By: Mariama Njie
The National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) has held a two-day national youth inter-generational dialogue on democracy and youth political participation; the event was held at NAQAA conference hall.
The forum attracted fifty (50) participants from various youth organizations and political parties and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It aimed at equipping the youth with knowledge and skills of democracy as well as ensures their effective political participation ahead of the December elections.
Representing Youth and Sport Minister, Sakou Sanyang, Permanent Secretary at the MoYS said the conference would help to equip and inform participants on political polarize, understand the basic of democracy as well as role of young people in peace building.
“The convergent will equally expose political parties’ representatives on how to participate in debates, how to sell their parties’ manifesto to the public and tolerance between political parties,” he said.
He said the current series of statements and counter statement in the political arena is a course for concern. However, he added government is committed to ensure peaceful electoral process.
PS Sanyang reaffirmed the Ministry of Youth’s commitment towards promoting youth empowerment and development to harness demographic dividend in the country.
He thanked The Gambia government for creating a conducive environment for youth and KAS for funding the event.
In his welcoming statement, Ousman Fatty, acting executive director for NYC said the forum is timely and significant as the country’s presidential election is approaching.
“The principal purpose of these two days forum is for us (youth) to discuss on the basis of democracy in a bid to promote effective youth and women political participation,” he noted.
He said the youth ruling body has invited various stakeholders in the forum in order to discuss the way forward for the country’s peaceful campaign and election in the December elections.
Mr Fatty urged participants to disseminate the gained knowledge to ensure wider spread of these vital messages concerning peaceful campaign and electoral process.
Doudou Jah, a participant from the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) described the two- day forum as important for all participants justifying that the youth should understand the basis of democracy so that they partake in politics.
As the country goes to the poll in December, Jah advised the youth folk to make the interest of the country their top priority, and disallow political parties or stakeholders to use them on things that are contradicting with the country’s laws.