The Barrow Led Administration Should Involve The Youth In Decision Making Process!
An African Union (AU) Assembly decision in January 2016 established the theme for 2017 as ‘’Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments In Youth”. AU heads of states and governments recognize a country- level demographic dividend as a central to continent’s economic transformation in the context of AU Agenda 2063.
Long term investment in the health of adolescent and youth, including in their sexual and reproductive health, can help accelerate economic growth when combined with the appropriate investment in education and economic planning. (Policy Brief, 2017)
On Monday, 9th July President Adama Barrow presided over the swearing ceremony of new Vice-President Ousainou Darboe along with eight ministers at State House in Banjul. Surprisingly enough, there was no youth among the list including the youth Minister who is above the Youth age bracket.
President Barrow should understand that ‘’anything for the youth without the youth is not for the youth’’. The Gambia youth have all it takes to preside over the affairs of the State beyond imagination, in this era of 21st Century it is a tragedy for a pensioner to run the affairs of the Youth.
“The New Gambia calls for us to follow the right processes in the service of the nation. Thus, given all the huge challenges we face, the country cannot move at a snail pace. Rather, we must move together with vigour and seriousness,” President Barrow said.
How can the above message be a reality when the Youth are not involved in decision making process neither given the opportunity to so case their talent for a better Gambia we all want to see.
The last time I checked Botswana’s President appoints Kenewendo at the age of 30 as Investment, Trade and Industry Minister. Her appointment is being celebrated on social media by many Africans both those home and abroad, who say her appointment despite her age is a rare feat that needs to be replicated across the continent which The Gambia is not an exception. She was one of two youth delegates to represent Botswana at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, where she presented a statement of African youth to the UN Secretary General.
Furthermore, Article 11 (C) of the African Youth Charter stated that ‘Ensure equal access to young man and young women to participate in decision-making and in fulfilling civic duties ’’. Therefore The Gambia will not developed until and unless the Youth are given the opportunity to take part in the development process of the State.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou