By Momodou Jarju
The Kanifing Municipality (KM) has launched its Organizing Committee for the 2020 National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF 2020) last Friday at the Chambers of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC).
This year’s event would be held in Banjul and the organizers say the launching of the committee marked the beginning of a greater preparation for the event. The launched committee is expected to set up planning activities including coordination and mobilization as well as fundraising and identification of athletes in different sporting components.
Lamin Ceesay, the municipal youth committee chairperson said the event which brings close to 2000 people together from across all regions of the country, is one of the biggest gatherings of young people. He said the gathering is a bi-annual event that creates a direct interface between Government, civil society organizations, and different partners and stakeholders to talk on issues of developmental importance to young people.
“It is a challenge to mobilize resources for young people to participate in such events. But this is a national call and it requires the participation of every young person in the country,” he said.
Deputy CEO Bakary Jawo representing Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda, said this year’s NAYCONF theme is:- ‘‘the Gambia we want: progress, challenges, and opportunities.’’ Jawo said as a Council, they have attached strong interest on youth activities, adding that the challenges may be many, but is hopeful that they would be able overcome them.
“At Council’s level, we are ready and we are more than willing to support this activity that is about to take place,” he said.
Isatou M. Secka in her welcome remarks said NAYCONF is a forum for young people; that the event provides opportunity for young people to analyze programs and activities and get interesting inside coordination or organization of various institutions involved.
“This year we have teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health rights, entrepreneurship, sporting activities, cultural displays as well as academics as some of the activities for NAYCONF 2020,” she said; that they will have different thematic areas as well.
Senior youth and sport coordinator at the KMC Adama Sabally, said their role is to ensure an effective participation in the forthcoming event; that his Municipality has been Champions of NAYCONF since 2014 to date, and they are working to defend this title this year.
“If you are a defending Champion, it is very difficult to match with other national programs. KM is always a target for other regions,” he said.
Complimenting Sabally’s statement, Madam Secka said during the previous event, they won 13 out of 15 trophies; that in this year’s event, they will go all out to get all the trophies.
Modoulamin Darboe, the Kanifing Municipal Sport Chairperson said youth conference and sport cannot be separated and expressed confidence that they will retain the Championship.
KMC Youth Councilor Kemo Bojang, gave the votes of thanks.