National Youth Council Chairman says youth deserve to live the Gambian dream instead of dying in the desert and the sea

The Chairman of the Gambia National Youth Council (NYC), Dembo Kambi, has said young people deserve the chance to live their dreams in their own country instead of dying in the deserts and oceans in an attempt to reach Europe and other Western nations in search of better opportunities.

Speaking at the Youth Connekt Gambia Summit, which took place on 16 January 2019, Kambi called for young people to be given space to help design  strategies that promote creativity and entrepreneurship, and empower young people to be part of the country’s transformation process.

Kambi noted that official reports show that over half –  56.8 per cent – of Gambian youth are unemployed. He said that the lack of education and training remains a major challenge for Gambian youth and drives many young people to take the backway to Europe.

Kambi said  the Youth Connekt Gambia Summit, which brings together policy makers and young people, was timely and will help to tackle youth unemployment by providing a platform for young people to kick start their own business ideas and create opportunities to build partnerships and attract investment.

The summit is part of the Gambian Government’s  National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to reduce the youth unemployment rate  and create 250, 000 job and training opportunities for young people. It also aims to identify and nurture 10, 000 young leaders who will become role models in their communities and help advocate for solutions.

Kambi said the aim of the summit is to discuss a wide range of issues that affect young people and find innovative and sustainable solutions to address employment creation, closing the gender gap and nurturing young people as future leaders.

Kambi called on the government to work with other youth actors, including the National Youth Council and  create a national youth development fund to encourage youth participation.

He stressed that youth participation in national development is a key concern for the National Youth Council and achieving the goals of Youth Connekt requires great political leadership, saying,  “When leaders engage young people with the core to create policies, strategies and opportunities, the impossible will become a possibility.”

TMP 16/01/2019

Photo caption: The Chairman of The Gambia National Youth Council addresses young people at the Youth Connekt Gambia Summit.