The meeting which opened on Wednesday at the President International Award Scheme was marked by a presentation of reports on the achievements, challenges and plans by the various institutions.
In his opening address, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Alieu Jammeh said the meeting will provide an opportunity for government to engage other stakeholders to develop appropriate interventions and services for youth empowerment
He added: “There are numerous interventions and programmes aimed at promoting youth development and looking around the ministry and its satellite agencies, everything needed to reawaken the consciousness of the young men and women of their duties, rights and responsibilities to both personal and national development, have been put at their disposal. The National Youth Council, National Sports Council, National Youth Service Scheme, National Enterprise Development Initiative, President’s International Award and Independence Stadium and Friendship Hostel are facilities that intend to instill the values of dignity of labour, self-reliance, skills acquisition, entrepreneurship and participation in some kind of sports for health, livelihood and pride.”
Mr Jammeh stated that they have engaged in other areas as well such as agriculture, fisheries, education, sexual and reproductive health, distributive trade, environmental sanitation and climate change for the maximum involvement and contribution of youths to development. “The country has also shown huge commitment to all international youths-related charters and programmes. The Gambia is one of the first countries that adopted and ratified the African Youth Charter, fondly called the Banjul Charter because it was here in 2006 during the African Union heads of state summit that it was adopted. Furthermore, our national youth policy is in line with the Ecowas Youth Development Framework and the World Programme of Action for Youth.
“The country has registered a significant milestone that has made it possible for youth participation in all levels of decision-making, excel in various businesses, harness skills in sports, show creativity in art and music, develop talent to ignite and increase awareness among the youths through the various educational programmes and activities.
“One major drawback has been lack of ability to harmonise and coordinate effectively all these programmes. Within the government, President Jammeh has constituted an ‘Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Youth Development’ to allow ministries to pull ideas and resources together for a synergy to take effect. Already we are able to construct meaningful partnerships with the UN system, VSO, Child Fund and we are exploring opportunities with UNAIDS, UNICEF and ActionAid.”]]>