By Alhagie Babou Jallow
The Activista Network the Gambia has recently sensitised central river regional Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members on youth participation in politics and decision making. The sensitisation program was held at the Governor’s Bantaba in Janjangbureh, in collaboration with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Addressing the participants on behalf of the governor, the record officer at the governor’s office Jawara Beyai said the convergence is instrumental in empowering the young people in politics, saying that it will enhance democratisation and decision making process within the region.
“The forum is of paramount importance in improving the awareness of regional stakeholders on youth participation in politics; therefore it deems necessary to dialogue and learn from them regarding democratization and decision making process,” he said.
He implored on the participants to disseminate the gained knowledge to others so as to ensure wider spread of the information in the public.
The Activista campaign coordinator Omar Danso said the aim of the meeting was to create a platform for regional stakeholders to look for factors affecting youth participation in political process and decision making at regional level.
“When we get the information we will know the way forward because the organisation is trying to train at least 200 young people across the country; therefore it is significant to get a base line information on what stakeholders are thinking of the youth and their recommendations will be used in shaping our campaign so that young people are presented in the upcoming local government election,” he said.
He said there are series of activities such as radio programs, sensitisation forums among others to continue engaging the youth and other influential persons across the nation to enhance youth participate in political processes.
“We will also train about 25 youth activists in every region that will lead the youth advocacy at regional level and it will equip the participants with the skills to meet different stakeholders including Alkalolu, imams and village development committees to discuss with them on measures for creating conducive environment for youth in politics,” he noted.
He highlighted that the cultural norms within the society, that elders are given the lead in decision making, the youth marginalization on candidates selection and youth limited knowledge in civil rights and responsibilities are factors affecting youth in politics. “But through sensitisation and constant engagement we will make a difference and see more
young people participating in politics,” he added. Danso advised the youth to take part in politics so that they can occupy political positions in order to contribute in national development.
Among several speakers included the regional youth chairperson Omar Jammeh, Community Development Officer CRR south Alieu Mbow, and the regional Youth Coordinator Musa Jarra.