By: Dawda Baldeh
President Barrow, speaking at a well-attended joint meeting held in Pakau Njogu village in the Upper Nuimi District of the North Bank Region, paid tribute to the families who lost their loved ones in a recent boat incident that claimed the lives of about twenty Gambian youths. Approximately 20 Gambian youths, mainly from the Greater Banjul Area, are reported to have died in their attempt to sail to the Canary Islands to Spain, with many describing it as a national tragedy.
The Gambian leader, shocked about the death of the youth, also expressed his concern over the increasing number of lives lost in recent boat accidents. He called on parents and village leaders to discourage the menace of the ‘back way,’ using the dangerous route to Europe. Barrow further urged Gambian youths to seize the opportunities provided for them by the government, emphasizing the numerous policies and programs created for the advancement and betterment of the country’s youth.
Commenting on the recent boat accidents that continue to claim many lives, the Gambian leader emphasized the need for community leaders to work together with the objective of discouraging their members from embarking on this perilous route. He urged parents who wish to send their children to Europe to do so through legal means.
He reaffirmed his government’s continued commitment to advancing the welfare of young people in the country through the creation of various initiatives aimed at providing employment opportunities. During his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Barrow stated that his government and that of Saudi Arabia have signed various agreements that will enable Gambian youths to work and acquire new skills.
“My government is doing everything possible to ensure that young people in this country are provided with employment opportunities,” he said. He maintained that through this agreement, many young people would be taken to Saudi Arabia to work and learn other skills.
Additionally, Barrow mentioned an agreement with investors to promote rice cultivation in the country, with implementation set to begin in the coming year.