Jul 10, 2009, 8:43 AM
The youth ministry has expressed serious concern as regards the current trend of migration of Gambian youths to Europe through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, saying it “cannot continue unchecked”.
We see this as a serious concern both for the lives of our youths and for the development of the nation.
It is no hidden secret that Gambian youths are losing their lives crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures, while the country’s development path is slowly but surely affected adversely as our youths continue to leave the country in droves.
“If the trends persist, it has the possibility of negatively affecting the already existing development gains and future prospects of development [in The Gambia],” the Youth ministry has said.
Although “the Government of The Gambia continues to provide opportunities for young people to develop and excel at home without the need to migrate to the West”, the migration trend has persisted, which signifies that more needs to be done, to stem the flow of youths to Europe through dangerous means.
While most youths are taking advantage of “the opportunities” government has put at their doorsteps to learn and acquire knowledge and skills, many have decided to go through the perils of the back-way to Europe in search of greener pastures, and in the process a lot of them have lost their lives crossing the high seas to Italy and other countries in Europe.
Even some of those who have made it to Europe are undergoing harsh conditions with serious mistreatment in Europe. Yet they have continued to venture out, claiming lack of jobs at home, economic hardship, etc, etc.
Media reports have put the figures of Gambian youths presently craving for asylum status in European countries at more than 20,000, whilst others are languishing across the Sahara Desert and in countries such as Libya, trying their level best to cross over the Mediterranean to make it to Italy and other countries in Europe.
This is a hallmark that something is wrong somewhere, hence more needs to be done.
“I have a very powerful sense of place, but I have a very powerful sense of being a migrant, so it’s both.”