“In the silent whispers of the wind and the sorrowful echoes of the sea, we mourn the lives lost in the perilous journey of irregular migration known as “Backway”. The Gambian and African youths, driven by aspirations for a better life, have been tragically lost to the unforgiving currents of the Mediterranean and the deserts that span continents. It’s a heart-rending reality, a crisis that demands our immediate attention, compassion, and concrete action.
The loss of these vibrant souls is a stark reminder of the urgency to address the root causes compelling our young people to embark on these dangerous journeys. The burden lies not only on the shoulders of individual nations but requires a collective effort of the global community, especially the African and European governments.
Governments across Africa, including The Gambia, must create viable opportunities and systems that empower their youth. It’s crucial to invest in education, employment, and infrastructure, nurturing an environment where dreams can flourish within their borders. Economic and social structures need to be fortified, enabling the youth to see a future within their homelands.
The European Union, too, bears responsibility. It’s imperative to revamp the visa application processes, allowing for easier and more accessible travel. By creating avenues for legal migration, the EU can help dissuade the desperation that fuels these perilous journeys. This isn’t just an issue of policy; it’s a matter of human lives and dignity.
But the most enduring solution lies within Africa itself. The continent is rich in resources, both natural and human. There is an urgent need to harness these potentials, fostering innovation, trade, and entrepreneurship. African leaders must collaborate to establish environments conducive to investment and enterprise. By exploiting these potentials, Africa can generate more opportunities, create wealth, and pave the way for a future that holds promise for its people.
However, this change requires a collective effort, transcending boundaries and ideologies. It necessitates a harmonious collaboration between governments, NGOs, private sectors, and individuals. It’s about weaving a tapestry of hope, opportunity, and progress.
To the youths who have embarked on these treacherous paths and to those who dream of a better life beyond their horizons, we honor your resilience and your aspirations. You are not forgotten, and your dreams should not come at the cost of your lives.
Let us stand together, in solidarity and determination, to put an end to the tragedies of Backway migration. Let us build bridges that connect dreams to opportunities and aspirations to realities. The time is now, the call is urgent, and the responsibility is collective. Together, we can create a future where every African youth can flourish and thrive within their lands.”
By:Muhammed S Bah
Gambia Press Union