Jun 3, 2010, 12:57 PM
Youth Parliament (NYP) The Gambia, a youth network in human rights, good
governance and democracy, on Saturday 18 March celebrated their 15th
NYP also inaugurated their executive members in all regions, after an election was conducted by IEC in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The ceremony was held at the National Assembly auditorium grounds.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kawsu Badjie gave an overview of the Nation Youth Parliament as a legally-registered youth entity.
The NYP was established with the help of RAID Gambia, a local NGO funded by UNFPA, mainly to advocate on youth, drug abuse and health issues.
In 2007, the organization began to operate independently, and diversify into other areas like good governance and democracy, gender mainstreaming in youth participation, youth and reproductive health and rights, road safety, environmental protection and preservation.
He added that their organization has 30 representatives in 7 regions, 5 elected and 2 nominated at the national level; adding that they have up a total of 217 youth parliamentarians.
NYP aims to inculcate responsible citizenship in the mind and heart of young people, toward understanding their role in national development.
They train their members in civil engagement, voter education, and election observation and also create a forum for asking questions to National Assembly Members and ward councilors on the advancement of their constituencies.
He added that the youth group works toward development of young people as stated in their constitution, and to be non-partisan.
The founding father of NYP, Samboujang Conteh, the director of RAID Gambia, said their first session on 8 March 2002 was to intervene on human rights, good governance and democracy.
The role of youth is very important in development, he said, adding that he was proud when the NYP showed their full potential in a debate held between them and the National Assembly members.
“It enhanced the leadership of young people and the betterment of our nation.”
Lamin Darboe, executive director of NYC, congratulated the ones voted into office, and urged them to work on expectations and be leaders by example not by titles.
“As young people, we have huge challenges ahead of us as role models in our family and community to serve by example,” he said.
He said the council is ever prepared to work with all youth organizations in the country, and it is important that they register under the council, which is a legal requirement in The Gambia.
He said the government of The Gambia would continue to see that young people are empowered to handle the mandate of development in employment, entrepreneurship, leadership and skills development.
The youth constituted 37 per cent of the population, therefore, they should occupy the driver’s seat and pull the development process over.
He further said the youth should change their attitude and see agriculture as a variable business, and stop seeing white-collar jobs as the only source of livelihood; and take advantage of opportunities created for them in the country.
The newly-elected members were sworn in by Lamin Jarju, a state counsel at the Ministry of Justice, and they are: Kawsu Badjie speaker, Fatou Jawo deputy speaker, Lamin W. Sanneh clerk, Saffiatou Sowe deputy and Baboucarr Nyang financial officer.