#National News

‘Tribalism is an obstacle to any meaningful development’

Oct 27, 2021, 2:11 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Chairman of the National Youth Council (NYC) has stressed the need for all to work in unison and head on to eliminate tribalism in social, economic, and political processes, saying the menace is an obstacle to any meaningful national development.

Ousman Fatty made these remarks recently at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre during the launch of a national peace campaign and dialogue on democratic reforms and youth participation in political processes in The Gambia.

The three-day dialogue is jointly organised by the National Youth Council in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and African Governance Architecture (AGA). It brought together 70 participants from political parties, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other Government Institutions to discuss, learn and share best practices.

Fatty observed that peace is expensive and people must never play it down, thus advising youth to be involved in politics of ideas and desist from politics of sentiments.

The objectives of the dialogue, he added, are to raise awareness among youth on the ongoing democratic reforms in The Gambia leading to the general elections; strengthening the capacity of youth in promoting dialogue on democratic reforms ahead of the elections; build the capacity of youth in peace promotion in The Gambia in the context of the elections; enhance the capacity of youth to contribute to peaceful, democratic and credible elections; and launch a national peace campaign. 

“As we prepare for the December polls, it is our responsibility to maintain decorum throughout the political process. The Gambia is going to shine and this is not going to happen without the involvement of the youth.” he stated.

The NYC chairman reminded that the country belongs to all of us and whatever ‘we do will live after us.’

 He maintained without any iota of doubt that the participation of youth in national peace campaign and dialogue and democratic reforms as well as in the political progresses of The Gambia is as important as participating in national development. 

According to him, a meaningful national peace campaign and dialogue is the springboard to national development. 

Thus, the training he added, would arm the youth with the prerequisite knowledge to confront ‘our current realities.’ 

Vabah Gayflor, ECOWAS Resident Representative in The Gambia recalled that in the past youth have been used as tools and being manipulated by conflict entrepreneurs to achieve their selfish goals. 

She, however, noted that today it is gratifying that youth are now engaged in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

“Now is the time to invest in people, particularly youth which is the peoples-centered investment for development, so that they can become agents of political and social stability. The youth constitute the pillar of any development as they act as a lever of change in any community,” she also said.

She reiterated ECOWAS commitment to the development of youth to enhance and promote not only in The Gambia, but the entire West Africa region.