#Article (Archive)

Youth Forum: Putting youths at the centre of decision-making

May 26, 2015, 1:31 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Hello and a warm welcome to another edition of the weekly Youth Forum.
In today’s edition, we bring you the suggestion and recommendation, which has exemplified the role of the youths, and in fact proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Government of the Gambia encourages child participation and youth empowerment to enable them take up their proper roles in the national development process.

It is an unarguable fact that the decisions that we take today as a country, whether good or bad, would have a direct bearing on the lives of our future generation.

As such, I am with the view that whatever decision we are to make today we must do it in consultation with our future leaders, that is, the youth folk, which is always the backbone of any successfully country.

We should also put them at the heart of our decision-making processes, be it political, economical or societal issues that would be very helpful.

While I acknowledge the contribution of our elders, especially those in elected offices, for example, in the National Assembly and local Area Councils, it would also be very good to have these old men and women working side by side with a high representation of youths.

The old and young or fresh minds working together on national issues are essential, and would no doubt serve as a manifestation of true commitment to youth’s empowerment and engagement.

I am not talking about putting inexperienced youths in such high offices, but youth who know issues affecting young people and are ready to sacrifice for the betterment of all young people in the country.

Also, dynamic and action-oriented youths who do not sit on the fence when it comes to raising real issues affecting young people should always be at the centre of discussions relating to youths’ development.

Many young people in today’s Gambia have armed themselves with the requisite skills to man any responsible decision-making position in the country.

In my view, the only thing that they need is support and encouragement from the old faces, some of whom are not showing any sign of retiring.

In order to have effective and accountable youth representation in decision-making processes in The Gambia, I solemnly believe such representation should be well-guided and done in consultation with the youths themselves.

Finally, I must stress that it is one thing to have some youths as young people’s representatives, and another for such youths to be truly representative, which could only be judged with the way they defend youths’ interest at all cost.