Gambia: National Youth Conference - Young People's Panorama

The Gambia national youth conference and festival commonly (NAYCONF) is a biennial national youth gathering that with a wide view and presentation of the activities of our young people seeking to address the enormousproblems that the young people of the country encounter.

The organisation of this event is a policy directive of the National Youth Policy and the National Youth Council Act 2000. During the gathering, which used to be attended by over one thousand five hundred participants, both international and national delegates, burning issues such as youth unemployment, youth and illegal migration and the importance of young people in national development are discussed.

We are preparing for the gathering once again which will be hosted by Central Region Region from the 14th to 22nd December. NAYCONF also provides the room for young people to renew their commitments for the sustainable development of this country, as the event equips them on how to become responsible future leaders.

At the end of the gathering, resolutions and recommendations that were derived from the conference are later presented to the youth and sports department by the event's national organising committee, through the Gambia National Youth Council before they finally reach the National Assembly for ratification and the subsequent implementation or addressing of those resolutions.

Gambians, particularly young people have been called to view NAYCONF as a national event, hence it came to existence by an Act of the Gambia national parliament. The 2010 youth gathering was hosted the Kanifing Municipality and since then, little or nothing was heard about the resolutions drawn from the event.

Musa Mbye, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports during a meeting in August said the government's commitment to the development of young people in the country is strong. This, according to him, is entailed in the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) and the Vision 2020. He further tasked the organising committee to work as expected and to hold regular meetings prior to the upcoming national event.

Information gathered by the Youth Matters indicated that preparations are on the move at both the local, regional and national levels to attain the successful implementation of the event and the achievement of its resolutions thereafter. The event has numerous objectives; ranging from empowering the young people to have better understanding of the issues hampering their lives and the possible ways to utilise the country's resources for national development.

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