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Hon. Badjie Assures Youths Of  Government’s Support In Addressing Their Problems 

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Hon. Bakary Y Badjie, Minister Of Youth and Sports

By Landing Ceesay 

Minister of Youths and Sports Bakary Y. Badjie has assured Gambian youths of government support in addressing the challenges they face.

Badjie, who spoke at a youth forum in Banjul, said the government is committed to providing opportunities for young people to develop their skills and talents. 

“As a  Ministry in charge of Youth Affairs and the government under the leadership of President Adama,  we are cognizant of the challenges confronting Gambian youths and we stand ready to provide the policy environment and the needed funding where possible to support young people through most difficult phase of their lives. We want to see through it that the majority of young people are nationalists in character and in accent, as well as adequately trained to cater to both formal and informal sectors of the economy and the general development of the Gambia.  

“This is a responsibility that we have as a government and a responsibility that we want to take charge of but doing that in collaboration with organizations like the Banjul Youth Diplomacy Conference and all other organizations that exist in the Gambia.  This is proven by the government’s intervention in ensuring that we invest in the higher education sector to the construction of the University of the Gambia and the transformation of GTTI and the MDI, into universities so as to position them to cater to the education and young folks,” Hon. Badjie said. 

The Youths and Sports Minister made these remarks while presiding over the opening ceremony of the Banjul Youth Diplomacy Conference – National Youth Dialogue.  

The Banjul Youth Diplomacy Conference – National Youth Dialogue is a significant event that aims to empower youth voices and foster sustainable development in The Gambia. 

The theme for this year’s event is “Empowering Youth Voices: Shaping the Future Together. ” The conference delves into -crucial topics such as youth-led innovation, entrepreneurship,

technology, and youth participation in governance.

Hon. Badjie further assured the young people that the government will be ready to receive the conclusions of this dialogue and will be looking forward to collaborating with them for the implementation of the recommendations that will be in the community from the conference. 

“In addition, the Ministry of Youths and Sports has in the past launched a youth revolving grant and scheme that supports young people who are in business and those that are running startups. Additionally, he has been investing in the sports sector by ensuring the government takes its rightful responsibility and funding the activities of the national teams. These include football, basketball, athletics, and volleyball. 

“In addition, we are investing in developing the infrastructure both in the urban and in rural areas. This is so because we know that young people have an interest in sports. And not just is it a recreational activity. It is also an adventure that has an economic impact in terms of empowering athletes, their families, and their communities once they reach the elite level, ” Hon. Badjie said. 

Hon. Badjie also highlighted some of the challenges Gambian Youths faced in their daily activities.  

He said the youths battle with many social challenges and social biases such as lack of adequate educational opportunities, leading to higher interest rates, unemployment and underemployment, and lack of social safety nets, among others.

The Youths and Sports Minister said the effect of these social problems leads young people to be antisocial or delinquent and end up abusing drugs, and sometimes dropping out of school.

Hon. Badjie believes that these circumstances are not just affecting young people, but affect society because it has an impact on the peaceful nature of the country and it has an impact on the cost of health because of its ramification on them.  

“With the above, one can conclude that a lot of attention should be directed towards this category of the population with a view to cater to their needs in a more strategic, coordinated, sustainable manner and a view to ensure that educational skills and vocational training opportunities are available. And after that phase of education, they are supported with grants and other incentives to establish small businesses to help them to grow, ” he said.  

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