The latest elections in The Gambia (December 2016) with the surprising win of the opposition leader Adama Barrow, offer a chance to mitigate the causes of dangerous and illegal migration to Europe (commonly known in the Gambia as “back way”) and to assist the Gambian refugees stranded in Germany to develop a future perspective.
With Adama Barrow winning and the peaceful transition of power, the results of the elections in The Gambia on the 1st of December 2016 allow great opportunities to realise a humane refugee policy, which is aiming to provide a future perspective in The Gambia to the Gambian refugees currently living in Germany and to mitigate the causes of flight from Africa to Europe. As the German population (alike other European countries) is also worryingly divided over the refugee inflow, this proposal should also demonstrate that a strategic and humane policy will solve the refugee crisis better than the populist walling-off programs of the radical national extremist movements in Germany.
Therefore following proposal has been developed by a politically active volunteer working with refugees in Germany:
Baden-Württemberg and Bremen, the two federal states of Germany in which most Gambian refugees live, invite Adama Barrow, the newly elected Gambian president for a visit to elaborate corporation options.
Adama Barrow could then also call upon the Gambians living in Germany for a gathering in both federal states to personally meet with him and his delegation and discuss the options for their return to The Gambia. The refugees need to be assured that they are not only welcome to return, but dearly needed to rebuild The Gambia.
Baden Württemberg and Bremen should then corporately develop a special support program to back Adama Barrow in providing care for returning refugees, including following options among others:
• Financial award for each refugee, who decides to return voluntarily;
• Interest free (micro-)credits to returning individuals to (re-) establish livelihoods, if they prove to have the skills and qualifications to start-up or take on small scale ventures in the productive sector, such as agriculture, crafting, etc.;
• Existing small scale ventures in the productive sector, which generate employment in The Gambia, shall also be offered interest free (micro) credits;
• Gambian refugees, who are currently attending an education program or in progress to do so, i.e. if they are currently working as construction side workers and were officially offered formal education, shall complete their formal education
Above measurements are intended to facilitate the consolidation of the Gambian middle class, thus to stabilize the country economically and politically.
Additionally, support shall be offered to the new Gambian President to develop an efficient government, a police force and judiciary based on the rule of law, as well as a democratically controlled army.
Extremely important appears the financial support to establish “German Schools”, which offer free education, based on German values and standards. Such schools should be complemented with scalable educational offers to achieve internationally accepted diplomas.
Also the extension of Health Centers and Hospitals will be necessary and sensible.
The proposal might sound highly ambitious, but regarding that The Gambia is a relatively small country (smallest country on the African continent with less than 2 Mio people), the load could be carried by Baden-Württemberg and Bremen alone. Of course, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) should also be involved.
In The Gambia and among the Gambian refugees in Germany, euphorism and a mood for change prevail at the moment. We should therefore act timely to corporately make best use of the positive atmosphere, initiate change swiftly and demonstrate encouragement to entire Africa.
Therefore, please invite Adama Barrow, the new president of The Gambia, as soon as possible and deliver these proposals to him. Volunteers and Gambian refugees in Germany, as well as Gambians and Germans in The Gambians are delighted to support you. Let us provide a perspective for The Gambia.
In the Name of all the undersigned
Im Namen aller Unterzeichner/innen.
Kirchzarten, 15.02.2017 (aktiv bis 10.06.2017)