Preparations for this year's National Youth Conference and Festival (Nayconf 2014) are now in top gear. The event 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 early setting up of organising committees to ensure the success of the country's biggest gathering, this time to be held in the Lower River Region, shows 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 youths 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 youths with an opportunity to expose their talents on diverse issues, ranging from sports to arts and academics, etc. This further explains why the event is more than just a festival, as exposure of the skills and talents of the youths of the county also serves as an eye opener for 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 planning for the programme begins, 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 compromised intellectually and skills-wise; the leadership of the country is playing its part, it is our duty as partners in national development to complement the efforts of the leadership.