Senegambians living in European countries are returning after recession

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Senegambians living in European countries, hit hard by the recession a few years ago, are reportedly moving back following news that such countries are now, “Regaining  economic strength and embarking on a positive campaign of job creation.”

Senegambians, who spoke to The Point Newspaper in Madrid, Spain, highlighted various issues and disclosed an unprecedented movement in recent years.

Yusupha Kanteh, who left Spain for Germany three years ago, told this correspondent in the Spanish capital that he recently received an email from his former employer that he could return and, “Get back to work as soon as possible.”

He said it was a very good news.

“However, I hesitated a little bit until it was confirmed and now I am back. I speak good Spanish and my job was equally good but it is different in Germany because I can’t speak proper Germany. It was a nightmare for me,” he added.

Several other Senegambians from several European countries are currently in the United Kingdom, Germany and other European countries. Some are able to find work while others desperately trying to make ends meet.

Amy Toure, a Senegalese national, who also returned to Spain, was previously living in London.

She is a Spanish resident but moved to the UK from Greece. 

She said it was difficult to secure work in the city. A few months later, she moved to the West Midlands and was able to get a part-time job.

“That was not satisfactory either as I needed a proper job but speaking English was my problem, nonetheless, I gained lots of experience and support from the UK,” she said.

She is currently on her way to Greece where she said she has been offered a full-time job.

Despite some of the positive news, others are reluctant that there is no reason to return because, “The ability to secure a permanent job may be a gamble.”

Kebba Sissoho insisted; “I am already in the UK working and able to send money back to my family in Madrid. There is no reason to return until I see something tangible.”

A few years ago, Senegambians living in Portugal also commended the Portuguese government for “Working very hard to put the economy back on its feet,” and allowing them the opportunity to “Live a normal life in the country,” despite reports of high unemployment. Since then many of them moved to other countries.

However, Elizabeth Sarr, a Senegalese national with a Portuguese mother has a completely different reason for returning.

She noted that she is currently getting prepared to return, “Simply because of Brexit. My future in the UK is very uncertain because if the UK finally leaves the European Union, it will be something else, therefore I better get ready now,” she noted.

It is important to note that EU citizens enjoy the free movement of workers and this includes the “Rights of Movement and Residence.” It also entails “Rights of Entry and Residence,” for family members.

The EU rules documented it clearly that people must be treated on an, “equal footing.”

Notwithstanding, Senegambians are known to be hardworking and law abiding across the continent and are bracing for the forthcoming election in the UK that will define not only how they can live and work in the country but also the kind of negotiations the incoming government can undertake with the EU.

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe correspondent