KMYC Chairperson applauds Gov’t for youth empowerment
By Sulayman Waan
As the National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) delegates continue expressing their views concerning youth empowerment, Isatou Secka, chairperson for Kanifing Municipal Youth Committee (KMYC) has lauded The Gambia Government for empowering youth of the country.
She said: “For youth empowerment I think the Government is doing well because there are lots of opportunities available for youth, especially when it comes to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS). We are opportune to have National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), Presidential International Award (PIA) and the National Youth Council (NYC).”
“These institutions are doing well in terms of capacity building for youth and coordination for youth organizations,” she added.
Concerning skills acquisition, she said there are many skills centers and institutions in the country that are training young people at free cost, citing NEDI, and the phased-out Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
Speaking further, the youth leader said the Government has initiated a series of grants for young people to tap and venture into businesses or expand their businesses.
She added that there are many peace and security advocacy groups and other youth organizations in the country. These projects and organizations, she added are mostly funded by the UN System and The Gambia Government through NYC.
“Therefore, I felt that the Government is doing good in term of youth empowerment. Looking at this NAYCONF the Government was able to give D8.5 million and I think this is the first time The Gambia Government is bringing that huge support for youth. So, I felt that the Government is empowering the youth,” he said.
According to a survey, The Gambia’s youth unemployment rate stands at 41%.
However, Mrs. Secka said there is a greater need for Government to empower youth at the grassroots through their youth leaders such as the Regional Youth Committees (RYC).
“Whenever those youth have a problem they always come to us (youth leaders) and not to the highest authority; therefore, I appeal that if such supports come let it be passed through the right authorities.”
“If the support is for youth, let it be passed through the RYC of administrative regions and if it is for women let it be passed through organized groups,” she appealed.
Mrs. Secka called on youth to get up from their ghettos and reach out to youth leaders to know the available opportunities for youth.
“Let them engage the right authorities so that they can get their needs,” she called.