Gambia Programme Action on Youth launched

Friday, May 31, 2019

The 2019 formulated first Gambia Programme of Action on Youth (GPAY) and beyond have been launched at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, yesterday.

The National Youth Council (NYC) of The Gambia prepared the programme with support from UNFPA. It articulates the will of young people into a coherent and implementable programme to guide the work of Government, development partners and non-state actors around youth empowerment and development in The Gambia.

The formulation followed the conduction of the 12th biennial National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF 2017) in which young people demanded for a coordinated implementation of the adopted conference resolutions to maximize impact and in line with the country, regional and international development frameworks.

Executive director of NYC Lamin Darboe said often a time implementation of resolutions made during NAYCONF become challenges, saying it is realised that most of the resolutions of the young people are not only some times in line with the short term or long term development priorities of Government or development partners which has largely contributed lack of investment.

Mr. Darboe said GPAY is aligned to the National Development Plan 2018-2021, the AU road map on harnessing demographic dividend through increased investment in youth 2030 global goals and other international development frameworks. “The alignment has the advantage of ensuring a more balanced and coordinated approach to national development and youth development in particular.”

Kunle Adeniyi, resident representative of UNFPA The Gambia said it is important that the document is tracked and implemented, saying young people cannot be bulked into one specific thing. “It is until when we begin to look at issues of young people in a holistic manner that we can capacities them to take up their rightful positions in society. There cannot be any development without young people,” he stated.

Mr. Adeniyi said nobody should blame young people for the issues that affect them, saying it is the people before them who should have created the guidance, opportunity, framework and vision for nation building. “That is why it is important to hold our leaders to account.”

He emphasised the need to invest in young peoples’ economic empowerment, education and health, including sexual and reproductive health, governance and human rights, skills development as well as access to information. “Corruption will not allow young people to strive if what is meant for building schools is going to pockets,” he observed.

He further stated that young people need to be involved in peace and security, traditional justice, labor reforms, constitutional review process, gender based violence and be free from the burden they do not want to carry.

National Youth Council Chairman Dembo Kambi said in order to realise consistency, GPAY is aligned to the National Development Plan 2018-2021, the AU road map on harnessing demographic dividend through increased investment in youth 2030 global goals and other international development frameworks.

He described the document as important for government as it will serve as a guide in attaining development initiatives and the advancement of young people.

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb