The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has deplored how young Gambians are swindled to Qatar with the hope of greener pastures only to be left in limbo. A press release to this effect reads:
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad (MoFA), that there are recruitment agents operating in The Gambia in concert with Gambians resident in the State of Qatar, offering jobs and free visas to young Gambian youths in return for huge sums of money amounting to figures between GMD 110,000.00 to GMD150,000.00 and possibly beyond. On arrival the recruiters become unreachable to the youths.
The Government of the Republic of The Gambia is a signatory to the Manpower Employment Agreement with the Government of the State of Qatar since 5th May 2010 which sanctioned the provision of labour force to industries in Qatar. Article 3 of this Agreement stipulates that “the Qatari employer, either himself or by authorising a representative from among his staff or through a recruitment office authorised by the Ministry of Labour, is permitted to follow up and complete all the procedures required for the selection of workers and their travel from the Republic of The Gambia to the State of Qatar” while Article 4 indicates that “recruitment applications shall state the required qualifications, experience and specialisation, the probable duration of contract, detailed conditions of employment, especially the wages, end of service gratuity, probationary period and facilities regarding transportation and accommodation as well as all basic information that may enable the workers to decide on signing the employment contract.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplores these clandestine recruitment agents in The Gambia and their collaborators in Qatar. This joint venture is in violation of the word and spirit of this agreement, as a good number of youths are recruited for positions of knowledge and skills they do not possess thus rendering them unemployable by firms when tested.
Most of the youths met by officials of the Gambian Embassy in Qatar do not attain basic primary education in English or Arabic language and this makes it difficult to communicate with their employers or would-be employers.
Currently, the Gambian Embassy in Qatar and The Gambia Association in Qatar are processing nine Gambians within the age brackets of 17 to 25 years, who sought refuge in the chancery claiming to be jobless and had been thrown out of accommodation. Investigations are ongoing to locate the collaborators of the recruitment agents in Qatar as well as ascertain the number of Gambian nationals confronted with such problems.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad
renews Government’s commitment to ensuring a dignified life for all Gambians and calls on those involved in the illegal business to quit as Government will employ all efforts to investigate and bring all such criminal agents to justice. The Ministry also warns Gambians to be wary of these heartless so-called agents to avoid falling in their trap.