By Olimatou Coker
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) last Thursday launched the Kanifing Municipal Council’s Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) at the Metzy Residence Hotel in Kololi.
The MGI is a data collection and analysis tool that offers insight into a country’s strengths and weaknesses in managing migration. After the launch of The Gambia’s first MGI report in May 2021, KMC became the first local government body to embark on the process.
Ms Fumiko Nagano, the IOM chief of Mission in The Gambia, gave an overview of the importance of the project and the support of the organisation.
Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Mayor of KM, said the biggest asset of his municipality is the young people, adding that their passion and determination to deliver change in the city must be supported.
Mayor Bensouda added that one of the many ways to achieve this is to provide an enabling environment both at the national and local level to allow young people to stay home and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
“Cities and municipalities, such as Kanifing, are major sources, transit points, and destinations for migrants. The question of how we confront the benefits and challenges of migration should be of interest to all. At KMC we are committed to providing young people with meaningful social and economic opportunities,” he said.
He said that the Council has championed a range of youth-centered initiatives, including a 20 million dalasis fund for young entrepreneurs, the upgrading of football pitches, creation of employment opportunities, and the provision of a Kanifing Estate Community Centre which is being transformed into a youth centre with working spaces for young entrepreneurs.
“We understand that the local MGI process is aimed at assisting local authorities in assessing the comprehensiveness of their migration policies, strategies, and initiatives. As Council, we are hopeful that this process will help us to take stock of the migration initiatives, assess our strengths and weaknesses to lead us in designing effective policies that will help address migration challenges in our municipality,” he said.