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Youth employment summit wraps-up

Sep 26, 2011, 3:21 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The National Youth Employment Summit organized by the Gambia Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) recently wrapped up at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.

The summit centered on the theme: ‘Creating Markets…Unleashing Entrepreneurship Commitment in support of the Actualization of Vision 2020 and the MDGs’ and was attended by young people, local authorities and development partners aimed at creating more employment opportunities for Gambian youths.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Simon Lazarre Badiane, Executive Secretary, Africa Alliance of YMCAs, thanked all the participants for coming to brainstorm about the future of the Gambia.

He further commended the youths of dreaming of a better Gambia where young people take the led to change the country, and make it one of the leading countries in Africa.

Africa has many good things to show the world,” he stated, and urged the youths to stand up and play their part.

He challenged the young people to make use of the opportunity, and desist from the mentality of making it in Europe.

He further advised the youths to make use of the knowledge gained, and help in transforming the country.

The National Secretary General YMCA, Sam Thorpe, urged the young people to continue networking and to transform their environment. He revealed that the Gambia YMCA was the first NGO to benefit from the BLF-funded project, calling their partners to make it a success so that others can benefit.

He challenged the youths to make good use of the deliberations, to create change for the better.

Meanwhile, at the end of the three-day summit, this reporter spoke to some of the participants, and among them was the nominated member of the National Assembly Hon. Seedy Njie, who expressed appreciation about the convening of the summit.

He asserted that “young people discussing issues with policy makers to suggest solutions for unemployment is a step in the right direction,”

Mr Njie tasked the youths to tap the opportunities, as the government has created the enabling environment for them.

“Looking at the resolutions, incorporating vocational skills into the school curriculum will help to create employment for young people,” said Hon. Njie.

He seized the opportunity to commend YMCA, the National Youth Parliament and the Youth Ambassadors of Peace for representing their people, and making an impact in their lives.   

Asked about the proportion of the national budget allocated to young people’s development, since the issue was highlighted by some delegates, Hon. Njie said a great percentage of the budget goes to the youths, including allocations to other sectors such as education, the army and the police, all of which involve youths.

“As parliament, we are representing the interest of all,” he said, and called on the public to look at parliament, and know how parliament operates.

“Democracy is at work in parliament,” he said, adding that parliament is representing the masses, while urging Gambians to take ownership of the institution, particularly the young people. 

Lamin Saidykhan, a member of the National Youth Parliament, was delighted about the summit. He called on youth organizations to come together and build the capacity of youths in skills acquisition for national development.

He also urged more government intervention to improve the livelihood, skills and education of youths in the country.

At the end of the three-day summit, a number of recommendations were made by the participants coming from the various regions of the country and youths associations, and these were presented to the summit organizers.

Key among the resolutions was the renewed called for the government, private sector and CSOs to create more employment opportunities for the country’s unemployed youth.