Feb 12, 2010, 2:41 PM
We in The Gambia have been made to know that, in the last five years, we have lost at least 500 Gambians in European seas, through “frequent and mysterious” capsizing and sinking of boats carrying young Africans to Europe.
“We must find out what deadly mysterious force exists on the European coasts that causes boats carrying young Africans to disintegrate and sink upon arrival,” the Gambian leader said while addressing world leaders gathered in New York for the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2014.
Indeed, it seems something is wrong somewhere, and the youth should not be negligent of the fact that Europe or the West cannot accommodate us and our burden, especially when the majority of us craving to go there possess no skills. All types of treatments could be visited upon us.
But again, we are under the heat of so many problems in Africa that are leading us, especially our youths, to be willing to try anything to improve our difficult or disadvantageous situations, even ifit has little chance of success.
Poverty and unemployment are some of the harsh confrontations we are faced with in Africa.Because the majority of us are living on a wing and a prayer in Africa due to poverty and hardship, some of us would do anything to make it in life, since a drowning man will even clutch at a straw in fighting to save his life in the sea.
There is also a lack of correct education and skills, as well as the colonised mental syndrome in so many of us to believe that there is nothing good about Africa we can do to be successful, except we find ourselves in Europe or the West. Hence they would do all they could to finagle their way into Europe.
In this circumstance, however, it will be a serious breach of human rights if our youths trying to go to Europe are meted with “inhuman” treatments that could result to them losing their lives in the seas of Europe.It should be noted that all human beings are born and equal in dignity and rights.
Nevertheless, we would like to advise our youths that, we can, as President Obama said, make it also in Africa. All that our youth should do is strive hard to develop their skills and knowledge and understanding; then we can begin to see the way to a successful life in Africa.
The starting point to our development is the mindset, to be able to conceptualize what we want and to follow that dream, because what the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.
Opportunities exist today more than ever before. There are so many opportunities for growth and development in The Gambia and Africa as well; let’s go for them.
Ghana former President John A. Kufuor once said: “I make a plea to the youth of Ghana and Africa. Your continent and its nations need your energy, your dynamism, your creativity and above all, your dreams for the development of its component states.”
We are also today pleading with our Gambian and African youths to concentrate on developing their knowledge, skills, and capacity to contribute to national development - and the gates of Europe shall be opened unto them.
“All that glitters in Europe is not gold.”