IOM The Gambia Launched CINEMARENA: The Project Aims to Support the Government to Promote More Informed Migration, Socio-economic Opportunities and Empowerment in The Gambia

This year’s IMD brought together stakeholders from government, CSOs, migrants, media, and UN system. Photo: IOM 2023

Banjul – On December 19, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a new edition of the CINEMARENA project funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

CinemArena is a "mobile cinema" providing a set of outdoor events, organized in rural and urban areas, with projection of films, documentaries and testimonies. The aim is to ensure outreach and to carry out educational and information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives in the most remote and disadvantaged areas. With experience of about 20 years, and an edition already carried out in the Gambia in 2019 this tool has proven to be very powerful as it addresses, through entertainment and leisure activities, serious topics directly reaching the targeted populations.

The current project, which has two main components – an informative component and an empowerment component, aims to ensure a broad dissemination of educational messages;  engage and empower local communities, returning migrants, potential migrants, and diaspora through their active involvement and inclusion in capacity building and training initiatives; and actively involve media as change agents to disseminate the right information on irregular migration risks and on socio-economic opportunities available.

In The Gambia, the activities were launched by IOM The Gambia Chief of Mission, Mr. Emmanuel Murwisi, and formed part of activities of International Migrants Day celebration organized by IOM The Gambia in closed coordination with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad (MoFA) held on December 19th, 2023.

“Young people are one of the most important assets of any society, therefore empowering with tools to make informed-migration decisions as well as access livelihood opportunities as this project will offer, is a welcomed idea,” says Emmanuel Murwisi.

“We hope that the project also offers everyone – including potential migrants, parents, community leaders and civil society actors – to reflect on the amount of young people we are reportedly losing as a result of irregular migration and take strategic actions in addressing the root causes of the unfortunate circumstance,” he adds.

Throughout February and March 2024, the CinemArena caravan will travel through all the seven regions of The Gambia, broadcasting films and essential messages to reshape perceptions of migration. With its approach to empowering youth and enhancing technical skills, CinemArena aligns with the National Development and United Nations' Agenda 2030, supporting several of its Sustainable Development Goals.


For more information, please contact: 

Lamin W. Sanneh, Tel : +220 700 5122, Email :   

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals