Gambia faces alarming youth unemployment rate 

Jan 19, 2022, 12:49 PM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

It is the younger generation that has been the driving force behind political change, voting in unprecedented numbers in the 2016 and 2021 presidential elections on the grounds that they wanted to effect change and make their voices heard.

However, youth unemployment is alarming as it stands at 41.5%, according to latest statistics.

Shering Taal, a concerned Gambian, who spoke to The Point on the topic, said for five years now the government did not have any tangible plan for the youth and the youth are the people who made change during the 2016 presidential election and made another turnout in 2021 presidential election by voting for President Adama Barrow. However, he added that it’s the same youths who are suffering under the Barrow administration.

“So far, the government has not shared any kind of roadmap that can address the unemployment rate of the Gambian youth,” he said.

The dialogue is aimed at creating a platform on the critical role youth and women can play in peace building processes and decision making. The challenges faced by young people; the increasing youth unemployment is the reason why youths are involved in criminal activities.

According to him, the lack of employment for young people would disturb “our peace”.

“Some are involved in criminal activities because there is no job opportunity in the country.”

Mr. Taal added that when the unemployment rate is high in a country, it causes crimes such as theft, robbery, and certain immoral behaviours in the society. 

He called on the government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to look for solutions to ensure that the rate of unemployment is reduced by allowing investors in or creating more job opportunities for young people of this country.

He said as the distress of unemployment continues to spike, scores of the nation’s youths have told the government: “We are tired of being jobless” and “we want jobs”.

Taal explained that The Gambia is a country with an estimated population of two million, youths allegedly have received millions of dollars within four year-rule of President Adama Barrow-led administration, while youth unemployment stands at a staggering rate of 41.5%.

He noted that government still needs to improve on the employment sectors of the youths because they are the future leaders and “we pay expensive tuition fees with high hopes after graduations.”

He said it is high time for Gambians to stop nepotism and give positions to whom it should be given to without any favour but fairness. He opined that if this practice continues in the country for a few years, there will be at least some improvements in the unemployment area.

Ebriama Sillah, the minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, at the first 2022 Cabinet meeting remarked that government of The Gambia will create 150 thousand jobs for Gambian youths in next five years.

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