Lamin Darboe

(JollofNews) – The executive director of the Gambia National Youth Council (NYC) said it remained a convenient notion among many Gambians that the availability of jobs can help to avert crime.

Lamin Darboe said the government and other institutions creation of jobs is just a necessary condition but not sufficient to stop crime in societies.

Speaking to JollofNews’s Amadou Jallow at his Kanifing office on Wednesday on what plans are in place to integrate those young Gambians who voluntarily returned from Libya, Mr Darboe said his office and relevant partners will be organising orientation and capacity assessment for them and later link them with service providers based on their interest for proper integration.

A registered number of 300 Gambians had voluntarily returned home from Libya this year after failing to reach their targeted destinations in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Mr. Darboe said the returnees would not be left to fend for themselves but will be put in youth organisations to enable the easy coordination of their efforts, communication and mobilisation.

Irregular migration has now taken a new trend with the influx of thousands of people joining the move from war-torn countries like Syria.

2015 was considered to be the worst migrant crisis since World War 2. Over 1, 060,551 migrants are said to have reached Europe’s shores via land and sea, according to an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) December, 2015 report with Italy, Greece, Malta, Spain, Hungary and Cyprus as the entry points.

Another IOM report indicates that in 2016, almost 12,000 Gambians landed on the shores of Italy and Greece.

Gambia’s former government signed an action document for the returning of the 300 youth and the process was accelerated by the new government to make Gambians in Libya return safely.

Identifying abilities and interest

Most of the returnees have acquired skills in The Gambia before moving and that had helped them to survive in Libya while some had neither education nor skills.

Mr Darboe said before properly introducing the returnees to their new engagement, the providers must first identify their abilities and their interests.

“If this is not done, they can easily go into any opportunity that comes their way, even if they are not the right one for them,” he added.

“For young Gambians to take up skillful trades like fishing, attitude, skills and resource need to be in place. We need to have a programme for Gambians to become entrepreneurs. Gambians are skillful but there is still a gap.”

Government as duty bearer

Gambian communities have been emptied of their young men and women since the discovery of the irregular migration route to Europe through the high seas. It has increased the poverty level in the tiny West African nation’s communities as some of their loved ones lost their lives in the journey.

Mr. Darboe said government is a primary duty bearer and it most take responsibility to ensure that education and other arms that control national development are intact.

“It is not new around the world what is happening in The Gambia today. What we are seeing here today is happening in every democratic country around the world, but what is fundamental is the vision that we are all moving towards the same direction,” he said.

“Gambians must understand that the country is going through a transition and whenever there is transition, there will be turbulence. So the government have to listen and not distract.”