and leads to violence, drug trafficking, trafficking in precious stones” as examples of practices that contribute to insecurity in Africa, and added, “All this trafficking causes tension and therefore insecurity.”

The Archbishop continued, “We must succeed in putting into practice the Social Doctrine of the Church for a civilization of love to fight against the structure of sin.”

Archbishop Ramaroson is among delegates of the July 25 – August 1 SECAM Plenary Assembly that is taking place under the theme, “Ownership of SECAM: Security and Migration in Africa and its Islands.” 

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Delegates are drawn from the eight regional associations of the continental symposium, which include the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa Region (ACERAC), and the Regional Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA/CERAO).

Other regional associations include the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Egypt (AHCE), the Regional Episcopal Conferences of North Africa (CERNA), Madagascar and Episcopal Conferences of Indian Ocean (CEDOI), and the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA).

In the July 29 interview with ACI Africa, Archbishop Ramaroson described the 19th Plenary Assembly of SECAM as a “true experience of the Synod on Synodality.”

“There is communion and there is collegiality. We listen to each other more and we always try to move forward,” the 67-year-old Archbishop said, and added, “This is really the assembly where we have studied and analyzed the theme of this communion of the Church Family of God and I hope that there will be fruits in this sense.”

He said that the theme of Plenary Assembly of SECAM is “not only topical but crucial for Africa.” 


“As far as the urgency is concerned, the Church is already doing what it can; but it is at the end of this meeting, which is crucial even for the future of humanity, that we should find a solution,” he said in reference to the challenges of migration and security in Africa.

The Malagasy Archbishop who has been at the helm of Antsiranana Archdiocese since January 2014 further said, “Africa has a young population and when you are young, you always have hope.”

“Hope is always an opening towards the future and that's what I think I should tell young people, and above all, don't try to give up on hope,” he said.

The Archbishop cautioned the youth in Africa against proposing their “future to something that passes, but to something that remains and is stable and that is Christ; he is the way and therefore he will not deceive you.”

“He (Jesus) is going to lead you to the truth and to the truth on which we must cling,” Archbishop Ramaroson addressing himself to young people in Africa, adding, “It is this truth which will set you free, and therefore which will help you to have a serene life.”

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.