It is shocking that youth unemployment stands at a staggering thirty-eight percent. This is worrying and something needs to be done. When job opportunities are not available, a form of frustration is created in the atmosphere which may turn to anger and lead to a rise in crime, and sometimes, violence.

Furthermore, the issue of repatriation of illegal migrants will go further to heighten the acute need for job creation. Already, it has been reported that hundreds of youths have returned home from Libya and now we are being told that another large number is waiting to be returned from Germany. Who knows, perhaps if Germany succeeds in returning the Gambians there, other countries in the West may take a cue from that and seek to do the same.

The number of young people without jobs, without hope or an avenue to engage themselves meaningfully will increase. This may not augur well for our peace and stability considering what we are just emerging from. It is a delicate situation which needs careful study and pointed and focused solutions.

Your government should therefore seek to work with development partners, especially the European Union, to ensure that there is something on the ground to occupy the returnees when they cone home.

The West have problems of their own. Their populations are agitating for jobs and are blaming their lack of jobs on the migrants. As such, the governments are doing everything in their power to have a passage to return migrants. In doing this, they try to broker deals with African leaders to accept their people back.

Let us know that the issue of migration is a problem caused not only by our lack of initiative to enhance better living conditions, but also by deliberate policies on the part of the developed world to maintain their supremacy. Thus, they must also bear their cross on this solution.

As a way of solving the problem of migration, advanced countries must be willing to assist the poor nations in making their economies viable. This cannot – should not – be done by giving out millions of Dollars or Euros; but by giving training and learning opportunities to the poor nations. They must train our youth on key areas which will enable them have – and hold – jobs which will transform their economic lives thereby transforming the economic conditions of our nations.

Besides, the discussions must make it clear that the repatriation cannot be in the form of an influx which will inundate our governments. As the saying goes, first things first. Let us prepare the ground, rebuild the economy, create an enabling environment, give expertise and knowhow to the youth before bringing them home.

Above all, Mr President, a sense if ownership, a sense of patriotism, a sense of belonging must be created in, and among the youths of the country. I call on the youths to take ownership of the development process. The Gambia is ours and no one will ever come here to develop it for us. We must do it ourselves. We must look inwards for solutions; we can no longer depend on handouts from the West for our development.

Have a Good Day Mr President…

Tha Scribbler Bah

A Concerned Citizen


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