Jun 17, 2009, 6:38 AM
The National Youth Conference and Festival, NAYCONF 2012, is a biennial event which is meant to bring together some one thousand and five hundred young people from across the country and beyond, to share experiences and discuss issues that affect their lives.
The biennial event, which is being hosted by various regions in the country by rotation, would this year be held in the Central River Region in December 2012.
The budget for this year’s event is 2.8 million dalasis, and the organisers are looking forward to a massive response from the public to raise the budgeted funds.
However, as far as we know, as of yesterday apart from Governmnet allocation only Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) and Gamcel have responded positively to the call made by the National Youth Council for support to the 2012 NAYCONF.
It is obvious that hosting this magnitude of young people for about a week is a huge challenge that cannot be left to government alone.
The theme for this year is so important that all and sundry should support the young people’s meeting in CRR to ensure the success of the NAYCONF.
Unlike the previous NAYCONFs, this year’s will have some changes and improvements, as well as some previously known events.
There would be a conference for five days, youth exhibition, cultural manifestation, sports, and a prize and awards ceremony.
We were also made to understand that, this year, conference resolutions and recommendations would have a strategic action plan attached to ensure their implementation.
This will, no doubt, enhance the participation of youths in our national development efforts through harnessing their potentials.
The organisation of this important event is a policy directive as it is stipulated in the National Youth Policy and the Act that established the National Youth Council of The Gambia.
NAYCONF is the only national youth platform that brings together all categories of Gambian youths under a single roof to engage in cultural exchange, and to discuss how they can contribute to national development, among others.
A forum of this nature is an opportunity to expose young people from all regions to national issues.
Therefore, equal representation is essential as we prepare for the big event.
There is a need for representation from all the districts and, if possible, wards in the country, and to have the views of young people of diverse walks of life represented.
What we keep on hearing is that as far as youth empowerment is concerned the sky is the limit.
If that is the case, then raising the funds for a successful NAYCONF should not be a problem.
We urge other institutions to come forward to emulate SSHFC and Gamcel by supporting the country’s future leaders stage a successful event.
We call on all persons and institutions to donate to a good cause.
Investing in our youths is never a waste; so let us support the country’s future today.
Please support Gambian youths through funding NAYCONF 2012!