By Landing Ceesay
The Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Bakary Y. Badjie has asked the participants of the National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) to avoid personal attacks during discussions on thematic areas.
“This NAYCONF is one with a difference for so many reasons, new thematic and committees are being instituted to promote a sense of innovation and response to the myriad of challenges. As we are about to embark on this boat, it is our fervent belief that the delegates will do their utmost best in making sure that we have a wonderful NAYCONF.
“Whether you are a national or international delegate, have it at the back of your mind that the resolution and contribution you will make will go a long one in shaping the life of the African youth. We have 8 thematic areas for the conference, and we expect some intellectual exchange, these exchanges should be healthy and devoid of any personal attacks. You are here because your region, organization, or country has the belief that you will be able to contribute your voice towards a better Gambia for the children living in this country,” He told the participants.
Hon. Badjie said the conference delegates like any other delegates should abide by the codes of the convergence.
He stated that for there to be peace, they must respect each other’s view, for there to be development; they must accept innovation; and for them to succeed, they must move together in one direction.
Hon. Badjie further told the participants that the Government of the Gambia through his ministry has recently ratified the National Youth Policy that takes a critical look at all the challenges confronting the youths of the country, from migration to unemployment, as well as skill acquisition.
“Currently, we are faced with so many challenges ranging from unemployment, the repercussion of corvid, the high inflation rate, and other vices. I must confess that our youth are doing well in the areas of entrepreneurship, gone are the days when the youth have the notion that the white colored jobs are the best. Today, we have a lot of our youth in business sports and entertainment. Our country has qualified for the Afcon for the first time in history, and all have seen the effort put by the government into that landmark achievement,” he said.
The Youth and Sports Minister said during one of his interviews, he made it clear that the NAYCONF resolutions will not gather dust. Saying, It is not to say they have been gathering dust, but as the Minister for Youth and Sports, he will do his utmost best to make sure that the resolutions are shared with all the relevant stakeholders.
Hon. Badjie said he knows sharing the resolutions is not the “be-all and end-all” but they have already devised a mechanism to make sure that necessary follow-ups are made about the implementation of the resolutions.
“I am impressed with the youths of the Gambia; I am optimistic about the future of this country; this country will be great and we will narrate this story very soon. Fellow youth, itâ€™s been four years since this bimanual event did not happen. 2017 was the last time we had this convergence, we were unable to have one in 2019 because of the Corona pandemic that has wrecked this world apart,” he told the participants.
Hon. Badjie made these remarks while presiding over the official opening ceremony of the NAYCONF Conference at St. Joseph Senior Secondary School in Banjul.