28 February 2013

Gambia: Putting Youth At the Centre of Decision-Making


It is an unarguable fact that the decisions that we take today as a country, whether good or bad, will have a direct bearing on the lives of our future generation.

As such, I am with the view that whatever decision we are to make today we must do it in consultation with our future leaders.

We should also put them at the heart of our decision-making processes be it political, economical or societal issues.

While I acknowledge the contribution of our elders, especially those in elected offices, for example in the National Assembly and Local Area Councils, it would also be very good to have these old men and women working side by side with high representation of youth.

The old and young or fresh minds working together on national issues is essential and would no doubt serve as a manifestation of true commitment to youth empowerment and engagement.

I am not talking about putting inexperienced youth in such high offices but youth who know issues affecting young people and ready to sacrifice for the betterment of all young people in the country.

Also, dynamic and action-oriented youth who do not sit on fences when it comes to raising real issues affecting young people should always be at the centre of discussions relating to youth development.

Many young people in today's Gambia have armed themselves with the requisite skills to man any responsible decision-making position in the country.

In my view, the only thing that they need is support and encouragement from the old faces some of whom are not showing any sign of retiring.

In order to have effective and accountable youth representation in decision-making processes in The Gambia, I solemnly believe such representation should be well guided and done in consultation with the youth themselves.

Finally, I must stress that it's one thing to have some youth as young people's representatives and another for such youth to be truly representative, which can only be judged with the way they defend youth interest at all cost.

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