Youths as the cream of any given nation need to be empowered in order for a nation to achieve lasting sustainable development. This explains why youths and related empowerment programmes continue to be priorities in this country under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh.
Empowering the youths of the country means giving them the ability to move the country to where it ought to be. It is important to note here that empowerment could be done in different ways such as the provision of quality and affordable education, skills training in different areas of specialisation such as carpentry, metal works, and fishing, among others. No nation can make it when its youthful population is both intellectually and skilfully compromised.
In many countries, the youths constitute the highest part of the population and are viewed as future leaders, thus the need for youth empowerment programmes. It is rather unfortunate that some of our youths choose to turn to idleness, drug abuse, and would rather embark onfutile voyages to Europe via the sea, leaving behind abundant opportunities that they could have utilised for their own benefit.
The Government of The Gambia instituted and continues to established numerous projects for youth empowerment. Such youth projects include the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), National Youth Council (NYC) and youth monuments throughout the length and breadth of the country. The president himself personally went a step further by providing scholarship packages for the youths. The girls'project and the President International Awards Scheme are other bright examples.
There is no doubt that the Government of The Gambia has relentlessly sought to empower and explore the potentials of the youthful population of the country through different programmes. We therefore join the honourable Minister of Youth and Sports to laud those initiatives. We also urge the youths of this country to change their attitude and grab the opportunities at hand and take ownership of them.