By Olimatou Coker
National Youth Council has recently inaugurated 7 regional youth chairpersons for 2020-2022 at a ceremony held at NANA hall.
Speaking, Hon. Bakary Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports, said NYC’s main function is co-coordinate all youth programs in The Gambia and advise the government on all matters affecting young people.
“The main objectives of creating the council include facilitating youth empowerment for active participation in national development, supporting and encouraging active youth participation in the development of policies and programmes at all level,” he said.
He stated that the government’s goal for the sector is premised on “secured sustainable livelihood for youths through skills development, decent work, and excellence in sports. As part of our immediate actions, we will soon table the national youth policy 2019 – 2028 to the cabinet for consideration and approval. Massive popularization program on the policy will follow suit among all stakeholders and partners as it serves as the main guide for intervention on youth development”.
Hon. Badjie said the National Youth Council Act 2000 is 20 years this year. “Considering the ever-changing needs and demands of young people in the Gambia and across the globe, it is time that the Act is amended and tabled before the National Assembly for consideration and approval.”
Hon. Badjie thanked their development partners for the support that they give to NYC over the last two decades, adding that they hope this relationship will continue and he also thanked the outgoing members for the work they did for the council.
Dembo Kambai, outgoing chairman, NYC, said their mission was not accomplished but he is certain that they are leaving something behind that the incoming council can build on.
According to him, youth are critical to all the development efforts of the country evident of their number in relation to the population which is crucial for the realization of the government’s blueprint, National Development Plan, (NDP).
He further stated that in order to deliver a better and responsive council to address the needs and aspirations of the young people in the country, the council under his able leadership has registered so many key milestones and achievements .
Ousman Fatty, incoming chairman, said more funds are needed for youths in order for them to empower themselves.