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Tafcon hosts 6th conference, graduates 320 fellows

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By Olimatou Coker

Taf Africa Global has recently hosted the 6th annual conference networking event and graduation of 320 fellows from its leadership academy.

The event was held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center (OIC).

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TAFCON is the biggest annual conference and networking event in The Gambia since 2015, designed to provide a platform for a meaningful dialogue by all members of society, to discuss pertinent issues within The Gambia with the goal of offering inclusive solutions and recommend-ations, particularly for the youth. It also supports global efforts to build long term sustainable societies to foster global peace and prosperity, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations and Agenda 2063 of the African Union to which Gambia is a signatory.

The objective of Tafcon  is to harness the opportunities that The Gambia can leverage within the African continent. This emphasis extends to amplifying the voices of the youth, persons with disabilities, diaspora Gambians, members of diverse societies, policy makers, the private sector, and academics. The overarching goal is to foster dialogue and information exchange, contributing to the collective efforts in nation-building.

The event brought together significant stakeholder groups from The Gambia and other parts of the continent and beyond, including government ministers, diplomats, business owners, entrepreneurs, young people, the private sector, civil society, and people with disabilities, to discuss urgent issues affecting our nation and the continent as a whole.

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TAFCON 2023’s primary goals are to:Provide a platform for different stakeholders to discuss and provide solutions for priority national development issues, Encourage young people, those with physical disabilities, and other marginalized groups, and provide them with a forum for participation and involvement in the Gambia and Address the youth on socio-economic challenges the country is facing with a view to coming up with recommendations and partnerships that will provide viable solutions at both the policy and implementation levels.

The 320 fellows that graduated recently from the academy marks the 4th cohort in the Tafla Academy.

Mustapha Njie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TAF Africa Global,  highlighted the importance of collective preparedness, ethics and morality.

He said it is vital that they keep individuals with dignity and empathy, value their rights, opinions and perspectives.

Njie disclosed that they have high demand of young people in the continent who want to benefit from the leadership academy of TAFLA, noting that they intend to extend the leadership academy to virtual next year. He added that they want to have one thousand fellows from across Africa and the Caribbean.

“By embracing diversity and also inclusion we create an environment that encourages collaboration, innovation and overall well-being.”

Bakary Badjie, Minister for Youth and Sports,  said that there is a need for every sector of the country to place special attention on the youth because they are the ones confronted with all social challenges such as inadequate education, unemployment, among others.

“A lot of attention should be directed towards the youth with the view to cater for their needs in the most strategic, coordinated and sustainable manner,” he said.

Minister Badjie expressed gratitude to TAF Africa Global and stated that they believe leadership skills was a necessity for the young people.

Babucarr Ousmaila Joof, trade minister, said the role of TAFCON in the entrepreneurship ecosystem has not gone unnoticed by the government of The Gambia.

He therefore expressed gratitude to the TAFLA CEO who continues to create opportunities for the population in terms of employment, capacity building and access to capital.

He added that the theme of the annual celebration was realigned with the government’s ambition of supporting the private sector to leverage on the opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Dr. Omar Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission, shared insightful technology awareness skills and stated that youth must be able to identify constructive possibilities and be able to leverage on those possibilities to their advantage.

“The technological advances give limitless possibilities but it also offers pitfalls that must be recognised by all.”

He advised youth to be mindful of the internet and go for what would benefit them instead.

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