Apr 24, 2009, 6:53 AM
The third batch of rice agronomy corps members of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) were recently administered an oath of allegiance at a ceremony presided over by the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports. This is good news not only for the lucky young people themselves but also for The Gambia. It is also a timely reminder of the great work being undertaken and engaged in by NYSS.
Addressing the corps members at the NYSS orientation camp in Bakau, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Sheriff M.L Gomez, said, "Looking at the skill you have chosen to acquire, we are encouraged that the purpose for which the scheme was established will be fully realised. As you are all aware of the global food crises, having chosen Rice Agronomy will no doubt contribute to the increment of rice production and also to the socio-economic development of The Gambia."
The 19 new corps members will be deployed to the NYSS rice field to undergo a 22 month skills acquisition programme to enable them engage in viable ventures for self-employment and job creation.
This kind of initiative is vital for the future of The Gambia. It also comes at a time when we hear news of the introduction of the new batch car. The fuel efficient, three-wheeled car will be assembled in The Gambia and this will also create employment for young people in the country. We need to leave no stone unturned in the fight against youth unemployment. We need more factories and industry so we can keep young people from being idle and, as a result, at risk of falling into bad habits. If we encourage and attract manufacturing and food processing business to The Gambia we will no longer be so dependent on the tourist industry and, as a result, less likely to suffer a serious economic shock if there is a downturn. It has been a time of good news for unemployed Gambian youths, we must ensure that we keep the momentum and strike to eradicate youth unemployment in the country.