President Barrow Presides Over Opening of 13th National Youth Conference, Festival


By Makutu Manneh

President Adama Barrow has presided over the opening of the 13th National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) in Banjul on 15th December 2022, where he urged the youth of the country to spread messages of peace in the upcoming 2023 local government elections.

The Theme for this year’s NAYCONF is ‘the role of young people in the maintenance of peace and security for the socio-economic development opportunities and challenges.’

“Your role as youth, is to make sure that all elections are peaceful,” the president said.

President Barrow called on the youth to continue loving one another with conviction and to also know that unity is the only avenue through which they can collectively achieve their goals as a people. He said youth is the cream of society and this makes them play important roles in the socio-economic development of the nation. He assured them that his government is with them as they commence the NAYCONF, and said the event has rekindled their hopes and strengthen their faith in young people of the country.

Bakary Badjie, the Minister of Youth and Sport said this year’s convergence will be a NAYCONF with a difference because they have come up with many innovations.

“It is incumbent on us all to reflect on how far we have gone after so many NAYCONFs; on what the gains are as well as the challenges regarding the implementations of the resolutions,” Badjie said.

That as they commence the conference, they should renewed their commitments towards creating a Gambia that is safe for every youth and one they can be proud of.

Rohey Malick Lowe, the Mayor of Banjul, welcomed the youth in her capital city, and emphasized that the event is about the future of The Gambia. She said her council appreciates the effort of all the youth of the country and believes that young people will work diligently.   

The theme of the 13th edition of NAYCONF will be looking at the areas youth migration, management, education and entrepreneurship and employment, youth in creative industry, tourism and culture, information technology and access to information, gender based violence, sexual reproductive rights and HIV, youth in political participation, environment climate change and agriculture.

NAYCONF is an event that takes place every two years and it brings together young people across all regions of the country to discuss issues affecting their lives, byt interacting, sharing experiences as well as assessing policies, programs and activities meant to be implemented for their empowerment.

The last NAFCONF was held in 2017 in the Upper River Region (URR) and since then it has gone through several postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.