18 July 2014

Gambia: Towards Youth Empowerment


Youths as the cream of any 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 dynamic leadership of President Yahya Jammeh.

Empowering the youths of the country means giving them the ability to move the country forward 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 on futile voyages to Europe via the sea, leaving behind abundant opportunities that they could have utilised for their own benefit.

The Government of the Gambia has 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. What is, therefore, important is that the youths of this country have to change their attitude and pay heed to the calls of the president. The current leadership has provided and is providing many opportunities that we should take ownership of for our own development.

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