respective committees of the 2017 NAYCONF on Friday 8 December 2017 briefed the
media on their level of preparedness.
NAYCONF is a biennial event which is meant to bring young people from all over the country and beyond to share their experience and dilate on issues that affect their lives.
This year’s event will be held from 15th to 22nd December 2017 at St. George Lower and Upper Basic School in Basse, Upper River Region under the theme “New Gambia: Challenges and Opportunities for youth.”
This year’s event seeks to produce leaders who are committed to building the country and to realise the dreams of New Gambia.
The objectives of this year’s NAYCONF are to create a platform for youth voice, active participation and positive socialisation among young people to discuss issues affecting them and map out a common roadmap and actionable programmes in addressing them.
It will also to showcase the talents of young people in various sporting and cultural events to serve as a springboard to a career in the discipline of their choice; create the necessary awareness on the dangers of youth irregular migration and opportunities available for young people in the country.
It will also be a platform to enhance the understanding of young people on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Agenda 2063.
This year’s conference will delve into ten thematic areas such as curbing youth irregular migration to Europe; youth employment and entrepreneurship (Education, skills development, agribusiness, Mentoring and Coaching); Peace and security (National Reconciliation and social cohesion); human rights and democracy (Transitional Justice); ICTs (Science, technology and Innovation); National Dialogue on youth Leadership and Political Participation; Youth, Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights; Youth in creative industry (Arts, sports, culture, music, textile and fashion etc); Trade and Industry (Policy, Infrastructure, Business environment); and UN Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063.
The expected outcomes are to produce and validate The Gambia Programme of Action for Youth (GPAY) 2018-2019; Untapped talents and skills of young people in sports, culture and creative industry are exposed and recognized; Increase the Awareness of the dangers of youth irregular migration, its impact and links to opportunities available for young people in the country; and Understanding of UN Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063 and linkages with National development plans among young people improved.
It would also touch on Youth projects/initiatives on SDGs and Africa Agenda 2063 inspired.
NAYCONF activities will include sports, culture, entrepreneurship exhibition and health fair as well as national youth award.
Speaking at the briefing held at the National Youth Council (NYC), Lamin Darboe, Executive Director NYC, said they are confident that this year’s NAYCONF will be very successful. He added that they are expecting President Adama Barrow to grace the NAYCONF.
Mr Darboe said the government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports has committed 2 million dalasis to NAYCONF.
He noted that they have raised 4.1 million dalasis from the targeted 6 million dalasi for the event but not in cash. The total cash raised is two million, seventy-five thousand dalasis, he clarified.
According to him, out of the 2 million dalasi they have allocated each region with D75, 000 to help their preparation.
Marcel Mendy, Head of Sports Committee said a lot of efforts have been invested in ensuring they have a successful sports events and a successful NAYCONF.
He stated that work is in earnest in rehabilitating some of the sports facilities, adding that the rules for the event have been finalised and circulated to regions.
He pointed out that they are also working with relevant authorities to have the right referees.
Lamin Saidykhan, speaking on behalf of the culture committee said most of the artists contacted have expressed their readiness to participate in the event.
Pa Suwareh Faye, head of marketing committee reported that they have sent letters to various institutions, ministries, companies, local government authorities among others and will begin an aggressive follow up this week. He thanked all the institutions that have supported them so far.
Kaddijatou Jallow, Vice Chairperson URR Youth Committee said they have completed 90 per cent of the preparation for the event and are set to host a successful NAYCONF.