25 January 2013

Gambia: Young People Dwell On Their Economic Hardship


In this edition of future generation, this column brings the voice of young people who are working hard in KMC to find their daily ends meet. The Columnists caught up with some of the young people to explain their situation and circumstances they are faced with.

Mr. Musa Jobarteh a Gambian national said he is 35 years old and lives in Latrikunda Sabiji and he is a businessman for eleven years now since the year 2002.

He said he was working in a Mauritanian shop selling curtains and clothing material as an employee. Recently this year, "I divert to another business to search for better chances. I was employed again with one of my Muslim brothers to participate on perfume business locally called "chura", He explains. Musa said being an employee on somebody's business is not the best but is a better chance for him to keep himself busy and fullfil other responsibilities as a family man. "If we want to call ourselves patriotic citizens we must be helping each other and benefit from each other. Now a days, he said, Gambia is very hard and difficult, that there are too many taxes on the businesses, and so many basic products and food provisions are very expensive especially rice, sugar, oil and other commodities, he stressed. Jobarteh said that is why they are going to remain with this type of economic crisis then it will lead them to economic suicidal. As a family man with responsibilities, he said he has to pay house rental bills, feeding, clothing; children's school fees etc.He also said he has no supporting hand from family members, neither the Gambia government. He opined that things are definitely difficult for him. "To make it a short, he said the crisis in Gambia cannot be enumerated on paper but the only solution to solve this matter is to encourage freedom of movement, more investment for the employment of the Gambian youths and allow the Gambian citizens to invest and chose the best to build their destiny without any pressure from the president and cabinet", he said. He added that if they believe that the people are the government moreover to the youths, then their chosen leaders have failed the people of the Gambia, because what they have sworn in to office was not implemented to the Gambian citizen. So he therefore said he is reminding the president and his cabinet a feed back on their promises to implement them as well. "I am not an opposition neither Politician but a good citizen and freedom activist as well. Before I close my remarks, I will say thanks to Foroyaa for introducing this type of column. There are many youths in this country who are willing to express their views on the problems confronting them and the country's crisis, but they have the mind that it is a danger and they will be arrested by the security personnel, but to me what I believe in life is the truth. Allah loves those who fight for the truth, he said.

Isaq Camara a Gambian national of 28 years old and who lives in Brusubi said, he is businessman selling clothes locally called "Fugajayi" for many years now. He said since he finished his schooling he was sitting down without any support and so decided to do some business. He said it is so hard for him these days because nowadays it is a risk when doing his business, because he said it is not easy to sale and return; that sometimes he even gets difficulty in terms of returning what he credited. "Some people will credit from what you are selling without paying on the right time", he said. He said if youths are still living in this hardship as he calls it, definitely, they would still suffer forever. He asked, where are our chosen leaders? "I think it is time we the Gambians choose what is best for our nation, as we can see the development of the nation lays in our hands, we the youths", He opined. Isaq mentioned the economic crisis and said that what they the Gambian youths are facing now a days is very painful, working from morning to night without any money, which he described as a crime but added that their chosen leaders should secure their daily needs in general. He said they should build factories, companies and other working departments to provide employment for the young ones. "And I will also advise my fellow Gambians to keep on working hard and avoid drugs or criminal acts, we all know that is not easy but let us be faithful and avoid depression and have the believe that we can change this situation if we choose the best interest of the Gambia", He said.

One Mr. Dem said he is a Gambian national and 28 years of age. He said he prefers not to voice out his feelings because he is afraid that security personnel may come and pick him up.

When put him how life is like for him, he replied that it is very stressful for him at times, because things are not the same for him. He said he was having a Barbing Salon before, where he used to earn his living but that place, he said, is now shut down because he can't pay the rent. He noted that though he did complete his school, lack of finance prompted him not to complete his school, but that does not mean that he did not want anything.

When asked about the situation of youths in the country, as many people blame them to being lazy, he replied that maybe that's what they are thinking, but if they really look at the situation of youth in the country, they would definitely know that they are not lazy, because youths in this country are involved in different kinds of work in the country.

"For me I don't believe that because most youths I know are engaged in one way or the other. If they think that youths are lazy, let them create employment and they would see that all positions would be filled up", he said.

When put to him what he thinks is the solution for youths in the country; Dem said that the solution to help youths is to create lot of employment for them, because he said: "If there is employment I promise, you won't find any youths sitting down, because nobody wants to be a loser in this life", He Suggests. He added that some of them who are lazy, and leading life of losers is they've had no encouragement and counseling which is important in their life. "Once we neglect them the harder their lives are", He opined.

When asked what advice he has for young people, he responded: Let them tried no matter what, things can be right one day. But let the government and private sector and the whole country work together to solve the problems rather than blaming such groups, especially young people, who are the future generation. If they don't support them, is better not to blame them, because definitely there is no conducive environment created for them, much more employment", he opined

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