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New NYC board vows to restore confidence - as it is formally inaugurated

Sep 13, 2013, 11:57 AM | Article By: Lamin Cham and Adama K. Jallow

The Chairman of the National Youth Council (NYC), Fabakary Kalleh, yesterday held the bull by the horns by admitting that there have been image threatening allegations levelled against the NYC over the last few years.

He noted that these have been made by development partners and a cross section of the people, but added that he sincerely hoped relations with these institutions would continue and even increase in scope because, according to him, those behind the allegations do not have a clear picture of the council.

“There is, however, no doubt that some elementsof the council in the past did not helpthe situation, but those who tarnished the image of the councilby their own actions do it for their own interest’’, chairman Kalleh said.

He said despite these, he hoped the doubts and reservations some have of the NYC would be removed, and all will see the importance of the council.

The chairman was speaking at the Friendship Hotel while giving his report during the inauguration of a new board for the NYC, which is to serve in office for another two years.

Kelleh’s comments are an apparent indirect response to scathing criticisms about the council’s activities mainly from parliamentarians reviewing their financial management.

The chairman reminded the gathering that the NYC was established by an Act of Parliament to carry out four main tasks namely, to facilitate youth employment for active participation in development of policies and programmes; facilitate the socio economic and cultural development of youths in the country; and facilitate youth networking; and, exchange at the national and international levels.

Kalleh said when his council took over in January 2011, after a two-year stop in the life of the NYC, they immediately embarked on key activities that helped a lot in bringing back the lofty idea and goals of the NYC.

“These includedimproving on communication between secretariat and council and other youths; reviewing ofthe financial status of the council, grading of secretariat staff; registration procedure of national and regional youth organizations, as well as the appointment of twoprogramme officers to support the programme manager, all aimed atensuring achievement of desired goals of the NYC,’’ he said.

Kalleh reported that, currently, the NYC is represented in key bodies, such as the Country Coordinating Committee (CCM) of the Global Fund, the board of directors of Gamworks, and the President’s Award Scheme and the National Population Commission.

But there remain challenges, he added, citing as an example, what he called the unwillingness of some organizations to register with the NYC, often contented just with AG’s Chambers registration.

“Also during the period too, we were faced with an unhelpful task of terminating the services of three staff, one for overstaying a leave and the others for alleged financial malpractice,’’ he said.

Addressing the gathering on behalf her minister, the acting permanent secretary, Ms Oulaye Camara, urged the new board to work harder and be aware of the task before them, since youths play a pivotal role in national development.’

“The ministry has no doubt that you will continue the good work you have been doing’’, she told the new council members.

The acting PS also advised the new leaders to effectively monitor and ensure participation of youth activities in national development, and asked youth organizations to work closely with the NYC and to register with it.

“Let me end by quoting former US President JF Kennedy, who on his inauguration in January 1961 famously said , “Think of what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you,’’ Ms Camarainspired the gathering.

Other speakers included APRC Youth Mobiliser Pierre Minteh, Musa Mbye Director of Planning, the acting executive secretary Abubacar Sisawo and Awa Njie, a female representative in the board.

The full list of members of the new NYC Board is:

Fabakary Kalleh – chairman

Musa Mbye – Director of Planning

Awa Njie - Female rep.

Demba Kambi – West Coast region

Alahagie Muyaa Baldeh -URR

Bubacar Jallow - CRR

Malick AK Ceesay - LRR

Sheriffo Mboge - NBR

Sulayman Bah – Banjul

Lamin Marong- KM

Abubacar Sisawo - NYC