May 15, 2009, 6:10 AM
A new National Youth Policy for The Gambia for a period covering 2009 - 2018 was yesterday validated at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
The policy is the third ten-year policy that has been formulated for the youth of The Gambia.
Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mambanyick Njie said that the policy document is aimed at empowering the young people.
He added that in dealing with youth matters one needs to give what the young people really deserve. He stated that investing in youth today means investing in the future of the country. He however told the gathering that it is the responsibility of young people to take charges of their destiny.
He urged various development partners to take youth development seriously. Njie also thanked the various partners, such as UNDP and UNICEF for their support to the cause of youth.
For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports Hon. Sheriff Gomez said the policy of youth is a critical policy of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as far as the Ministry is concerned.
He said that they would not look into the issue of illegal migration but a document of the policy of youth and sports, to pursue for the next ten years in empowering youth.
He said it is not a challenge to only the government or stakeholders, but young people as well.
Minister Gomez emphasised the need to curtail illegal migration by looking at its root causes.
He commended the Ministry of Interior for taking an active role in tackling illegal migration.
Deputy UNICEF Representative Meritvell Reliano expressed her organisation's admiration in supporting young people.
Other speakers included the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council ( NYC) Marcel Mendy.
As part of the programme a documentary on illegal migration was shown.