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Dec 9, 2010, 3:01 PM

THEME: “Youth Participation and Partnership in the War against Drugs and Corruption”


According to the 2003 census report of The Gambia, the population of The Gambia stands at about 1.3 million and is growing at the rate of 4.2 percent per year. The youth, defined as a young person between the ages of 13 to 30 constitute more than 63% of the population.

Therefore, it is on this segment of the Gambian populace that the Country’s socio-economic development aspirations are hinged on. Youths are an important and critical factor in development and must be oriented in such a way that they appreciate our religious and cultural norms, values and behaviours that frown upon the use, abuse and trafficking of illegal drugs and the practice of corruption in the fabric of our society.

Both the National Youth Policy and the Five Year Strategic Plan Document of the Ministry of Youth and Sports place emphasis on the need for Gambian youth to uphold principles of responsible behaviour and positive attitudes to established social norms and values and fundamental work ethics of fair play.

The National Youth Policy of The Gambia recognizes the important role that youth can play and the role of the society towards their development. It recognizes the potential of our youth and the ardent need for their active involvement in solving problems that affect their lives.

It is against this background that the National Youth Council has chosen the issue of illegal drugs and practice of corruption as central discussion point in the theme for this edition of the National Youth Conference and Festival. Illegal use and trafficking of illicit drugs and rampant corruption are catalysts for crime, violence and slope-sided development.

The National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) is a biennial event which is meant to bring 1000 young people from all over the country and beyond to share their experiences and dilate on issues that affect their lives. This will enhance the participation of youths in our national development efforts through harnessing their potentials. The organization of this important event is a policy directive as it is stipulated in the National Youth Policy and the Act that established the National Youth Council of The Gambia.

NAYCONF has been held on four occasions by The Gambia National Youth Council in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008 in the Upper River Region (Basse), Banjul, Western Region (Brikama) and North Bank Region (Farafenni) respectively through support from the Gambia Government, UN agencies, Private Sectors and civil society institutions.

In the Gambia and of late, there have been numerous incidences of drug abuse by the youth. Youth have both been affected as victims and perpetrators of illegal drug abuse and trafficking. Corruption directly impacts them too as it deny them essential resources that get diverted by corrupt officials from programmes and activities that could enhance the development and empowerment of the young people.

The attempt by young Gambians to become drug and alcohol abusers and in fact in some instances traffickers has been in the increase. This risky behaviour has brought untold depression to both families of the individuals and the society at large. In fact a recent visit to Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital has revealed that over 90% of patients there are male and that over 85% of them have been affected by drug related substances. This is indeed a cause for concern.

In other to avert this ugly situation therefore, a national strategy involving stakeholders need to be developed to address this issue. Thus out of its unquenchable desire to ensure that young people grow to become responsible citizens, this year’s NAYCONF intends to provide an opportunity where young people will appreciate the dangers of drug abuse and corruption to their lives and society at large and the need for their collective action for positive behavioural change.

While also attempting to dispel society’s preconception of youth, NAYCONF 2010 seeks to cultivate the environment necessary to endear young people to their roots with a view to reinforce self esteem, pride and psychological stability necessary for their lives, dreams and aspirations to become a reality.



To raise the awareness level of the young people and positively engage them in the war against drugs and corruption.



The aim of NAYCONF 2010 is to endear youths to their cultural roots for self believe in other to realise their life’s dreams and aspirations. The objectives are as follows:

1.         To bring young people together to discuss issues and challenges relating to drugs and corruption and its negative impact on national development.

2.         To enable Gambian young people manifest their solidarity in the war against drugs and corruption.

3.         To bring young people together to discuss cultural issues and challenges of cultural dimensions that affects their quest to participate for self and national development

4.         To inculcate the values of good governance in the minds of young people in the war against corruption.





NAYCONF generally is in three components and these are:

?          Youth Conference

 ?         Manifestations on the dangers of drugs and corruption

?          Prizes and Awards



The duration of the conference shall be five (5) days in the month of December (18th to 22nd) 2010 in the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and it will dilate on the theme: “Youth Participation and Partnership in the War against Drugs and Corruption”.

The conference will draw its participants from the Seven Administrative Regions and Municipalities in The Gambia and the National Youth organizations registered with the National Youth Council, stakeholders and participants from other countries (225 conference delegates). There will be Twelve (12) participants from each Region/Municipalities and one (1) participant from each Registered National Youth Organization. Participants will also be drawn from Government Departments, NGOs, UN Agencies, Sister National Youth Councils/Youth Organisations, International Organisations and Private Sector. The conference sub committee of the NOC will develop rules and regulations to ensure fair representation. The conference theme will cover the following:

           Youth participation towards national and regional integration for socio economic advancement.

           Youth and abuse- Drugs/Trafficking/Alcohol: How does youth tackle these emerging and challenging trends?

           Corruption and socio-economic development. The role of youth in the war against corruption.

           The role of ethnic interdependence – inter ethic relations, marriages, taboos/’kalyaa’/’Sennauyaa’ – and its contributions to The Gambia Socio-Economic development.

           Principles and Practices of Good Governance: A recipe for the war against corruption.

           The evolution of climate change: The role of young people in mitigating its negative impact on the environment.


There shall be activities which will manifest the dangers of the use of illegal drugs and practise of corruption. There shall be periodic cultural evenings intermittently during the course of the weeklong programme at which the following competition activities will take place:



           National Anthem (in vernacular)

           Masquerade dance

           Cultural and beauty pageant

           Quiz Competition on culture

The total number of participants for the cultural performance shall be 35 youths per Region/Municipality.



 An awards ceremony shall be held to reward young people, institutions, and individuals for their outstanding contribution to the development of Gambian youths. Among others, the following awards shall be given out:

?          The best NEDI youth entrepreneur of the year

?          The best youth organization of the year

?          The most outstanding individuals in the development and empowerment of young people

?          The most friendly youth institution

?          The most friendly press house to young people

?          The best donor institutions etc

?          NAYCONF 2010 competition awards



This year, one thousand (1000) young people and stakeholders are targeted to attend NAYCONF from The Gambia and abroad. All activities are open to everyone except for the Youth Conference which is by invited delegation.



           Arrival (16th December 2010)

           Official Opening  Ceremony of NAYCONF at 4:00pm (17th December 2010)

           The Youth Conference shall start at 9:00am end at 2:00pm each day (18th to 22nd December 2010)

           Presentations and Discussions on different Gambian cultures from 4: 00pm

           Cultural Performances

           Closing  Ceremony of NAYCONF (23rd December 2010)

           Departure (24th December 2010)



The estimated budget for NAYCONF 2010 is D2.5 million. This shall help in implementing post NAYCONF activities as well, which are crucial to the overall success of the programme.



The Organising Committee shall consist of key stakeholders and individuals in youth development work. The organising committee is broken down into these key sub committees who will function as working groups to NOC and shall have the mandate to co-opt individuals who may think will add value to accomplishing their task. The role of the Organising Committee shall include the following:

     ?     To establish membership for the various sub-committees to help facilitate their work

?          To help the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Youth Council in raising the required funds necessary for the overall program.

?          To produce a report at the end of the programme.

?          To develop a comprehensive programme for the NAYCONF.

?          To assess progress and make the necessary adjustments.

?          To identify people to be invited to the event.

?          To develop a theme for the event.

?          Ensure overall success of NAYCONF


LOCAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE (to be established in the host Municipality (KMC Only)

The Local Organizing Committee shall consist of the Lord Mayor, Municipal Youth Committee, Sports Coordinator, Youth Coordinator/Officer, Registered Local Youth Organisations and other individuals and institutions to be identified by the Local Authorities.

The TOR of the LOC is as follows:

?          To prepare the ground for the smooth running of the event

?          To raise funds locally supplement funds raised by the National Organising Committee

?          Constantly liaise with the National Organising Committee




The Regional/Municipal NAYCONF Coordinating Committees shall comprise of the Governors, the Regional and Municipal Youth Committees, Mayors, Youth Coordinators/Officers, Sports Coordinators, and others as may be deemed necessary by the Regional/ Municipal Authorities.


Their functions shall include the following:


?          Facilitate the participation of young people of their Regions and Municipalities in NAYCONF

?          Mobilize resources at local level towards the participation of their Region/Municipality

?          Conduct regular planning meetings and be in constant contact with the National Youth Council and Organising Committee

?          Give regular progress reports to the National Youth Council and Organising Committee

?          Ensure that all the necessary things are put in place for the effective participation of the Region/Municipality in NAYCONF

?          Responsible for the transportation of their Region/Municipality to and from NAYCONF

?          Provide gears and kits wears for the participating participants during NAYCONF



 The Taskforce Committee can assign duties to the sub-committees if deemed necessary and the sub-committees to be formed for the proper organization of NAYCONF includes the following:




           Working out the logistics for mobilizing the necessary drugs and medications for the programme

           Developing a Health budget

           Ensuring that all participants are properly taken care off

           To ensure that drugs and personnel to administer them are available at all times

           Working out the logistics for the participants i.e. identifying the accommodation arrangements and where each Region is to be accommodated

           Developing a budget for the accommodation of the participants

           Ensuring that all participants are properly accommodated

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place




           Working out the logistics for mobilizing the necessary drugs and medications for the programme

           Developing a Health budget

           Ensuring that all participants are properly taken care off

           To ensure that drugs and personnel to administer them are available at all times

           Ensuring that all areas identified for accommodation are fumigated

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place





           Making all the arrangements for feeding

           Prepare a budget for feeding

           Ensure that all participants are well fed

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place






           Prepare the list of invitees to the conference and write letters to them

           Identify resource persons and write letters to them

           Identify the materials needed for the conference

           Prepare a budget for the conference

           Compile and prepare the final report of the conference

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place





           Develop criteria for the selection of awardees

           Identify individuals and groups to be awarded

           To identify the cultural events to be held

           To make arrangements for the organization of all cultural events identified

           To organize a carnival at the end of the overall program

           Prepare and submit a budget to the Taskforce

           Conduct regular meetings

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place





           Shall be responsible for preparing the budget for all security matters.

           Shall be responsible for all security and safety matters of NAYCONF

           Shall be responsible for maintaining law and order at the various meeting points during NAYCONF

           Shall ensure that participants, officials, equipment, and materials belonging to NAYCONF are secured.

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place






           Shall be responsible for preparing the budget for all media activities.

           Shall be responsible for all the Publicity and Marketing of NAYCONF activities on TV, Radio, and Newspaper etc.

           Shall play a leading role in raising funds for NAYCONF 2010

           Shall help all other sub-committees to advertise their products for NAYCONF

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place



The total management of funds will be in the hands of the National Youth Council and will be performing the following functions among others;


           Shall be responsible for all financial entries and book analysis

           Drafting the synthesized budget for NAYCONF 2010.

           Should make sure the liquidation of funds for NAYCONF 2010 is done  on time

           Report to the NOC on all developments taking place



Young people at the conference basically will decide the way forward for the post NAYCONF activities. This will include the implementation of resolutions passed by the young people during the Conference, which will be geared towards solving the problems that affects their lives. Also at least two review meetings conducted to evaluate NAYCONF 2010. Their will also be a comprehensive reports on NAYCONF 2010 to be presented to the MOYS.