February 26, 2024

Limited Opportunities are Killing Our Youth!

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By MADI JOBARTEH

The bottom line is that majority of our youth lack opportunities and therefore the attainment of hope of success and dignity in their own land is low! Those opportunities are about their fundamental rights and needs. The State which has the primary obligation to provide those opportunities has failed to fulfill its obligation since Independence!

Such a situation only undermines the freedom from fear and freedom from want. When a human being is confronted with the risk of fear and want such a human being may be compelled to resort to measures to overcome fear and want which could be outrageous, incomprehensible and fatal. These youths died because they were running away from fear and want!

Until today the Gambia Government does not make the necessary investment to address the conditions and promote the development of the youth so as to build their capacity to enable them become active producers and contributors to the life of the nation including their own lives! It is this failure of the Government that has therefore generated the risks of fear and want in these youths such that they had to embark on such an outrageous journey!

One has to look at the 2020 national budget to realize the limited resources allocated to the youth sector. The budget allocations are hugely inadequate to provide the necessary goods, services, facilities and opportunities for the youth.

Therefore our youth are hugely underfunded and underserved hence they are confronted with the fear of poverty and deprivation as they cannot get the quality of life and dignity they want!

In light of the foregoing it is obvious that this national tragedy is squarely caused by none other than The Gambia Government itself. Our youth will not consider the idea of ‘backway’ if indeed their rights and needs are protected and fulfilled by the State. That would have guaranteed their freedom from fear and freedom from want. But with neglect, underfunding and limited opportunities the youth find no choice but to seek greener pastures by any means necessary! They were driven to death by fear and want.

It is therefore high time for the Government to review its development approach so as to address the pertinent issues affecting Gambians! The Gambia Government has the necessary resources to be able to invest and change the lives of our youth. Like youths in any other society Gambian youths are also equally willing, hardworking and determined such that where opportunities exist the youth will take advantage.

Let the Government guarantee the freedom from fear and freedom from want. These two freedoms are said to be among four fundamental freedoms that people must enjoy if not they could be forced to undertake extraordinary measures to protect them. The other two freedoms are freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.

For The Gambia Our Homeland

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Monitor’s editorial stance.

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