Activista hears youth voices on new constitution


By Isatou Jawara ACTIVISTA The Gambia, recently started a consultative meeting to hear the voices of young Gambians on the drafting of the country’s new constitution. Youth-led organisations such as the National Youth Parliament, Peace Ambassadors The Gambia and the National Youth Council all took part in the three-day discussion held at the NaNA conference Hall. It was funded by the UNDP The Gambia. Dembo Kambi, the chairperson of National Youth Council, said he recalled that in the drafting of the 1997 constitution, meetings were not held to air opinion of Gambians, thanking this government for taking such a step towards making this a people’s constitution. According to him, recommendations from the discussions will be drafted by a consultant and a validation organised for review before submitting it to the CRC. He said the new Constitution will be a “youth friendly constitution” and urged young people to fully participate in politics. He urged the government to introduce a quota system where political parties will select 25% of youths in key executive positions such as National Assembly members and councilors. “This way, their voices will be heard, because the youths are the assets of NYC and we will continue to engage them.” Basiru Jahumpa, of the UNDP, said his organization will continue to work to ensure that capacities of the youths are built. “UNDP is delighted to be part of this consultation process because the youth represent 65% of the population. “The NYCs nationwide consultation with other well-structured youth bodies will continue to engage the youths and the CSOs to make sure that the consultation process remain relevant,” he added. Yankuba Manjang, the youth commissioner at the CRC, said the participation of young people in the drafting of the new constitution, shows that they are not being left out in new Gambia.]]>