By Ndey Sowe
The new Minister of Youth and Sports, Bakary Y. Badjie, has promised Gambians that he would soon table the new youth policy before the President Barrow-led cabinet for its consideration and approval.
“As part of our immediate actions, we will soon table the national youth policy 2019 – 2028 to the cabinet for consideration and approval,” he said during the inaugural ceremony of a new council comprising seven (7) regional youth chairpersons who will serve from 2020-2022.
The event was held at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) hall on Friday.
Speaking further, Minister Badjie said a massive popularization program on the policy will follow suit among all stakeholders and partners, as the policy serves as the main guide for intervention on youth development.
Badjie said the national youth council Act 2000 is 20 years this year, and considering the ever-changing needs and demands of young people in The Gambia and across the globe, it is time the Act is amended and table before the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
Minister Badjie said the main function of establishing NYC is for the council to be coordinating all youth programs in The Gambia and advising the Government on all matters affecting young people among others.
“The four main objectives of creating the council include, facilitate youth empowerment for active participation in national development and support and encourage active youth participation in the development of policies and program at all leave,” he said.
Badjie stated that the Government’s goal for the youth sector is premised on “secured sustainable livelihood for youths through skills development, decent work, and excellence in sports.”
He nonetheless thanked their development partners for the support they gave to NYC over the decades, while hoping this relationship continues.
Dembo Kambai, the Out-going Chairman of NYC, said they were unable to accomplish their entire mission while in office, but he is confident that what they left behind can be built on by the new council.
According to him, youth are critical to all the development efforts of the country, which is evident of their number in relation to the population.
This, he added, is crucial for the realization of the Government’s blueprint- National Development Plan (NDP).
Kambai further said in order to deliver a better and responsive council to address the needs and aspirations of the young people in the country, the council under his able leadership has registered many key milestones and achievements.
Ousman Fatty, the In-coming Chairman of NYC, said more funds are needed for youths in order for them to empower themselves.