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Youth today, leaders tomorrow

Mar 30, 2016, 10:21 AM

It is hearty reading a report saying that some 33 young Gambian returnees from the dreadful back-way venture to Europe have just completed some training in entrepreneurial skills that could help them to earn a living for themselves and their families, as well as contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

It is, indeed, a sound initiative as it is out to transform the lives of the affected individuals and families.

We would, therefore, like to commend the government and its partners for this laudable undertaking; in this case, the Italian government, which is sponsoring the six-month initiative through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), facilitator of the programme.

Such training initiatives are of immense value not only to the individual, but also to the Gambian society and economy.

This is because, armed with various entrepreneurial skills, the youths of this country would be able to meaningfully contribute to national development.

While being youths today they are ultimately leaders of tomorrow; hence they need to be skillful and knowledgeable.

Instead of venturing into the dreadful desert and deadly Mediterranean Sea, in which many promising and resourceful lives are lost, they would now be looking inward for solutions to their problems.

Many have lost their lives through such dangerous back-way journeys to Europe.

According to a recent report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), arrivals of migrants to Italy in the first weeks of this year “have come mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria and The Gambia”.

“Nigerians and Gambians accounted for around one third of the 5,273 migrants who arrived in Italy during January 2016,” the report stated.

Whilst the entrepreneurial training initiative is of immense value, it is actually not an end in itself; a complete transformation of the Gambia economy and development level is uppermost in curbing the back-way syndrome.

“An entrepreneur needs to know what they need, period. Then they need to find an investor who can build off whatever their weaknesses are - whether that’s through money, strategic partnerships or knowledge.”

Daymond John