Gambian President Adama Barrow, has vowed that he Government will continue to provide the enabling environment for Gambian youths to succeed in the country without the need to embark on dangerous journeys.
For this reason, he said the forthcoming national blueprint, The Recovery Focus National Development Plan, contains youth issues as a stand-alone Pillar and not a critical enabler, as in the previous plan.
He made the remarks at the opening of the 13th national youth conference and festival underway in Banjul. This year’s theme, The Role of Young People in the Maintenance of Peace and Security for Socio-Economic Development Opportunities and Challenges.
He said it is definitely suitable, considering that The Gambia has embraced democratic values and principles for inclusive growth, development, progress, and stability and these cannot be attained in the absence of sustained peace and security.
“As a result, the need is obvious for the youth to take a lead role in jealously safeguarding our peace and security. Hand-in-glove, we must work to guarantee prosperity and stability so that future generations lead comfortable lives in peace and be proud of us all.
We are encouraged that Gambian youths have taken the responsibility to discuss issues of education, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, and skills. It is through these elements that the youth can be empowered enough to become more productive and better useful citizens,” PresidentBarrow’s told Gambian youths.
He added: “I acknowledge the strides taken by the National Youth Council to bring all the youths under one umbrella and represent their interests.
With certainty, there cannot be any peace anywhere without the absolute cooperation of the youth; so, I advise all young persons and citizens in the country to remain peaceful and law-abiding and defend or claim their rights in a civil and democratic manner.”
He announced that the legal and statutory documents of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and its satellite institutions are currently under review. The reviews will put these institutions on a better footing to serve the needs of all Gambian youths.
He further revealed that a five-year Strategic Plan, 2022-2026 for the Ministry has also been developed for a keener focus on youth matters, while he commended the UN Peacebuilding fund, through UNFPA, for providing the needed funds for the successful implementation of these instruments.
President Barrow stated that the launched National Employment Policy and Action Plan – 2022-2026 is meant to create gainful and decent employment opportunities for the growing labour force to improve their living conditions and contribute to economic growth and national development within the framework of equity, fairness, security, and dignity.
“We are now on course towards achieving the Youthconnekt Goals, which include creating jobs and opportunities through education, entrepreneurship and skills, as well as closing the gender gap. To this effect, we thank the UNDP for their support and Youthconnekt Africa Hub for their collaboration.
The lately ended Tekki-fii programme, supported through the European Union Trust Fund, has also laid a solid foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and skills training among young people across all spheres of the country’s economy. All these indicate the serious and passionate regard my government has for the youth,” he told Gambian youths in Banjul.