By Lamarana S Jallow
The Ministry of Youths and Sport on Friday concluded a two-day retreat aimed at reviewing its five-year strategic plan at a hotel in Kololi.
The plan is designed to boost the execution of the mandate of the ministry which is promoting youth entrepreneurship, skills development and leadership as well as ensuring excellence in youths and sport. The review, funded by the ministry, brought together about 40 participants from its satellite institutions and some other key stakeholders.
Addressing the forum, sport Minister Bakary Badjie said the review will provide an opportunity to assess progress in the sector and identify issues that need to be addressed in order to improve performance and efficiency.
Badjie challenged participants to prioritise and devote time to the process as it will determine the realisation of the aspirations and dreams of young people. He added that his office is committed to ensuring that young people’s issues are prioritised and taken up with all seriousness.
Consultant Sulayman Trawally said if implemented, the strategic plan will go a long way in helping the ministry address youths and sport issues including ensuring sustainable livelihood for youths through skills development and excellence in sport.
Marcel Mendy, executive director of the Gambia National Sports Council, stressed the need for more investment in sport to achieve excellence. “There is no way we can achieve excellence in sports if we don’t invest in it,” Mendy noted.
Mustapha Badjie, the deputy executive director of the National Youth Service Scheme highlighted some of the successes of his institution and its plans.
Alagie Jarju, executive director of the council, pointed out some of the achievements of the NYC while Musa Mbye, the deputy permanent secretary said the purpose of the retreat was to come up with strategies to help the ministry achieve its mission.
Directors of the President’s International Award, National Enterprise Development Initiative and Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel expressed similar sentiments.