Career Prospects for Returnees
In relation to its population, the Gambia has the highest rate of emigration in sub-Saharan Africa. This is certainly due to the yoke of longstanding dictatorship, but also to the dramatic lack of prospects. Without mineral resources and significant production, the country is dependent on tourism and agriculture as an economic factor. Traditional subsistence farming did not offer an option. Young people in particular preferred to risk the “backway”, the illegal route to Europe. They had nothing to lose.
Since the repatriation agreement between the EU, IOM and Gambia in July 2018, many migrants have been repatriated. With youth unemployment at over 40%, this places a further burden on the labour market. Add to this the fear and shame of ‘not having made it’ and repatriated migrants are seen as failures.
The Gambian youth project offers perspectives for unemployed young people and migrants in agriculture.