Preparation for this year's National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF 2012) is gaining momentum. The event, which is to be hosted by the Central River Region (CRR), is meant to bring together young people from all walks of life to discuss issues relating to them and come out with recommendations and resolutions that would be forwarded to government for implementation.
The different activities that are presently ongoing across the country, the tour of the event's flag and the fundraising efforts by the organising committees, for instance, show that the youths of the country are really rising up to the challenge to take their rightful place in national development.
Such an opportunity for the youth to come together and discuss issues affecting their lives and put forward tangible resolutions that can provide technical solutions is nothing but part of a relentless process of youth empowerment which is the engine of the nation's socio-economic development.
NAYCONF also provides the youth with an opportunity to expose our talents on diverse issues, ranging from sports, arts, academics, etc. This further explains why the programme is more than just a festival as exposure of the skills and talents of the youths of the county also serves as eye opener for the government in its development package.
There is therefore no doubt that the biennial youth conference and festival demonstrates that the government of The Gambia relentlessly seeks to empower and explore the potentials of the youthful population of the country through different programmes.
As the programme draws nearer, we wish to seize this opportunity to call on the general public particularly the private sector to join in the crusade to make this year's festival a success. We should all bear in mind that no nation can make it when its youthful population is both intellectually and skilfully compromised; it is our duty as partners in national development to complement the efforts of government in this drive.