“I am inspired by Gambian young people”

Friday, February 09, 2018

UN SG’s Special envoy on youth

The United Nations under Secretary General and special envoy on youth who recently came to The Gambia said her engagement with the country’s young people has given her much inspiration to belief that the future is promising for them.

At a press conference organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) at the University of The Gambia Law Faculty auditorium on Tuesday, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake said during her visit to the country, she was able to meet almost all the authorities and discus with them the way forward for empowering the country’s young people.

Ms. Wickramanayake made similar visits to Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa as part of her mission. “I was very much inspired by Gambian young people for what they have done in the last few years. The National Youth Council is engaging young people and a lot of interventions have been done by UNFPA on sexual reproductive health and other ongoing initiatives.”

She however emphasised the need for more coordination both within the government and the UN on their working relationship with young people, adding that key recommendations she put forward to the National Assembly and other authorities is to look at the youth policy in a more coordinated way for a more growth in youth development approaches.

“The potential of empowering young people is key and there would be lot of follow-up discussions with the government and the UN representatives here to see how we translate those discussions into real action.”

Ms. Wickramanayake said unemployment is a global problem and not only for The Gambia, saying there are over one million on employed youth and many others employed but still living in poverty. “There is need to invest more in young people to become empowered and economically strong.”

Executive director of National Youth Council Lamin Darboe said Gambian young people are grateful to have Ms. Wickramanayake in the country, saying her coming to the country was a blessing for the young people.