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S&Ds demand continued progress for youth opportunities in The Gambia


S&D Euro MPs, who were in The Gambia with a European Parliament delegation this week, urged the government and international community to keep up the momentum for progress in the country, as it moves to consolidate its rapid democratic transition.
The MEPs visited skills development and training projects in the capital and rural areas aimed at creating employment opportunities for The Gambia’s burgeoning youth population and prevent push factors leading to irregular migration through Libya.
The head of the European Parliament’s delegation, S&D MEP Norbert Neuser, said:
“The democratically-elected government of president Barrow has made significant progress on institution-building and the protection of human rights since the transition from decades of authoritarian rule.
“It is vital that the EU continues its financial and capacity-building assistance to support the country in the significant challenges it faces, including increased work on the security sector reform, redrafting the Constitution and contributing to womens’ empowerment.
“Most crucially, we need to continue EU support to job creation projects for young people. The youth unemployment rate in The Gambia remains high, and has driven many young people to attempt the perilous migration route to Europe. The testimonies we heard first-hand from returnees on the conditions in Libya were truly shocking.
“The vocational training projects and assistance to entrepreneurs we saw is extremely welcome and is a very positive step in offering opportunities to young people in The Gambia, including returnees. We urge this support to be stepped up, with greater oversight and scrutiny by the European Parliament.”


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