Gambians risk their lives to reach Europe

Gambia was one of the world's 20 poorest countries in 2015, with little improvement since. Many risk the journey to Europe in search of a better life. Whether this changes in the future could depend on the policies of the new president.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Gambians celebrate news of the swearing in of President Adama Barrow on January 19, 2017.

Many young people from poverty-stricken Gambia are ready to risk the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek a new life in Europe.

Whether this changes in the near future could depend on the new president.

Adama Barrow will be inaugurated on February 18. He campaigned on the promise of democracy and a healthier economy.

He replaces longtime leader Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled since seizing power in 1994.

Jammeh refused to cede power after losing a presidential election to Barrow in December, 2016. But he fled Gambia in January this year after regional militaries launched an operation to remove him.

Not everyone is convinced his successor can lift the country out of poverty.

TRT World's Fidelis Mbah is in Brikama, Gambia, where he spoke with would-be migrants.