By Alagie Manneh
An Afrobarometer survey released Wednesday has indicated that young Gambians – like their elders – believe the government is doing “a poor job” in meeting their needs.
“Few Gambians believe their government is doing enough to develop one of the country’s most important resources – its youth,” the survey found. “A majority of citizens favour greater investment in programmes targeting young people, even if it means paying higher taxes… findings suggest that young Gambians are not taking full advantage of political and civic avenues to make their voices and their priorities heard.”
The pan-African network found that only a minority of young Gambians, 22 percent, believe their government is doing “a good job” of meeting the needs of youth and addressing their priorities for action. Only about one-third of young respondents say the government is performing “fairly well” or “very well” on addressing education needs (35 percent) and providing water and sanitation services (33 percent).”
The survey painted a widespread lack of confidence among youth in the Barrow administration, adding that even fewer, 29 percent, praised the government on its ability to judiciously manage the Gambian economy. It said that only 26 percent praised the government’s ability to improving basic health services, 19 percent on creating jobs, and 15 percent on narrowing income gaps. “Overall, just 22 percent of young respondents’ express satisfaction with the government’s performance on addressing the needs of the youth. In these assessments, young respondents differ only modestly from their elders,” the survey revealed.
Generally, it emphasised Gambians concerns regarding the development of young people, pointing out the readiness of most Gambians to pay higher taxes to fund programmes for youth actualisation.
“Almost six in 10 respondents (57 percent) say they would “somewhat support” or “strongly support” higher taxes to fund youth programmes. About one-third (36 percent) would oppose such a move.