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NYP Gets First Ever Office Complex Since Its Establishment In 2002 

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By Landing Ceesay 

The National Youth Parliament (NYP) of the Gambia inaugurated its first-ever office complex since its establishment in 2002. 

Hon. Omar Cham, the Speaker of the NYP, addressed the gathering and expressed his honor in inaugurating the new office for the organization. He described the office as a “milestone achievement” in the NYP’s years of serving the young people of the Gambia.

Hon. Cham said the office has been established to create a more conducive working environment for the staff of the National Youth Parliament. 

“The reformation of the NYP did not happen overnight. It started as far back as 2021 when the new leadership of the National Youth Parliament, the executive of five sat and concluded that the operation of the National Youth Parliament required immense and significant adjustments concerning the things that he wanted the expansion of our mandate, the realization of how change was needed to serve the young people better. 

“But most importantly, to be able to reposition ourselves as the leading youth organization that is creating the required platform for young people’s involvement in politics, and decision-making processes. We thought among ourselves that if we are to become a real Parliament, we must mirror the National Assembly. Considering they are a government Arm, we cannot be exactly like them, but we can be to a large extent like them,” he said. 

Hon. Cham said that in response to the need for reform, the National Youth Parliament (NYP) adjusted its membership, structure, representation, and coordination. They also created a platform to strengthen their work. These changes led to the development of a new constitution, standing orders, management manual, financial manual, and other documents and policies that are essential for the NYP’s governance.The Speaker of the National Youth Parliament (NYP), Hon. Cham, believes that the reforms the NYP underwent during his tenure are not its biggest achievement. Instead, he considers the first-ever NYP sittings at the National Assembly chambers, with representatives from constituencies, women, and persons living with disabilities, to be the NYP’s greatest accomplishment.

“We equally give resolutions that were submitted to relevant stakeholders to consider our submissions and contributions of young people in our decision-making processes. This we believe was not enough. Because it is known that no matter how many ideas you have if you do not have the required space to implement those ideas, it means those ideas will find homes and offices in your mind or not homes and offices in the required structures.

“We decided to present a home and an office where we can implement our ideas but also have a platform that will be a home for young people in the entire country. Where you can come and use the space to solve problems that are affecting your communities, your regions, and the nation at large,” he said. 

Mr. Cham said that the National Youth Parliament is committed to using this milestone achievement as a stepping stone to raise their mandate and operations to a higher level and to provide 1000% more of what they are currently providing in terms of their commitment and functions in representing the voice of young people.

Alhagie Jarju, Executive Director of the National Youth Council, expressed satisfaction that most youth groups are now able to have full offices, a gradual process that the council has been supporting.

“In the past, most of us had what we call briefcase offices. There is no physical address where you can find any of us. If you have a letter, you struggle to even know where to reach out. So having a physical office, I think it is a good manifestation of how much we have grown as young people over the past years. 

“We are really now taking up the work that we do seriously, but it is no longer a hobby that we all enjoy. But this is a full-time profession that we have all been getting in to alleviate or ameliorate the plight of young people in this country,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Kalipha M.M. Mbye, Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, assured the National Youth Parliament of his office’s full support. 

Mr. Mbye expressed the National Assembly’s pleasure in partnering with the National Youth Parliament in all of its endeavors.

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