Lack of jobs fuels ‘backway to Europe’

President Adama Barrow has singled out youth unemployment as the biggest factor responsible for the mass migration of young people to Europe, through irregular means.

“The reason young people are going through the backway is because they are not engaged in viable economic activities,” Barrow said.

The Gambian leader made the remarks during a meeting with investors at the State House.

Barrow hinted that investments can help to create job opportunities for young people, thereby reducing irregular migration. He also expressed his hope that Germany would support Gambia’s National Development Plan for 2018-2021.

The team of investors was led by Mr Johannes Selleh, a member of the German parliament. The delegation consisted of investors from the agriculture, infrastructure, energy, development finance and sports business sectors. The team expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities available in the country.

Johannes Selleh said that the shared democratic values between the two countries and the struggle for prosperity prompted the visit.

Foreign Trade and Development Policy and Development Cooperation Adviser Judith Helfmann-Hundack of the German-African Business Association said that the delegation was interested in engaging in The Gambia. She added that visits to other parts of the country had given them insight into areas for partnership with the private sector.

The delegation visit comes barely two months after the official visit of the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to The Gambia, during which he held talks with President Barrow, civil society representatives and visited the German supported hospital ASB at Dippa Kunda.

Caption: Gambia’s President Adama Barrow posing with a group of German investors at the State House after holding bilateral talks