By Binta Jaiteh
Omar Cham, the speaker of National Youth Parliament has said that the unending high cost of living and corruption in the country are both affecting the lives of every Gambian citizen.
In an interview with The Voice newspapers, Cham said young people are most affected hence they form the highest in the population and the NYP will therefore continue to engage relevant stakeholders to strategize means of ensuring that corruption becomes history with more employment and increased trade.
He added that the NYP will desist from any political affiliation that will hinder or affect the parliamentary proceeding of the Youth Parliament, stating that the NYP is non-partisan as embedded in the NYP Constitution.
He said its members are required not to affiliate with any political party and in the event of that any one joins or affiliates with a political party, that person will loss his or her position or membership immediately as enshrined in the NYP Constitution.
He said the NYP has been established since 2002, by Sambujang Conteh who had the enormous desire to fight against key societal issues, such as drug abuse and raise awareness on issues of Reproductive Health.
However, he said the mandate of the NYP has evolved and now operates around the corridors of raising the voice of young people with its mandate to serve as both a mouthpiece and platform for the youth of The Gambia, advocating on the issues affecting the youth, especially the rights of the youth in the African Youth Charter, engaging with duty bearers and other stakeholders for greater fulfillment of the rights and aspirations of the youth.
“Promoting the active participation of the youth in national and local development efforts and initiatives is our priority noting that promote understanding, unity, culture of peace and cooperation among the youth of The Gambia,” he disclosed.
“To make annual assessment of the state of the youth in The Gambia and issue a report and provide advisory services to key Government, international and national NGOs and other multinational agencies on matters affecting the youth,” he added
Further to that, he said “Youth unemployment has been one of the most confronting issues affecting the young people and the NYP has it as part of its key intervention areas” he stated. “Our advocacy efforts off the house, one of the means used in curbing this nemesis is by putting it as a resolution during the previous session and it will be used in the position paper to advise government on how it could be tackled. One of the means debated at the Inaugural session of the 9th Youth Parliament is through the development of TVET centers in all the regions.”
He, therefore, urged government to accelerate the implementation of youth related programs, that will harness the potentials of young people and increase their involvement and participation in national development.