While giving his opening remarks in a camp that saw the participation of over 100 young people drawn from the Municipality area at the St Johns school for the deaf recently, Mr Lamin Marong added that skill attaining, will go a long way in contributing to poverty alleviation in the country.
He said of the ten-day event on livelihood skill acquisition: “The government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports recognises that skills serve as a catalyst in achieving vision 2020 and by extension, contribute to poverty alleviation. Now, attaining these lofty dreams of our, requires a consultative and coordinated approach,” he said.
He added: “In The Gambia, young people consist of about 63.7% of the population and in the nearest future, this is expected to increase. Young people in The Gambia like other young people in most developing countries need to be informed, trained, and empowered with livelihood skills to be able to vanquish problems affecting them in their daily development endeavours.
“Over the years, skills acquisition has become even more vibrant and lucrative. In fact, it is one of the biggest industries in the world.”
“The poverty assessment and the urban youth unemployment rate is very high, at 22%, compared with the national unemployment rate of 6% and the rural youth unemployment rate of 3%,” he added
The chairperson said the youth convergence also seeks to create more awareness on cultural and talent promotion initiatives.
The ten-day gathering also gave participants an opportunity to discuss at length and interact with government officials, key stakeholders and other agencies on issues underpinning youth advancement.
For Modou Jaiteh, the deputy mayor of KMC, the gathering was elating and he was “delighted to associate [himself] with this camp and the ambiance I have seen today will justify our commitment we attached to this camp and I and my council will henceforth allocate camp budget for the KMYC,” he pledged.
He went on: ‘I am very proud of the Kanifing Municipal Youth Committee. Indeed, you are very committed and full of initiatives geared towards the empowerment of youths in the country. I assure you of my support to ensure that you achieve your set targets.’
Also speaking, Daniel Mendy, Principal of St John’s School for the Deaf said he was also delighted with the magnitude and attitude the participants showed him, and he assured them his doors will always remain open to aid them in their initiatives.