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Published On: Tue, Oct 24th, 2023

NYC Hosts YouthConnekt Gambia Summit 2023

The National Youth Council (NYC), with support from partners, kick starts the 3rd edition of the Youth Connekt Gambia Summit from October 23–25, 2023, at a local hotel in Kololi.

The 3-day summit brought together more than 325 young people, government, private sectors, UN agencies, and partners with the theme: “ Moment for Youth; Action for More Socio-economic Development is meant to empower young people to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.”

The summit is funded by the government of the Gambia, UNDP, and other partners.

Alagie Jarju, Executive Director, of the National Youth Council, assured the gathering that his office and partners will make sure that Youth Connekt 3.0 becomes memorable and successful.

He highlighted the amount of interest young people have in the Youth Connekt and took references of the number of applicants from the previous and this year’s summits.

“All sectors of young people are represented here in this hall because we want to make sure that no one is left behind. We have an inclusive policy, leaving no one behind,” he said.

Baboucarr Boye, Minister for Public Affairs on behalf of the Vice President of the Gambia said through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Youth Connekt Gambia Chapter has been demonstrating outstanding efforts in Jobs & Entrepreneurship, Education & Skills, Civic Participation & Leadership, Gender, Technology and Innovation.

This, he added demonstrates that Youth development is a key priority to the Government of the Gambia and has gained traction, with this Summit serving as an excellent example.

“The Gambia’s government applauds the notion of Youth Connekt in influencing legislation, developing alliances, and consolidating programmes that address the challenges of young Gambians,” he said.

Hon. Bakary Y Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports said the power of youth cannot be underestimated in this age of rapid change and innovation; your creativity, passion, and determination can transform the landscape of our society; it is up to you to harness this power for the betterment of our communities, our country, and the global community; and I have no doubt you will.

“As a ministry, we are committed to equipping youth with the required skills and competencies to excel and by extension help contribute to the Socio-Economic Development of the Gambia,” he said.

Minister Badjie challenges youth to not only be the beneficiaries of opportunities but also to be the creators of opportunities.

“Be the change-makers, innovators, and advocates for a better world. Our success as a nation depends on your active engagement, dedication, and commitment to the values that make us who we are as a nation,” he said.

Ms. Seraphine Wakana, United Nations Resident Coordinator said YouthConnekt is a chance to nurture youth by providing key knowledge and skills focusing on employment, technological innovation, gender equality, and sustainable development.

She said when The Gambia joined this transformative movement in 2018, it became a pioneer among African countries.

“Through this stepping stone, we have seen the positive impact of youth engagement, especially in the areas of skill development, entrepreneurship, innovation, gender equality, and leadership an important annual Summit, YouthConnekt serves as a critical platform for networking and mentorship and is designed to enable young Gambians to access opportunities, resources, and key stakeholders,” she said.

She added: “But what sets YouthConnekt apart is its commitment to going beyond the rhetoric of youth development. We are here to strategize and to act for a peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous Gambia. Young Gambians are not passive beneficiaries; they are active contributors to nation-building.”

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