New Youth and Sports Minister, Bakary Badjie has revealed that his priorities include finalising the youth policy as soon as possible and take it to cabinet for review so that it can guide the country’s youth programme.
Speaking on Africell’s Wahtan-Bi Show hosted by Waka Jagne, Minister Badjie also said that the sports policy too has expired in 2018 and was supposed to start in 2019 but is yet start.
The minister added that the most important thing is to review the Youth Act which was in place since 2000, noting that so many things have changed since then. ”I want to see the youth council Act amended so that we focus on what is going on right now and what is currently affecting the youths to be added to the Act. We want a proper youth Act, encompassing all what matters to the youths and which benefits all the youths. I am enthusiastic about youths who are engaged in businesses with a view to see what government can help them in their businesses such as carpentry, mechanics and other skills work,” Badjie said.
On sports, Minister Badjie said he is personally enthusiastic about pushing Gambian sports forward but argued that this must start from the grassroots. He said in this drive, and with the required resources, the ministry will transform the fields into mini stadiums where people can go and play not just football but basketball among other sports. “If you look around many sports such as wrestling and volleyball, are not even present in the rural areas because of lack of infrastructure. I want to see all these areas to have structures in place,” he said.
The Minister said school sports too needs to be revitalised as a foundation to build the future on. “When we were going to school, school sports was big and as a ministry if we have the money now we will invest in school sports to see that school sports gets up to standard so that we can achieve excellence in the next five to ten years. These are key things I would like to focus on,” he said.
Mr Badjie further said his ministry being the focal point, would spear head the already existing and ongoing programmes of government to create employment for the youths. “The government in general has plans for industrialisation to create factories where youths can get employment. The government can not give everybody jobs but it can create an environment that would encourage the production and creation of jobs by different economic actors from home and abroad to absorb the youths into the labour market,” the minister said. He said it is also part of his vision to encourage government to support and promote skills training for the youths as this can make them more easily employable.