Monday, July 22, 2024

Kush Effect – A Piece by University of The Gambia Economics Student, Lamin Sanneh

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Tears roll down when one thinks about the effect Kush has had on the youths of the smiling coast of Africa.

Watching footage from afar breaks one’s heart and fills it with sorrow. How can a country with such a youthful population be plunged into such a menace?

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It baffles me to think of why anyone would be tempted to take a drug that causes their demise so swiftly. Other drugs might give pleasure to users, but Kush clearly kills in a deadlier fashion than any other drug before it.

An excerpt from the Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass) indicates that The Gambia has a youthful population of almost 60% of its 2.2 million people, with the majority under the age of 25. Such figures should symbolize the country’s productiveness and show its readiness to move from the circle of low-income countries with a high poverty index to at least a middle-income level in Africa. However, this is far from reality. The government has not been very supportive in striving to make this a reality. Anyway, that will be a separate piece. My problem and point of focus is the effect of Kush on our youthful population.

Despite the lapses of the government, I believe that the youths should show seriousness and integrity to move this tiny country to a better level with little or no effort from the government. Has this mindset and zeal been instilled in the minds of these suicidal youths? Sadly, I am pessimistic about that.

According to Low-income Africa – ISS African Futures, The Gambia is among the 23 low-income countries in Africa with significant debt. That menace should be eradicated or minimized by the government. The youths, including myself, should think outside the box and come up with pragmatic solutions to make their contributions felt by all. Are we not able to reduce the unemployment rate by becoming job creators in our own ways? Are we not able to learn skills and become professionals in our own ways? Are we not able to bring innovative ideas to our offices and transform them for the good of all? I know there are factors hindering some of these achievable goals, but holding all those factors constant, which may also be in dispute with reality, I think The Gambia would be in a better position than it is today.

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I believe the effect would not have been felt if the youths were busy meditating and contemplating how to deal with the unfortunate state of our nation. Kush would have been cursed if the youths had been busy at their workshops. The Kush market would have been deserted if the youths were busy signing business deals with potential customers.

What is nicer than having self-independence and financial freedom? Hello fellow youths, let’s make our nation and her people proud by contributing positively. Let’s rethink and redo things for the betterment of ourselves and our people. It is our country. It is either we change for the best or perish.

To this end, I reiterate line 1 of our anthem: For The Gambia Our Homeland.

Lamin Sanneh,
Final Semester Economics Student,
University of The Gambia

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