Halifa tells gov’t to engage EU in training migrants before returning


By Tabora Bojang Halifa Sallah, NAM for Serekunda, has called for a dialogue between the government and EU to consider a feasible joint approach in training Gambian returnees in Europe as part of reintegration before returning them home. The PDOIS man made this remark during the oral question-and-answer session of the fourth ordinary session of the National Assembly of the 2018 legislative year with the youths and sports minister, Hadrammeh Sidibeh. The Gambia government and EU have launched a three-year sustainable reintegration programme to support migrants returning to the country. According to the lawmaker, relying on pledges and external support “is a fundamental question concerning the sustainability of the reintegration for proper mechanism in tackling the problem of returnees.” He explained that it would be prudent if a database exists for all Gambian migrants to furnish a well-defined policy framework that will support the training of migrants in Europe before they are returned home. “Did the ministry not consider tackling it at the point of policy by quantifying all the Gambians who are there and negotiate with those governments so that they start training them there and then come back here in an organised fashion to feed into concrete programmes?” Sallah asked. He said this should go a long way in enhancing smooth reintegration of Gambian migrants, most of whom face difficulties in accessing these packages. In response, the minister said his ministry has been working with ministries and satellite agencies and projects to respond to the needs of the returnees but have not captured the possibility of such mechanism but assured that it will do its outmost to see how best to capture any proper methods for reintegration of Gambians. According to Minister Sidibeh, over 1,000 returnees have been reached with information, skills training and access to finance adding that through YEP, a mini grant and mini loan schemes have been introduced for young Gambians including returnees to access up to D47,000 (mini grant) between D150,000 to D 450,000 (mini loan).]]>