NARROW NATIONALISM OR PAN AFRICANISM PEOPLE CONFUSED BY PRESIDENT’S’ PRONOUNCEMENT

One moment the president takes the posture of a Pan Africanist speaking for the whole continent and the African Diaspora and another moment he blames non Gambians for all the ills of the country.

The narrow nationalism reached xenophobic proportion when the President threatens to stop non Gambians from being fisher folks and butchers in the Gambia. Few months ago, xenophobia led to the attack of non South Africans in South Africa, amidst condemnation and call for restraint by the APRC leadership.

Many Gambians are in Angola and so on and so forth. Hence, leaders should not promote xenophobia. They should in fact be discussing to see how sub regional investors could have national partners and work together on the basis of mutual benefit.

Many Africans are moving about in the continent away from their country of origin because of the fact that it is easier to do menial and low earning work in a country other than one’s own because of the absence of dependents and stigma. In Banjul, many people of Malian origin whose families had high status in Mali were forced by necessity to do menial work in Banjul for survival. Now such work is being done by young people as cleansing service workers. Some do so at great risk of having fungal or bactericidal infection.

We should not be superficial in examining the challenges facing the youth of the Gambia. Non Gambians are not their problem. The lack of a system of development which caters for them is the problem. Those who intend to address their problem must create such a system.