As thousands of young Africans continue to storm the European citadel, the Gambian leader has sounded the alarm bell on a phenomenon that has turned the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea into cemeteries for African youths.
“A major concern of the year has been irregular migration. This is not only a menace, but it also appears to be on the rise, thus putting the lives of more young people at risk,” President Adama Barrow said in a televised New Year’s eve speech.
Over these past five years, a good number of young people have opted to take the “back way” in search of greener pastures on European continent. The lack of employment and underdevelopment have been blamed for being part of the major factors causing the exodus of the youths.
Young people have a very significant role to play in their families, he went on, communities, and in national development, hence we cannot watch them perish with impunity.
Barrow assured that “there are opportunities that such young persons can exploit to guarantee them success at home.”
He then added: “Education and training for skill acquisition are the surest means for the youth to have guaranteed pathways to success and happiness.”
While announcing that the 2024 national budget will incorporate concerns about the plight of the youths, President Barrow called on coastal communities to “play a more active part in preventing irregular migration.”
“Family units, friends, and everyone else should be vigilant enough to intercept all potentially dangerous journeys that involve Gambian citizens, either as traffickers, passengers, boat crew, or otherwise,” he said.