Halifa Sallah: Mental poverty must be dealt with

Monday, October 15, 2018

(Wednesday 10th October, 2018 Issue)

The National Assembly member for Serrekunda has said that majority of Gambians wants to leave the country in search of greener pasture in Europe and other Western countries because they are convinced that they would have better lives there.

Halifa Sallah said speaking at a day’s seminar on the theme: New Gambia’s model of development organised by the Foundation for Education Democracy and Development (FEDD) at American corner along Kairaba Avenue.

He maintained that speaking about irregular migration and threat to national development, there is a fundamental question that needs to be asked about what was Gambians contribution to make the country the architect of their destiny since 1965. He affirmed that to take The Gambia forward, mental poverty must first be dealt with.

Mr. Sallah said The Gambia is not in the period of finger pointing at one another but a period to know what is wrong, project what is right and commitment to do the right thing.

He said it is also time to examine the country’s health, information and education policies and to be critical on them to know if they are really being implementing. “Poverty of the mind must be dealt with and Gambia has enough wealth to liberate the people from poverty, but the wealth can only liberate us if the policies are there.”

John Mendy, FEDD president explained that they are a youth-led organization championed by University students and graduates. He said they seek to promote and support education, entrepreneurship and health through their various activities and projects.

The organisation, he said, attracted young people to work towards the progress of the nation. “We realized that young people have a lot of potential that can be used for the betterment of the country.”

Mr. Mendy stated that youth form the largest number of population in the country, adding that they can make lot of changes in the country.

According to him, democracy does not exist without democratic citizens and they believed that sensitization is paramount. He noted that they organized different platforms to educate and enlighten them to understand democracy.

MadiJoberteh of TANGO said democracy cannot be built without self-knowledge because the citizens have to be politically aware and they should also know their rights.

The Gambia, he said, has the potential to generate the country’s development without depending on loan and grant. “A citizen without a political education is either a criminal or a victim. Every citizen must acquire knowledge,” he said.

Author: Awa Ndiaye & Fatou Bojang