May 30, 2014, 11:00 AM
Only a few days ago in these pages we extolled the virtues and benefits of the National Youth Conference and Festival which is currently underway in Farafenni. In theory the festival is a truly wonderful idea. It allows young people the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues and try and come up with viable solutions. This is how it works in theory anyway.
It was for this reason that it is so disappointing to read reports from the 4th edition of the Nayconf that delegates have expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of progress made on the resolutions of the 2006 Nayconf held in Brikama, Western Region.
The delegates made their disappointment known during the second day of the conference following a presentation by Mr. Alhagie Kebbeh, chairperson of the National Youth Council (NYC) on the state of progress made on the resolutions that emerged from the last Nayconf held in Brikama.
During the questions and answers sessions, concerned delegates highlighted that there has not been impressive progress on the implementation of the resolutions based on what was presented in the Brikama resolution. The delegates went further to state that they prefer someone from the government to give them more details on how far they have gone in implementing the resolution. They all insisted that they want to know some of the achievements made from the recommendations.
The NYC Chairman, in response to the queries and concerns raised, said that the resolutions of the 2006 Nayconf were passed to the office of the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports just few days after the event.
Kebbeh informed the delegates that if his report does not satisfy them, it is up to the conference to call on government to dilate more on the progress made on the resolutions. We fully support this call. It is essential that progress is made after each and every Nayconf so that young people will have faith in the process as a vehicle for change. If a situation arises where no action is taken on the various resolutions and decisions passed and made then fairly soon the whole festival will be seen as nothing more than an expensive talking shop.
The event is actually extremely expensive and we commend all those who have supported it financially. These people must see that they are getting value for money or they will loose faith in the process also.
The theory of Nayconf is excellent. If the blueprint is followed then it can bring great change to the lives of Gambian young people. This can only happen however if the decisions taken at one are implemented by the time the next edition takes place. Measures must be taken as quickly as possible to address this situation for the sake of the young people of this country.
"Activity is the only road to knowledge."
George Bernard Shaw.