“Barrowing” Forward – Know Your National Development Plan #YouthContext

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Collated by Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

This is a collation of sections of the National Development Plan (NDP) focussing on Youth. To stand any chance of achieving the vision of the NDP the participation of Gambians is imperative. Much has been said of the inclusivity of the process of creating the NDP, however now that it has been finalised, Gambians need to use this document as a reference point during President Adama Barrow’s term in office.

“The Vision

The Government’s vision for the “new Gambia” is a country that upholds the highest standard of governance, accountability and transparency; where social cohesion and harmony prevails among communities; citizens enjoy a standard of living and access to basic services to enable them to lead descent and dignified lives; youth, women, children realize their full potential, and a nurturing and caring environment exists for the vulnerable; there is an enabling environment for our private sector to thrive; and our natural heritage is nurtured and preserved for future generations.” Pg xii

President Adama Barrow at the NDP Launch

There are two main segments focussing on youth specifically; section 2.8 Reaping the demographic dividend through an empowered youth and section 7.4 Youth Empowerment and Development. To introduce the issue of Youth a few sections are included in the introduction and the executive summary introducing the challenges facing youth in the post-Jammeh era. What will the Barrow era bring for Gambian Youth? We will find out at the end of his term but all stakeholders must not fold their arms and wait but monitor and participate positively towards making the vision of a sustainable Gambia a reality.

“The Plan Context: Immediate Crisis and Government’s Response

As clearly stated by H.E. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic, in the foreword to the Plan, the new government inherited a very difficult situation, as exemplified by the following:

Youth: poor and inadequate education continues to limit the youth’s productivity and acquisition of skills, while insufficient access to knowledge and information (including business development services for the entrepreneurial youth) is hindering their gainful engagement.” Pg vii

Delegates at the NDP Launch

“Government since assuming office has undertaken many measures, including:

Priority is being given to youth issues and the first project signed by the new Government is focused on youth empowerment through funding from the European Union (EU). The 11million Euro Project focuses on youth employment creation aiming to provide high quality skills training for potential youth entrepreneurs and start-ups.” Pg viii

A section from the Introduction of the Executive Summary

“The systematic breakdown of the country’s laws and institutions, the crisis in the economy, the need for national reconciliation to heal the wounds and divisions arising from decades of a brutal dictatorship, the rising frustration of all segments of society, but particularly so with the youth, all require immediate attention on the part of the new Government.” Pg xi

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