‘Over 58% Gambians embark on irregular migration on lack of jobs’

May 29, 2020, 11:13 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Aron Tekelegzi, programme manager for Labou Human Development of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said research showed that 59.6% of Gambians who embarked on irregular migration in 2018 did so as a result of inadequate job opportunities, while 21.6% embarked on regular migration in the same year also did so due to similar reason.

According to him, in 2018 Gambia Labour Force Survey, “61.6% of over 61,000 migrants in 2018 are Gambian men who embarked on irregular migration, while 0.9% are females who had embarked on regular migration in the same year. The 30.0% are males who travelled regularly, while 9.5% of females also traveled regularly in search of job opportunities in Europe.

IOM programme manager, Mr. Tekelegzi, who was speaking on Wednesday, during an online training on migration reporting for Gambian journalists, said based on the 2018 statistics, more people embarked on irregular migration within The Gambia from the urban to the rural.

The training was organised by the International Organisation for Migration.

 “At least 38,591 travelled from the urban area to look for opportunities, while 22,924 migrated from rural areas.”

According to him, other reasons that make Gambians embark on irregular migration outside the country include search for better housing and services, security reasons and crime, personal education, marriage, family reasons amongst others.

He added that The Gambia is amongst the few countries in West Africa that recorded fewer numbers of migrants that traveled to Europe and other countries irregularly.

Milko Alazas, IOM communication officer, said that the training is organised to equip journalists enhance their skills and knowledge to report on migration.

“Migration is a cross-cutting phenomenon that has significantly impacted Gambian society over the past few years. It is important journalists are equipped to elevate the discourse on migration, especially now that COVID-19 is affecting migration trends worldwide.”

Lamin Jahateh, GPU programme manager, while making a presentation on Migration in Gambian News, called on the need for proactive commitment from media houses to publish stories about migration.

Mr. Jahateh who made a research on Migration News in the country, said that on average, a Gambian newspaper publishes 2,000 national news stories every year, this he added means 3,000 national news stories were published within one and a half year.

He added that The Point and Foroyaa newspapers published the highest number of stories on migration at 1.7% and 1.66) respectively, with Standard newspaper amassing 1.5%.

“Therefore, the top three daily newspapers (The Point, Foroyaa and Standard) cumulatively published about 9,000 national news stories over the past 18 months.

He finally urged Gambian journalists to show more commitment in writing stories about migration and its related issues.


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