Sep 2, 2008, 9:13 AM
The Network of ECOWAS Trainees on Youth Entrepreneurship, (NETYE) Gambia Chapter was launched on Friday June 27 at the Friendship Hotel in Bakau.
The network is a consortium of ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre’s Trainees on Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development.
The launching was also characterised with the election of the new executive who would run the affairs of the network in the next two years.
Since 2007, the ECOWAS/YSDC has been embarking on Youth Skills Training Programs in the following areas: Agriculture at the Songhai Centre in Benin, Building Electricity at the Soufouroulaye Camp in Mali, Auto-Mechanic, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning at Ziniare Vocational Training Centre in Burkina Faso respectively
Kawsu Badjie, National Coordinator of NETYE Gambia, said NETYE Gambia is a Sub-regional Civil Society Organization established in The Gambia in April 2009 with the aim of coordinating and serving as an advocacy body to address all forms of anti-social vices affecting Skills Acquisition and Youth Entrepreneurship Development in the Sub-Region.
He said the network has a total membership of fifty-nine, out of which twenty are ladies and thirty-nine are gents.
He added that The Gambia had participated in all the 14 training programs conducted by ECOWAS/YSDC since August 2007 to 2013.
“Lack of office space and staff to run and manage our activities. Lack of financial supports from Government & other prominent Partners. Lack of financial and technical supports from ECOWAS. Lack of projects and source of funding for NETYE Gambia are some of our challenges,” he said.
Lamin Darboe, Programme Manager, National Youth Council, said over 63 per cent of the Gambian population is made up of youth and they receive service from the state.
This is why The Gambia government through the ministry of youth and sports had been partnering with other countries and institutions outside the Gambia including ECOWAS to enable the government to empower the young people of The Gambia, he said.
“Today you are the representative of the 63 per cent of the young people, you are the young people who are privileged to be the beneficiaries of the bilateral relationship that the Gambia government enjoys with other countries and sub-regional organisation, thus you are the trainees and from the ECOWAS training centres,” he said.
He said the choice they have taken was not an empty one, it indeed came with lot of challenges and they would face the challenges and become successful.
He challenged the trainees to continue doing what they have learnt to contribute to the development of the country.
“A lot had been invested in you and we expect a lot from you people in your various disciplines,” he said.
“Let us not hang on the challenges we are facing as young people and not creating successes the solution to those challenges, let us initiate, let us create because if you add value on what you do, success will really come to you. Let us think out of the box,” he stated.
He calls on the private sector and government to invest in the productive sector of the economy, saying most private sectors would not invest in the productive sector because of the risk attached, but the government could invest in the productive sector and would be able to produce value addition.
It stands as the gateway for employment creation, he added.
Emmanuel D. Mendy, Director, National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), said the government of The Gambia had recognised the eminent contribution of the young people of the Gambia towards the development of the country.
“This is why the government came with institutions and strategies to help the development of youth in the country. The coming of NYSS, NEDI, and PIA among others is to help young people to be responsible and contribute to the development of the Gambia,” he said.
He said that for the government of The Gambia, the sky is the limit for youth development, while making assurance of his institution’s readiness to supporting youth development.