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City of Banjul
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Expert proposes path to stem illegal migration

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“Our economic situation should be addressed and agriculture should be developed and it should be rewarding. The agricultural sector should be supported with light-scale industries and there has to be markets for farmers’ raw produce as well,” he told The Standard in an interview at his office at Stratford College of Management in Churchill’s town.

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“Even farmers are frustrated! One would have expected that by now an industrial base would be created to support the growth of agriculture in the country. If there are small-scale factories, jobs will be created and the youth will be put to work. So we need to revisit our agricultural and industrial policies because that is how we can help our youth.”  

According to the Eurostat statistics, the number of Gambian asylum seekers has risen from three thousand five hundred and fifty (3, 550) in 2013 to eleven thousand five hundred and fifteen in 2014 representing a 224.4 percent increase.

The Gambia has, as a result, moved from its former ranking of 29 in 2013 in the country of origin’s asylum seekers’ ranking to 16 in 2014.

The Eurostat said Italy is fronting a proposal to process asylum seekers, given many migrants have ended up at its doorstep adding, the number of new applications listed in Italy in 2014 was its highest on record, at 63,700.

It said most were a result of the “Arab Spring” in North Africa, but The Gambia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal also accounted for the rise.

Dr Susso said illegal migration, known in local parlance as back way can have, if not addressed, devastating consequences in the country.

He said: “There can be dangers associated to the risky journey other than the personal risk youths take and the depletion of the relevant human resources. When the youths leave the shores of The Gambia, with all the tough experiences they go through, there are hardened. A repatriated somebody who has gone through many hardships, psychologically, can resort to violence in dealing with certain issues back home or even become a criminal. Some of these migrants are abducted for ransom and they go through a lot which can cause some psychological damage- they can come here if they did not succeed in getting to Europe with weird behaviour and stress which may cause some security challenge. These are things that should be understood.”

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