Gambia commemorates first OIC Youth Day

Friday, September 14, 2018

Stakeholders in the development of youth on Tuesday marked the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) youth day for the first time in The Gambia. The day was among the most important decisions taken at the 44th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Member States of the OIC) in July 2017 in Abidjan, Cotê d’Ivoire.

The celebration was led by the National Youth Council (NYC) at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, under the theme: OIC Youth Day: Solidarity in Action.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sport Adama, Ngum-Njie said OIC Member States are projected to have more than one-third (35%) of the world’s young population, saying with such demographic composition, there is considerable youth potential for development and state building in the OIC Member States.

She said the same demographics present deep concerns as youth are met by constantly developing challenges in the areas of education, employment, and access to health services as well as personal development opportunities.

“Youth continues to serve as a critical constituent of all development initiatives, and institutions and OIC is no exception. While the youth population is one of the most important strengths of OIC Member States, we also have boldly acknowledged regretful current state of youth in the majority of our countries, challenged by unemployment, disconnect from traditional values, growth of violent extremism and radicalization, marginalization and underdevelopment”

The Gambia has bid to host the OIC conference next year. September last year, President Adama Barrow laid the foundation stone for a $50 million (D2.3 billion dalasis) conference centre where the conference will be hosted. It was the first bilateral agreement signed between the government of former President Yahya Jammeh and China when the two countries resumed relations.

Madam Ngum-Njie said effective youth empowerment would not only improve life conditions of young people, but would also reinforce core values as human rights, dignity, and progress reinforcing socioeconomic growth; effectively placing youth issues as one of the main priorities of the OIC Member States.

Yankuba Dibba, head of administration and human resource at The Gambia OIC Secretariat said underrating the power of young people would be a big mistake, saying OIC considers youth as key.

Dibba called on the young people to take their rightful positions to make OIC and all programes of the country great.  “OIC sees young people as key partners and critical component of any development,” 

Dembo Kambi, National Youth Council chairman said youth must at all time be ready to champion their cause, call for their rights as well as request for things they own in order to harness their potentials and contribute to national development.

Author: Sanna Jallow