By Tabora Bojang
The minister of foreign affairs, Dr Mamadou Tangara has disclosed that government is exploring a labour migration deal with Spain under which Gambian youths would be recruited to work in Europe on seasonal basis.
Disclosing this to The Standard Friday, Dr Tangara explained that the planned agreement will make provisions for the granting of visas to certain number of Gambians to work in Spanish industries on a seasonal basis.
“The strategy is earmarked to increase employment opportunities for youths, help address the brain drain and prevent deaths and sufferings of Gambians on irregular migration routes. Many young people don’t want to stay in Europé; they just want to go and make money and come back and invest in the country. We are working on an agreement with Spain and also engaging the Italians to have seasonal migration, so that we can have people who can go to these countries for instance during the harvest period, make some money and come back,” the minister said.
According to Dr Tangara, Gambians must realise that the issue of migration goes beyond politics and require a national dialogue to chart a way forward because “it affects every family” in The Gambia.
“Curretly, we have many Gambians stranded in places like Mali and Niger and these countries are in crisis. We understand that it is the nature of young people to be ambitious to meet their dreams and they are attracted and lured by tales of fortune in Europe. But we must understand that the roads of Europe are not paved with gold and today they too have their own challenges. This is why we are engaging our partners to bring about regular migration and to create opportunities for those who are here to be able to earn a dignified living.