Barrow launches Strategy, Directorate for Gambia’s Diaspora

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) – President Adama Barrow of the Gambia on Saturday launched The Gambia Diaspora Strategy and Diaspora Directorate at a ceremony held in Kairaba Beach Hotel in SereKunda.

The occasion also saw the launch of Gambia government’s report on ‘Curbing Irregular Migration through Sustainable Livelihoods’

“We must be vigilant for the opportunity of diaspora development. The enormous capacity, capabilities and potentials of the diaspora are not fully utilised by The Gambia. This is a loss to our country.  My administration recognises the Gambian Diaspora as the eighth region of The Gambia,” President Barrow said.

He reminded the gathering that in September 2017, he declared 15 December to 14 January every year as Gambia Diaspora Month. It is for Gambians across the world to come home, meet family, network amongst themselves, meet government officials, explore projects and ventures, and generally find ways to enhance their practical engagement in Gambian development.

“I am glad that hundreds of Gambians have responded positively. They have spent millions of dollars in the real economy, engaging with existing and new partners, and generally exploring and enjoying their productive engagement in their motherland.”

“My administration, through the new Gambia Diaspora Directorate and other mechanisms, will seek to remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers; assist diaspora individuals and organisations to implement their projects; in order to enhance diaspora interventions to create jobs and improve development outcomes,” he added.

The Gambian leader stressed the need for protection of irregular, young and vulnerable migrants, and when necessary, facilitate their safe and voluntary return home, in line with human rights provisions.

“Most importantly, we strive to realise the United Nations vision that, ‘migration should be a choice, not a desperate necessity’.  To that end, my administration, through inter-ministerial cooperation is taking meaningful steps to create opportunities and options for education, employment and training for young Gambians and returnees.

“Through the Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia Project (MSDG), we have already demonstrated the benefits of a well-coordinated approach to working with the diaspora. One of the leading experts in the world on international development and global migration is the Director of GK Partners, a Gambian diaspora, Professor Gibril Faal.”

“We recognise his efforts in having a fully funded progamme, providing induction, training, technical briefings and guidance to the government to make the best out of migration. My administration was pleased to sign a Technical Cooperation Project agreement with GK Partners to ensure that the best experts in the field, who happen to be Gambian, are working for Gambia.
We also expect to work with all experts on the public sector reform and other urgent and important priorities,” President Barrow added.  

On behalf of the MSDG Project, he thanked the government of Switzerland and the European Union for their support and cooperation.  
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 14Jan2018

14 january 2018 12:12:06

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