By Aminata S. Kuyateh
The Gold Award Holders Association of the Gambia, an alumni association under the auspices of the President International Award Scheme, PIA recently commemorated the World Youth Skills Day at a ceremony held at PIA complex in Bakau.
The commemoration, which was held under theme “the need for concerted commitment on skills and entrepreneurship to mitigate irregular migration,” was jointly organized in partnership with the National Youth Council and Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce.
The World Youth Skills Day, according to the organizers is designed to raise awareness about the importance government attached to youth skills development as well as to recognize the valuable contribution of potential skills towards sustainable development.
In his keynote address on behalf of the ministry of higher education, research, science and technology, MoHERST, Anthony Mendy said this year’s commemoration will be centered on the challenges of combating irregular migration, “as irregular migration remains government top challenge.”
He said irregular migration remains great challenge not only for Gambia but the world at large, “the malice also stands to be a threat to the social fabric of the society.”
“The highest percentage of the people affected in the society at large is the youths who constitute about 60% of the population. Youth skill plays a fundamental role in enhancing the capacity of young people in improving their livelihood and to avail their service to labor market or create employment. However, to ensure employability, youths equally need entrepreneurial training in order to manage and sustain their business ventures,” he added.
He added: “The government is developing a blue print; a national development plan which shall direct our actions towards national development and has adequately valued and recognized the importance of youth development in which skills advancement is paramount to the government.”
Speaking at the event, Chairperson GAHA/CEO-GYCC, Baboucarr Kebbeh, said “advocate an enabling environment where young people are guided through mentoring to acquire excellent skills and right attitude required for national development”.
He said their vision is to contribute to the creation of well-developed and responsible youth population, well-educated and aware of their abilities and talent enabling them to become good citizens and employees working with government.
MoHERST has developed the national tertiary and higher education policy 2014-2023.
In his part GYCC board President Mr. Ismaila Sambou said “to build an organized chamber where all youth in business will be mentored and guided through a systematic approach to network and foster business opportunity and improve earning. Being a youth of this beloved country we wish not to be seen as beneficiary but partners in development. As youth, we should take control of what belongs to us and be responsible”.