The government in The Gambia is unable to create jobs and during the occasion marking Workers Day in Banjul, Trade and Employment Minister Abdou Jobe told youths to become self-employed to earn a living and insisted that they have allocated resources to human capital formation to enable the availability of a healthy and skilled labor force to industries, as well as enhance employability and employment of labor both in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

“In order to create more employment opportunities for people, the government recognizes the importance to create job creators rather than job seekers,” Jobe said in his speech.

Key peanut export unfit for consumption.

The Gambia’s government has sold agriculture as a profitable business but most of the country’s key exports of peanut have been classified as not fit for consumption. Agriculture used to employ more than 70%t of the population but now employs about 35%t. TheGovernment does not have enough money to buy peanuts from the farmers most of whom now farm only to feed their families.

“The transition from school to work is particularly difficult for the youth in The Gambia as they seek to enter the labor market facing two critical challenges – inadequate skills and a scarcity of jobs," said UNDP.

The UN agency said that efforts, particularly at creating jobs, have not been as effective as hoped and that investment incentive programs set up to attract investments in the private sector and create jobs for the working age population did not yield the desired results as some constraints still affect the development and growth of the private sector.

Make it to Europe or Die.

Many of impoverished Gambia’s youths are dying in the hundreds in the Mediterranean hoping to find better-paying jobs in Europe. They find themselves cramped in refugee camps in Italy’s island of Sicily for months sometimes years and now faced with the growing threat of right-wing anti-immigration Mafias who shot at least one of them.

Though faced with these problems, many parents have sold their sole piece of land and literarily any valuable property they own to fund the deadly "backway" journey for their children. They hope having them in Europe will free them from the bondage of poverty. For many of the youths, mostly young men aged 17 to 36 it is either they enter Europe or die.

Cloudy economic outlook for The Gambia

The country is faced with budgetary issues after the European Union withheld more than 33 million Euros in aid over rights violations by the Jammeh administration. With a domestic debt close to 100 percent of the GDP and high unserviceable international debt, the economic woes of the country continue to increase with the border standoff between The Gambia and neighboring Senegal, which is now entering its third month. The West African nation was issued a $11 million bailout by the International Monetary Fund due to a 6 percent fall in its critical tourism sector amid the Ebola crisis. TheCountry registered no cases. The IMF have asked the Gambia’s presidency to desist from interfering with financial policies.

Some of President Yahya Jammeh’s unilateral decisions on foreign exchange has depleted the reserve and made The Gambia’s economic outlook cloudy.

Youths resort to any kind of work they can find.

Some of the country’s youths are directly employed in the tourism businessas cab drivers and guides but many more find themselves earning a living as “bombsters” harassing tourists to become their friend for financial benefits, to help get a visa to Europe or even as sex partners for their stay in the country.

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