columnBy Nfamara Jawneh
They came from across all corners of the country and beyond for the tenth edition of the National Youth Conference and Festival, Nayconf.
The outcome of their weeklong gathering was a renewed call on government and development partners for more investment in youth.
Even though the event was not held without some shortcomings as narrated by delegates, their resolutions were very genuine and achievable only if there is greater commitment on the part of all stakeholders.
In their resolutions, young people among other things requested the Ministry of Youth and Sports to renovate and re-equip existing regional youth and sporting centres.
This is very important only if we are serious and committed about decentralization of sporting activities and empowerment of all youth in the country irrespective of their location.
The youth ministry has once more been called to commit more resources to NYC and the Regional Youth Committees (RYC) in order to transform RYC into a more responsive, pro-active and inclusive decentralised youth organs of the Gambia National Youth Council.
The belief is that the Ministry will work together with other partners to work towards responding positively to the attainment of the resolutions.
Part of their demands was a request for the ministry to facilitate secured land and fund-raising for the development of a Youth House as Secretariat of the National Youth Council with multi-purpose facilities and space to also host other youth-led organizations.
This particular demand is very much important that when it works it will alleviate the plight of Gambian youths and youth organizations.
Issues such as the UN Youth Delegate Programme for Gambia as established in other countries to include youth as part of the official government delegation to the UN General Assembly meetings is equally achievable only if there is commitment to it.
Youth have gone further to challenge themselves to change their attitudes towards employability and participate in the productive sectors of the economy, especially in sectors dominated by non-Gambians.
They have vowed to develop positive attitudes and discourage peers from illegal migration, corrupt practices, bribery and be law-abiding and responsible citizens.
To sum up the resolutions the Gambian youth are showing a commitment that they are ever willing today than ever before to participate in national development.
They however implore on the government, local councils and development partners to commit more resources to their cause for The Gambia's future.
The only thing remaining now is for all stakeholders to put hands together for the implementation of the outcome of the Bansang Nayconf.