Thursday, October 6

NYC Holds 2nd Edition of Youth Connekt Forum 2022

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By Binta Jaiteh

The National Youth Council over the weekend held the 2nd edition of the Youth Connekt Gambia Summit at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Center in Bijilo.

The Summit brought together different stakeholders to discuss how to achieve youth goals, National Employment Action Plan, and National Employment Policy 2021 to 2026.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ousman A Bah Minister for Communications and Digital Economy on behalf of His Excellency President Adama Barrow said the summit is an important gathering and a significant milestone in the development of the youth folk. He said for many, Youth Empowerment is a mantra on paper, and this has become a cliché, “but for me, the government, Youth Empowerment is not only mere rhetoric on paper but in practice.

According to him, he said his government is aware of the realities on the ground, and the need to create more job opportunities for the youth, and his government is not oblivious to the fact that the youth are the backbone of any nation. This, he said, is the reason the government of the Gambia is working tirelessly in making sure that the youths gain meaningful employment in this country.

Connect

“The Youth Connekt Initiative was launched in 2012 by the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the overall goal of this Pan-African multidimensional initiative is to engage young people in all spheres of nation building including enhancing their own (economic) empowerment,” he said. He added that the model was endorsed by the African Union as a major implementing modality of the African Youth Charter, and equally has been embraced by a good number of AU Member States for its innovative design and implementation, policy harmonization, harnessing Programmes, and Partnership within the country.

Honourable Bakary Badjie Minister of Youth and Sports expressed gladness for personally joining the young people who have travelled from across all regions of the country to participate in the event.

He said the Youth Connekt as initiated by H.E Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, is a flagship for African youths to connect and share experiences and skills among themselves.

In The Gambia and other African countries, the forum is used as a platform to discuss issues confronting young people within the country, discuss business ideas, models and chart out a way to ensure greater support to the ideas of youths in business, digitalization, environment, and other social impact intervention programs.

Therefore, he urged them to take full advantage of the opportunities to learn and connect as much as possible, especially since they are expected to be actively engaged and be as frank as possible in their deliberation.

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