Mar 17, 2015, 10:35 AM
The Gambia National Commission for UNESCO funded the two-day training activity through the Ministry of Youths and Sport, and implemented by the National Youth Council.
Youth and Sports Minister Alieu K Jammeh, said it was a hallmark of his selfless desire to only achieve what is best for The Gambia and her people.
The issue of youth and sports development is a colossal task that requires the cooperation and support of all stakeholders in the country, he said.
According to Minister Jammeh, the character and dispositions of the young, either negative or positive, would greatly correspond to our future.
“Guided by this strong belief and conscious of the urgency of our times that demands for continuous vigilance, we find it very important to brief the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth and Sports and representatives of local government authorities, on some of our efforts at the Ministry in moving forward the agenda of youth and sports development in the country,” he said.
The National Youth Council, which is one of seven institutions under the Ministry, existed since 2000 when an Act of Parliament created it, he said.
It came to life with the National Sports Council and almost the same time with the National Youth Service Scheme, that was enacted in 1999, he added.
The ministry and all these institutions are impacting the lives of our young men and women, he further stated.
“Motivated by this desire, the President tasked us to revamp and reposition the entire Ministry so that our programmes and activities are responding to our emerging and contemporary challenges,” he said.
In that drive, he added, they have now transformed the Department of Youth and Sports into a Department of Planning and Programmes.
“As a result of our persistence under the guidance and support of the President, remarkable transformation is taking effect in the attitudes of the young people, particularly towards agriculture,” the Youth and Sports Minister said.
Young people have now positioned themselves to succeed our ageing farmers to ensure that the President’s food self-sufficiency drive is achieved in the shortest possible time, he went on.
“This milestone gives us satisfaction, but most importantly inspires us more to forge ahead with the firm knowledge that little efforts are bearing dividends,” he added.
Honourable Alhagie Sillah said the training session would focus on the popularization of the Youth Policy and Youth Act among stakeholders at the level of National Assembly Members and local authorities, which is of critically importance.
This was because the National Assembly members and local authorities are responsible for making policies at the national and local levels respectively, Mr Sillah said.
According to Hon. Sillah, the training activity was equally timely as the government places youth matters at the apex of its priority objectives, for no nation could not sustain development without a responsible youth citizenry.
The training course also coincided with moments when a new National Youth Bill is being formulated and the National Youth Policy also due for a mid-term review, he went on.
“As NAMs we are equally aware of the final role played by the National Youth Council in fulfilling its mandate, as enshrined in the National Youth Council Act 2000,” said Hon. Sillah.
Momodou Sanneh, the Secretary General, Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, said more than ever, young men and women are change-makers and building new realities for themselves and their communities.
All over, they are seeking innovation, claiming respect and their fundamental freedoms and seeking new opportunities to learn and work together for a better future, he said.
Cognizant of this reality, UNESCO accords greater priority of its work for the youths across all its programmes, he said.