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Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Youths unemployment: A menace for the country

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A good number of young people in The Gambia are struggling to get a decent job. Every year, schools – colleges, universities, skills centers – produce graduates who would in turn put pressure on the job market.

Well, there is a modicum of effort being made to address this unpleasant reality in the country. And there is not much being done by the government of the Gambia, having the primary duty to provide jobs and address this problem.

The Gambia has a youthful population. So, the country has the potential to become vibrant in Africa since it already has the human resources. However, most of the youths spend their days in the ghettos either drinking attaya or smoking. This is not effective for the youth as well as the country!

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This excessive smoking and drinking attaya at the ghettos does not signify that these people are aimless. The reality is they are willing and able to work but the working environment is not provided by the government. Most of them want to become teachers, engineers, accountants, journalists, and so on but they end up becoming street boys because they cannot fulfill their aspirations.

The government does not establish enough factories; on the other hand, the private sector is weak. If the sectors – private and public – are strong, it would be the game changer and hope for the young people, because it would have absorbed most of the jobless youths.

This unemployment triggers more youths to embark on the perilous journey, commonly known as “back-way”. They feel their situations would not be solved or changed while in the country. Some of them are ambitious in lifting their families from abject poverty. They, the youths, believe that all these could be solved by embarking on a journey to Europe via “Back-Way”.

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The Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure should focus on the labour market. The relevant ministries can create or build skill centers in each region throughout the country to increase the employability of the youths.

Engaging in such initiatives will make or help youths engage in meaningful activities and then utilize their skills to earn something for themselves and their families. When these and many other things are addressed, the issue of “back-way” will certainly decline.

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