#Article (Archive)

No place like home

Jan 6, 2010, 7:41 PM

There is a lot of debate these days about African immigrants trying to enter Europe through what many call the "Back Way."

Like many African countries, The Gambia has lost many of her citizens, mainly youths, to the dangerous seas between Spain and Morocco.

This was inevitable since at times over 300 persons would board a boat that was only supposed to carry 75.

Yet, despite the recurrent loss of precious lives, many are still willing to brave the precarious conditions to enter Europe, which African youths have for years seen as the only way to improve their lives.

Indeed, frequent reports of the arrival of illegal immigration in Europe, notably Spain and Italy, highlight the fact that the practice of embarking on the perilous sea voyages, or trekking across the Sahara Desert, is a common phenomenon.

However, it is incomprehensible that anybody would make the huge financial investments involved in undertaking such journeys, when such resources would have helped many a youth to establish small business ventures, and to make it at home.

It is worth noting though that most African youths are forced to leave their country in search of greener pastures simply because they could not find suitable employment at home.

This state of affairs is partly attributable to the poor governance environment in most of Africa, where sitting governments are unfortunately engaged in pursuing policies which only breed corruption and create mass unemployment, with the attendant human suffering.

One thing African youths must understand, however, is that a lot of people have a mistaken notion of life in Europe or the so-called developed world.

They must be reminded that all that glitter is not gold. The African continent has a lot of potentials, and one should try to make it in Africa too. The search for greener pastures should not be a matter of life and death.

"Young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect."

Samuel Johnson