Aisha Tamba & Awa Macalo
President Adama Barrow has presided over the opening of the 13th edition of the National Youth Conference and Festival in Banjul.
Speaking at the event on Friday, Barrow revealed that his government will continue to provide the enabling environment for Gambian youths to succeed in the country without the need to embark on dangerous journeys.
“There is agreement that the youths are the cream of society, and they play an important role in the socio-economic advancement of nations.
It is vital, therefore, to hear their voice and, indeed, listen to them attentively.
NAYCONF is an event that allows this to happen. It also creates openings to explore and promote youth matters and to chart new pathways in the best interest of the youth and from their perspective.”
He added that out of necessity, NAYCONF derives its legitimacy from the National Youth Council Act 2000. “We applaud it as a peaceful convergence that accommodates festivity and sport alongside in-depth reflection on serious issues and productive work that attracts Government’s attention and influences policy and programme development.
Over the years, the Government has been taking the NAYCONF resolutions with utmost importance. This, in itself, clearly manifests the significance of NAYCONF as a platform to articulate ideas, examine issues, propose solutions to challenges, and initiate change and development.”
The Minister of Youth and Sport, Bakary Badjie, during the official opening of NAYCONF 2022 in Banjul, called on participants to effectively take part in the 7-day conference and activities to create efficient impact and development in the youth sectors.
“I urge all the youth to take the NAYCONF seriously. be punctual and regular. Be it conferences, sports or culture, you all have a great job to do. I know there is a competition part in the NAYCONF, but I advise that you maintain absolute decorum throughout the process.”