Madam Njie Saidy made those comments recently at the official opening of the 11th edition of National Youth Conference and Festival (NaYConF) held in Jarra Soma, while deputising President Jammeh.
She added: “We have just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the July 22 revolution. In line with the ideals of the revolution, my government will continue to prioritise the development of young people through the strengthening of coordinating institutions, platforms, policy and legal framework in addition to projects and initiatives that are all geared towards providing gainful employment for our youth and making them more responsible citizens.
“Among the numerous achievements of the revolution has been the establishment of the Gambia National Youth Council in 2000, one of the first youth councils in Africa which clearly demonstrated the government’s commitment to young people’s empowerment and the need for their continuous participation in national development. The establishment and institutionalisation of the National Enterprise development Initiative (Nedi), the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), and the National Sports Council in addition to the President’s International Award Scheme (PIAS) are all significant efforts manifesting my Government’s commitment to the development of young people in the face of global challenges”.
She outlined that the Nayconf gathering represents a cross-section of all Gambian youths from different ethnic groups and regions which clearly manifests its cultural diversity as a nation.
“That unity in diversity is a true reflection of the oneness and unity of purposes which have been developing as the bedrock for building an ultra-modern Gambian nation.My government continues to pursue progressive policies towards youth empowerment and development at both national and international levels. The formation of the National Youth Policy 1999-2000 and 2009-2018 are good examples of these endeavours. The African Youth Charter, also called the Banjul Charter, was endorsed by the African Union Heads of State and governments meeting in the Gambia in July 2006. This international institutional and legal document continues to be our legacy in championing youth empowerment and thus continues to serve as the strategic development framework for youth empowerment and development in Africa”, she maintained
Dilating on the theme of the bi-annual conference, Veep added:“Youth entrepreneurship and sports development is very timely and befitting as entrepreneurship involves human creativity and innovation, the ability to plan, manage, grasp opportunities and adapt to changing environments”.
She called on the young people to embrace skills acquisition to make greater contribution to national economic development, especially at a time when they are faced with challenges to be innovative and productive in order to eliminate the dependence on imports for the stable foods.
“As the government’s vision 2016 states, the role of effective and successful youth entrepreneurship to be indispensible in the attainment of the country’s food self-sufficiency objectives,” she concluded.]]>