CSOs call for investment to curb illegal migration

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Civil society organisations in Senegambia have called on government and stakeholders to invest more in development in a bid to curb the mass exodus of youths to the West in search of greener pasture.

However, they have expressed their resolve to fights against illegal migration by initiating programmes meant to build the capacity of youth in their respective countries.

Illegal migration is a hot topic in many countries across the world. However, lack of jobs and limited prospects, are among the main drivers forcing countless number of youths to embark on this dangerous journey through the harsh climate and across rough seas in the Mediterranean.

Recently, a Civil Society Organisation from Senegal called- Yena Marr with their Gambian counterparts, Gum Sa Bopa and Beakanyang agreed to initiate a new programme called “Mboka” or “Mbading” in Mandinka, which is aimed at creating opportunities for young people by opening centres in both countries that would allow sharing of culture and ideas, among a host of others.

At a recent press conference held at YMCA hall, Nfamara Jawaneh, the chief executive officer of Bakanyang, indicated that at the level CSOs, they are doing their best to deter youth from embarking on this dangerous journey.

“But we realised that at the level of our organisation to condemn youth from embarking on this journey is not the solution. As we are speaking right now, a number of people preparing for the trip. So condemning it and telling youths don’t go is not the solution. The solution we are talking now is how to engage government to invest more in youth”.

Jawaneh made it clear that without creating more opportunities for young people to participate meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country, it would be difficult to keep them here.

He continued: “You can talk, talk but they would continue to go. We as CSOs will continue to engage stakeholder to invest more in youth in a bid to create more opportunities for the youth”.

Killa Ace, a promising Gambian rapper, acknowledged that the idea behind this “Mboka” project was to create better prospects for youth in the country.

The project, he added, would also go a long in fostering citizen’s initiatives in favour of good governance and working with leaders to the benefit of local communities.

He commended their Senegalese counterparts for the visits, adding that the move marks the beginning of a more fruitful cooperation in the future. He lamented that the visit by the Senegalese friend is meant to provide opportunity for the CSOs in the two countries to interact, exchange ideas and even share best practices among a host of others.

Alieu Sanneh and Chat, all from Yena Marr in Senegal, described their Gambia visit as timely, hinting that it would go a long in cementing ties between the people of the two countries.

Author: Sheriff Janko