After 22 years of dictatorship, The Gambia’s Coalition government which has returned the country to democratic rule is engrossed in finding ways to better harness the potential of its diverse Diaspora and engage them in meaningful national development. The move is part of President Barrow’s policy initiatives undertaken in order to develop a National Diaspora Engagement Strategy to extend protection to Gambians in the Diaspora, as well as integrate them into the country’s national development agenda. This comes at a critical time when the number of Gambians emigrating to Europe and elsewhere is at an all-time high. It is estimated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that there are approximately 90,000 Gambians living outside the country, although the most recent estimate given by Gambian-born statistician Cherno Kebbeh is that there are about 140,000 Gambian migrants.
Annually, it is estimated that a staggering US$200 Million is remitted by Gambians in the diaspora to families and communities back home. And apart from the remittances which form a huge part of the nation’s GDP, Gambians in the diaspora are also engaged in several development projects in their regional and home communities. However, it is rather unfortunate that even with an incalculable contribution to national development, a policy framework to engage the diaspora in more effective ways is clearly non-existent in The Gambia. Therefore, against this background, a National Diaspora Strategy aimed at providing a comprehensive framework to manage migration for Gambia’s sustainable development, is currently being crafted by the government; detailing a policy framework for the Gambian Government to link its diverse Diasporas to the development of the country – hence establishing a new Diaspora Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad.
This research project is part of the Migration and Sustainable Development in The Gambia (MSDG), a technical cooperation programme, designed and implemented by GK Partners (GKP), in partnership with the Government of The Gambia, and funded by the Swiss Government. GK Partners, co-founded by Gambian-born London School of Economics (LSE) Professor, Gibril Faal, are a reputable consultancy firm, based in the United Kingdom. As part of the MSDG project, the Gambian Diaspora Online Survey was formally launched on Saturday 25th November 2017. Gambians, both home and abroad, are being engaged, on behalf of the government, to solicit their inputs as part of the process of developing a National Diaspora Policy.
To complete the survey, please click below the link:
The MSDG’s core project team comprises:
Project Director and Lead Consultant – Professor Gibril Faal, OBE, JP
Research Supervisor – Dr Ebrima Ceesay
Project Researcher – Mr. Mbemba Jabbi
Media and Communications Specialist – Ms. Sainabou Jobe
Technical Director – Mr. Abdoul Salaam Secka
Technical Adviser – Dr Sainabou Taal
Deputy Permanent Secretary and Point Person, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) – Melville Roberts
Completing the questionnaire should take between 15 and 20 minutes and information obtained will be treated confidentially and only used in statistical form. This global online survey will assist the researchers in gathering unprecedented data and gain deeper understanding and insights into the Gambian diaspora’s thinking and views as key stakeholders in national development, post-Jammeh Gambia, which will then inform the development of the proposed policy. The global survey is also available online at www.gambiandiaspora.net from 25th November to 10th December 2017; and therefore, all Gambians in the diaspora are encouraged to complete and share the link with their contacts and networks.
For further information about the project, you can contact the following:
In the Diaspora: Mr Mbemba Jabbi – firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Gambia: Mr Abdoul Salaam Secka – email@example.com
General Info: Ms Sainabou Jobe – comms@gambiandiasporEnd