May 10, 2011, 1:36 PM
The 2012 Taiwan Youth Ambassadors’ summer camp officially came to a close on Friday at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
The annual event is aimed at exposing the youth to the cultural values of The Gambia as well as strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries through cultural encounters.
This year’s youth ambassadors include six students from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology led by their professor.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, Samuel Chen, said the cultural programme is good for both Gambian and Taiwanese students as they share cultural practices and exchange ideas and skills.
According to him, the official closing of the youth camp marks a very special day for the Gambia-Taiwan relationship and its marks exactly 17 years of the re-establishment of the bilateral relationship.
He said The Gambia and Taiwan have bilateral agreement of key areas of development which include education, health, agriculture, and infrastructure and, of recent, culture.
The visit of the youth ambassadors, he said, would no doubt strengthen bilateral ties between The Gambia and Taiwan.
“I look forward to seeing more of this kind of activities between our two countries,” he said.
Ambassador Chen hailed the ministries of youth and sports, higher education and foreign affairs for making the 2012 youth ambassadors programme a success.
For his part, Dr Momodou Tangara, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology said that building a culture of peace and love in the minds of young people through cultural encounters like this are very important.
Hon. Alieu K. Jammeh, minister of Youth and Sports, said it is critically important for future leaders to be engaged in such activities, which would boost the ties.
Minister Jammeh said they are looking forward to everlasting ties between the two countries and “involving youth is a better way to do that”.
He urged the participants from both countries to share whatever they have learnt during the camp with their friends and colleagues.
The head of the team, Professor Shih Shen-Guan, said they have learnt a lot about The Gambia during their stay in the country and thanked all those who contributed to making the camp a success.
Sheikh Omar Bittaye, president of the National Union of Gambian Students (NUGS), also spoke at the closing.
Meanwhile, the students will leave for Taiwan today after two weeks of interactive cultural encounter with 30 local students drawn from eight higher institutions of learning including the University of The Gambia and the Gambia College.