By Kebba Jeffang
The ministries of youth and sports and finance and economic affairs together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office in the Gambia, on Wednesday, 24th February 2016, concluded a day long discussion on how to effectively and successfully host 600 delegates from all over the African continent.
The delegates would be attending the Banjul+10 summit to be held in May in The Gambia.
Taking place at the UN House at Cape Point in Fajara, the meeting was attended by the two ministers of youth and sports and finance and economic affairs, Messrs. Alieu K. Jammeh and Abdou Kolley, respectively and the Coordinator of the UN System in The Gambia, Madame Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, among other officials.
It was revealed by the National Youth Council (NYC) that the amount needed to successfully host the event in accommodating both the national and international delegates is over 53 million dalasi.
Mr. Jammeh, Minister for Youth and Sports, said due to magnitude of such event, it is crucial to involve their partners in development in order to ensure a successful hosting of the event which, he added, is coming back to its birth place after ten years of rotational hosting around the continent.
He said the African Youth Charter known as the ‘Banjul Charter’ was adopted in Banjul in 2006 by the Heads of State of the African Union during its summit in the Gambia in that year.
“This event will not only host the youth of the continent but will also extend invitations to Africans who are residing in the Diaspora in order to share ideas, proposals and solutions to challenge youths, as they continue to confront themselves with the areas of youth development and empowerment in the continent,” said MoYS minister.
The youth minister said this is going to be a very important convergence and that the government and the national organizing committee found it very necessary for the development partners to continue to support their endeavour and complement their efforts.
Mr. Jammeh further states that the Gambia Government has partnered very well with the UNDP in providing solutions to specific challenges which are important to the youth.
The Youth Minister strongly urged stakeholders and partners for effective collaboration in making this international event in the country a success.
Mr. Kolley, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, said the youth constitutes a largest sector in the continent and they have to be nurtured and to ensure that they tackle youth unemployment and food insecurity.
“We have to find solutions and address the challenges of the youths in order to ensure that youths stay in the country and contribute meaningfully in the productive sectors of the economy,” he said
Madam Lekoetje, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Gambia said the issue of young people is a benefit and challenge that they need to address and that they look forward to Banjul +10 to ensure that youth are not a problem but an asset.