Youth Connekt launched to bridge Africa’s demographic divide

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Gambia chapter of Youth Connekt; an innovative African youth support initiative that is designed to contribute to realizing Africa’s demographic divide by supporting skills development, entrepreneurship and access to jobs and finance was launched at the Coco Ocean hotel last Friday.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Youth Council (NYC) led the launching of the project in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to rollout the initiative across the country.

The project also targets to raise awareness on issues related to youth development, promotion of youth citizenship and leadership.

Presiding over the launch, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources minister Lamin B. Dibba said Youth Connekt Africa has been embraced for its innovative design and implementation as it seeks to provide young people with relevant skills, networking and opportunities to scale-up their initiatives, create and secure decent jobs and foster their contribution to economic growth.

“Gambia government’s commitment to this initiative will also focus on encouraging youth entrepreneurship within a conducive environment in emerging industries, particularly in ICT, tourism, creative industry, and agricultural value chain among others,” he acknowledged.

He further encouraged networking between Youth Connekt Gambia and Youth Connekt Africa for technical support, adding that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is empowered to strengthen NYC to coordinate results-based multi-sectoral youth engagement in realizing these goals across the country and facilitating skills transfer to their local communities.

Youth and Sports minister Hadrammeh Sidibeh thanked Gambia government for creating a conducive environment that permits young people to contribute their quota to national development.

Nessie Golakai-Govld, representative of UNDP said Youth Connekt started in Rwanda in 2012 as an African initiative under the stewardship of President Paul Kigame and it is proving to be one of the most successful models for youth empowerment in Africa.

“Launching this initiative is a clear demonstration of government’s unflinching commitment and determination towards youth empowerment in The Gambia” she said.

She guaranteed that they will firmly stand to partner and support youth empowerment in The Gambia and support the government and all national stakeholders for the development of young people.

Author: Fatou B. Cham