tv The 77 Percent - The Magazine for Africas Youth Deutsche Welle January 18, 2022 11:30pm-12:01am CET
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in the gambia, that tourism industry alone accounted for 20 percent of the countries g d p. that is, before the pandemic, it also employed more than a $100000.00 people. so when locked dance, we are now st. last year. many young people lost their livelihoods in today's sure, it is kimani is asking what can be done to provide better social safety nets. less had to surrender for some ounces. the 77 percent is back in the gambia and i assure you temperatures are still over 30 degrees, which is why you might see me sweating. but in the 2 years since we've been here, the economy has been doing fantastic. that was of course until cove. 19 happened, the tourism sector has been ground to almost a crippling holt. and in fact, where we are, is the hotel that was once opened, which has had to be shut because of the pandemic. the question is, how do we,
as african economies survive issues and crises like this? well, there's no one better to answer this question for me than fellow gun b as and i'm going to begin with an economist young j. so give us an outlook of what the situation is like in the gumby at the moment to we all know that i am the cove it pandemic is a global crisis. and his global crisis has put all economists, especially the force wall economies, into out basically to their knees. and 3rd wall economies like the gambia tend to feed off force wall economies in terms of aid. and also gumby being a tourism destination rely on people who happen to have disposable income from forced world economies. are ye sweden, norway, denmark, england, et cetera, et cetera, to come and spend part of their winter holidays in the gambia? well, that is no longer, and as you can see, this hotel basically is now a ghost town. yeah, that's right. but listening to you,
i can't help but think back to, you know, headlines like africa rise, the economies of bolstering what happened to that narrative. what once we preparing for eventualities such as this one, while i love those cliches, africa rising, et cetera, but we need to be realistic, dozer, mostly donor driven agendas. i love it because they're ideal, but practically most african economies. we're not based on sound macroeconomic fundamentals. and if you look at the gumby, for example, it's an economy that is externally driven in the sense that we are not in control of our productive sectors of the economy. african economies need more diversification in terms of their product base. and also it is high time that african economies, especially regional economies, i. e eco us, sadie camida to start having an inward and perspective in building africa. okay. so before we go into the macro politics, let us come back on for a 2nd because i actually read the statistic that in this country tourism employs
40000 people directly and another, i think 42000 people directly and another 40000 people indirectly. it doesn't sound like much, but let's not forget, this is the country of a population of just over 2000000. so my moon, are you one of those people who was affected? having been working as a receptionist at one of the hotels and then suddenly your life changed. tell me about that. oh like it was like an overnight tough thing that just happened. no one was really prepared for it. ah, so like coming from a family like dow mize, my siblings and i were all in the i no tourism industry walk in, so it really affected every one in the family because like, ah, i especially me. it's like i was her bread winner of the family lame. let me come back to young for a 2nd because obviously, and i totally understand. my mona the burden wasn't shared is what she's feeling
that everybody is going through this crunch. but she will just abandoned golf, sought yourself out, but give me a perspective of how many hotels have shut down. how bad is it? i mean, what contribution of tourism has been taken away from the g d p? well, before i get into that, i want to really say something, we don't have a social safety net as it relates to the labor market days, no security or insurance for people who get out of work back to the issue of tourism. i think this came as a shock and the economy hasn't been that resilient in terms of product diversification, meaning bulk of the hotels in gambia relied on winter tourism. the hotels are shut . there is no repair and maintenance in these hotels. so if you are a destination and you want to uphold standards, most of these hotels will need minimum a less than nothing less than $1.00 to $1500000.00 to really kick start their businesses. and also make sure that the quality of product that the destination was
known for can be of hell. let's come to jack jack here, because you are our women's activists. and i understand that women are the ones who've been the most disproportionately affected by coven 19 in this country. why is that? i think what coven 19 has done is not make woman vulnerable. it's really just revealed the vulnerabilities that were already exist, right? so we saw inequality gaps, widen that were already there. an example is the story of main. wanna women working, whether in the informal or formal sector and what protections they had? or did not have went, coven hit. so for somebody like her who's the bread winner in her family, it's not just an impact on her as a person, it's a general effect that goes down to the family, down to on the community. and obviously as the stress caused by day, i'll make problems. ah, you have a pat. no. who now really is, is that on you? so there was an increase in reported cases of gender violence in the country. and so it's been a whole gum. what of a fear is that women have been dealing with, in addition to maybe trying to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from?
so the ripley fits of already studied to be felt and young. your nor do you agree with this? but let's come to ra here, and as i understand it's, you know, you had a very successful poultry business 1st and then fishing as you say. but then what went wrong. you'd include most places, way unlocked bound. so it is, people reduce the amount of a feast that the we're buying from us. so the only concentrate on the agents that do we are buying from loose people that the half contract with. so at the end of the day, if you're cut, you scrum, the have to be left with you, with no option done to dig a hole and, and through them. yeah, so this was the only option left with the poultry asked, welder, industrious. we had to once buy in from us, in most of these restaurants, at the end of the day, everybody was asked to stay home. so some of these things we are not walking asked the we'll, we'll can. okay. all right, let's come to hassan because you're in a sector that's actually believe it or not doing well during co, vince. yeah, you're in information technology. how has that sex have been ferrying in the gambia?
so i mean, in general, i, cove, it has really taught a lot of businesses, the importance of using technology, either in animal decision to address as part of just reaching our business processes or we are eloquent to deliver their services on line. so from that standpoint, is, has really created a lot of opportunities for business in software engineering or technology in general to be able to offer the services or computers and internet has provide a level playing field for technology for everybody. if i wanted to manufacture a piece of hardware, it will be very difficult to, to be able to compete lessee with, with, with, with china and developing that hardware due to access to raw material access to engineering capacity. but when it comes to writing something intangible or software, really what you need is a piece of, it's a computer, an internet, and i think that this is a 2nd product, the country can't really thrive and it's about time, the government starts with diversified economy. okay, let's come back to young because that's what he used earlier. diversify, you know, listening to hustling here. he's talking about things that we already know.
governments in africa have constantly been encouraged to invest in information technology, the infrastructure around it, because that's where the youth can really fall into please. why haven't we done that? african governments have found it hard to migrate from the old economy to the new economy and not only in terms of providing digital solutions. so what's going to change that is for government to adopt new things that the youth copy what hampton was talking about. gearing up here today. creative economy is what the gumby in youth wants to thrive on. young people don't want to be like their forefathers were farmed a soil till the soil for a whole lifetime. and yet still they living below the poverty line. but unfortunately, there's a mismatch with the skill set of the youth and infrastructure needed to really realized the aspirations that they have. okay, let me come back to ro here because you know, young has said something interesting. young people don't really want to take up agriculture. they want to be in the city is it's true. well, i think in my keys,
is there clear? manifestation that you you are ready to go back to the field. you are ready to walk into agricultural sector. but it's my gov meant that his feel in youth because there will be with his famous logan of telling us thank you for indigo ambia. i think ro, he is one example who could out take if, indie gambia and a lot of women will look up to me to feel that, that stick to that. everybody is looking up to us if feel sector or a poor sector. most people will see me as an example and get into that if only i was supported by my god. yeah, actually when your business didn't do well, you felt so desperate that you decided to get on a boat and go through the back. where's we call it? to europe, ah, how did that end up for you? so embarking under back, we was one of the most deadliest things i could have done to myself because it ended up, but i'll, some people lost their lives in that boat at the end of the day. so with the support of i o m, i was able to get back to my country and just give me
a little bit of what that experience was like on the book. because we don't want to romanticize this idea of the back way. it was a difficult situation where i was prone to be read, if not for honda, because we were about 120 people in that boat. a 117 way our men or lit 3 of us where women and i was feet because they told me we have a, it would remain asked men inside the boat saw getting in the boat, realizing that it was just 3 of us in the was really frustrating and it might sound like a a silly question, but given what the financial and economic difficulties you are facing, looking back at it now, would you make the same decision again? no, i wouldn't make the same decision. i believe there are better ways that i can help myself instead of getting into that deadly. yeah. hm. yeah. so we're talking about something but obviously has real consequences yet, including near death experiences. let me come back to hassan because it's easy to say. all right, let's all go the technology way,
but obviously that's not realistic at the moment. what can you tell me about the internet to connectivity in this country? digital literacy, is this a viable option or is, is something that needs long term planning? the internet when it was and grew by 135 percent within a very short period on the internet speed on the price and the price drops significantly under the speed increased significantly. so i think this is something we can work with, and i think it's less of a technology issue on more of a policy issue. right, right. because if the private sector is, is, is supported willard policies, we can fix the internet issue, not everybody can be in the technology space, but there is just so much room for, for growth in the space. right. i'm the very premise that somebody else is going to be responsible for solving our or problems is what we should kind of on subscribe from. i'm just kind of see whatever is available to how can we innovate with that?
okay, so we've just had from hasta and that it's really important that polices are implemented, but i really like the point you've made about individual sticking that initiative. so jim, i want to come to you, the women, you're working with, the woman, you are the society that we have around us. what can we do in order to sustain ourselves? is that even a fair ask? i'm a choice of fair ask this for him because we're already doing a lot. i'm so i just want to go back to the point has said make around policy. i think the police environment in the gambia doesn't really allow for people to thrive or to rich dev fullest potential. so for example, i work in women's rights, that's my passion. that's my heart. but a lot of the work to what advancing women's rights in this country are renting the rights of girls as led by civil society organizations. it's led by individual feminist. it's led by um, individual woman's rights activists. we do not really see the government. i'm taking the key role that they should be playing when it comes to even enforcing the policies that they have created. i'm for women for girls, so i would say we're already doing a lot. we're not doing it in an environment that supports as though. so what we've
seen as well, this happened with cove, it said, your independent mich, obviously, if they did not care in normal times, they're not gonna care during a pandemic when there is a priority issue. and that has taken their attention. and so the responses were not inclusive of the realities of women and girls until what we saw yet again, was these same civil society organizations, the community based organizations, the informal collectives and groups coming together to provide relief for communities. it was women leading to distribution of food products, women leading the distribution of senator re products sharing information to make sure women are protected. so it was in that little communities and collectives that were able to provide some sort of support. so young had mentioned daniels safety nets we, i was safe to nets. women in this country, our own safety nets. and we're not really seeing the government take charge even though we now have a ministry of gender. i'm okay, is this through? i did do anything of ministries, we did invite the ministry for trade to attend this debate. we also invited the
mail of this region which heavily relies on tourism. but as you can see, there are no show. so i don't know if it's an issue of not caring. do you think that they would, but that's the concern, young as jama says, or do you think that they're simply overwhelmed? i think that's one thing that's lacking in the gum, dan. the reason why it's lacking in now school systems in our curriculum, life skills has never been incorporated into learning life skills, meaning being able to take care of yourself. i really want to defend ro here. she's one of those individuals who is extremely entrepreneur. she has had a poultry business, she had a fish business which failed and she says, the government failed her. what else will she to do? you know, also, i'm a statistician and i will tell you ra, he is an outlier. if you take a bell, cough she's not in the middle. 80 percent of gambon. utes are not prepared for the next step in life. i. e, after graduating high school or secondary school and this is pre cove, it some independence to date law. and this in itself has created
a problem for this country. so our education systems need a re focus under re focus is about preparing an individual for livelihood, not graduating a student through an academic exercise, days or i will call it a misconception. there is a lack of priority, an understanding of what the society really needs, what we need. we know it, but i really believe that the government really doesn't know what the society needs . and that shows that there's a disconnect between the government and the people who are governing them. okay, let me come to my mind again because i really want to get into the social consequences of having an economy that's not doing so well. what have you noticed about me be the conversations you having with your friends the crime rates has been mentioned. what has changed in the gambia society since cove? it all of them will agree with me that the crime rate in the gambit is very, very high. like i asked the lady, i'm not gonna walk alone around like 8 o'clock to some places alone. even when i'm
walking in the streets. i a with my, with my hand back. i'm mindful that like someone might attack me or someone or someone my you know, pick my back. that is all caused by on and ply, man you to local of it. it got lost very, very was if like i was able to quit something on my own or for myself, how was it gonna going to be, am i gonna be standing in the states, megan, or am i going going to into prostitution? or what, what am i going to do to and i live in, so it's high time for us the you'd still really like our career skills employment for ourselves. not always just depending under guffman, because for me it's like, yeah, yeah, i'll hold on a jam. i is the 1st one to be like, well, i disagree with that. i think we want to push back on that. i think when we're having this conversation,
it is very important for us to understand how our class and our privileges determine what trajectory we take and the gambia. what i see is a lot of young people who are trying out things. so i've seen people doing bye to trading out on the streets. we see young people engaging i think one of the questions we need to ask ourselves as does the guardian environment really support young people, i'm to thrive in their businesses. what is our tax situation like how much training opportunities are being provided? what can they do to maybe i'll get into exports for example, i think that's what we really need to ask the people we see a getting on boards. i'm crossing the river or crossing the ocean, getting under rickety cars crossing the desert. that's trying they all want to make it. they all want to succeed. it's just that we do not have access to the same resources and privileges. so it reflects on how much i'm, we're able to achieve in our journey. and because you talked about people getting on both, let's go to role here because she is one of those people. you know, someone might look at the situation you were in on the boat and i'm not trying to sound insensitive, but they might ask, why spend that money on an legal boat as opposed to investing here at home,
or even next door in senegal. and my problem was not money to invest in this country. my problem was the space where i could sell my produce that this was the issue that i was having in discount bright. i'm speaking of opportunities, let's talk about the ones which have been lost and continued to be lost. young kids who are meant to be in school who spent quite a significant amount of time outside their classrooms without access to information and education. what happens in the long term? i mean this is human resources we're talking about well, in the long time will all be dead, but realistically, oh wow. what a positive outlook. well, yes, what economists will say, but realistically, we need to look at the medium term. and the medium term is african countries not only gumby, but african countries in general need to reprioritize their competing priorities. in a 3rd world country, everything is a priority, but all these priorities need to be re rank and re prioritize. and i believe in any
society, health, education, access to opportunities are what makes a society equitable. and these are what's lacking in developing countries, particularly gambia. why you look at the case of gambia corruption back governance has been the case for over 50 aud going 60 years, almost from independence to date. the innocence of this country has been rob looted and raped by a few a class. and this is the unfortunate part they are all utes, but most of them don't understand the right and the power of the voting card they have. and that's why the political class still play a pimp, prostitute relationship with the youth of this country. and it continent at large, very powerful terms. them, i want to let me come to you because, you know, we've been accused of the youth because i am part of that bracket of being complacent. right? but why didn't you come together as the people from that hotel?
why don't you come together as the youth of the gambia? what's keeping us from doing that? ah unity. we lack that i unity inter cambia. because like if we way i united us, i use i think so many things that are happening in no, no walk places wouldn't be happening. people i've been exploited. ladies have been like yours in the other way around. like the government really needs to look at this really need to look at it. because like, even if you look at the contracts, it's like it's protecting the employ a more than the employee. but what, what about if something happens to me? what about overnight if they terminate my contract without a genuine bids in? we split actin me, right? so, okay, so then we've talked at length about some of the problems and consequences of a contracted economy because of cove id. now i want us to look at how to survive
another event such as this one. would it even be possible? i mean, can you imagine if this pandemic continues for another 23 years? what will be the situation in the gambia? i can't imagine a minute because i've been working as part of pendant regress one for the past 2 years. for me, a feminist approach is really what we need. it looks at equity, it looks at access, it looks at opportunities and looks at development from a perspective where we do not continue to live in a world where, you know, people getting richer, always get richer and the poor i always poor and they're always trying to find ways to support one another. so hassan, let's come to you. then. earlier you spoke about policy, and i'm going to ask what you think another solution could be. there's very little reward. if you do your work, right? so i think we should start the work ethic we want. we should want more than what we half, we should not, we should define mediocrity, right? we should want to deliver what the rest of the world is doing. we should not benchmark horizontally. we should look at what the rest of the world is doing and
we should want to deliver that. and, you know, i, i have a boss in the textbook because i think that it's easier in the tech space because the raw material is just a laptop on an internet. you're forgetting about the brain power lot a go. because i know we already have, i mean, i grew up in rural gambit and in norfolk i was just lucky when i was, i think in the 6th or 7th grade, i got introduced to computers. and i can promise you, i am nowhere close to the smartest person out there. and i think this so many people who would have done much better, who would have had so many opportunities around the world. if they just had this opportunity to be able to learn about technology about internet, i think the government to start looking at initiative that supports these things and not just initiated to check off boxes, but really things that especially improve include the private sector. all right, we started with you, let's finish with you. the economists sanjay. we are not writing an obituary for the gambia, but i can safely tell you that gambit happens to have
a ticking time bomb. under ticking time bomb is called the youth demography. there's a mismatch between the required amenities and facilities needed by this youth. crossed a i. e. good schools, good hospitals, an access to good economic opportunities. so the gumby in youth doesn't have a good visibility of even a short term feature. what i mean short term, i'm looking about 3 to 7 years. they don't have it. so it's very bad to be that bad . it is that bad? i'm sorry on fortunately? well, i really hate to end on such a side note, but this is unfortunately, the reality that has been presented here by the panel behind me. i have learned so much. and if there's anything that i've had repeated over and over again, is that we should always hope for the best, but prepare for the west. thank you for watching a ah
oh and i have what needed was an opportunity a you've got what it takes to make the place a better place. we think good crops demanding for a credit plate. we have been to think, give us a chance to elevate, give us the space in the helping hand to live on, deployed without jobs or take wireless lazy will be frustrated and history state board has crazy promises me, but a big re spend more than we are so we always in depth, we worked hard to game year to pay them to and from head to mouth goes, every grade that we get, they drop heart cost, we take them all jobs low per year and hard jobs. life is hard caught on the appointment on the rise of national crisis, and it makes me wonder why the system is like this long wait as well in crime and
the prices keep. i didn't end up government don't care. they live in just slight case. think to some more employees, kato, now they wonder why the streets a safely role, because there's boy more problems and replaces the more they can take it. no more. so replaced the so really leave as much of it and they from the pool. oh, really needed was just basic support. they were out with the you know, they don't know the feeling garcia, my whole wake up at all. that opportunity. all i ever one. it was an opportunity that opportunity your own i have are needed was an outlook community that opportunity your and i have one. it was an opportunity that opportunity, your idea of what needed was ah, ah, with
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