By Alimatou S Bajinka
Peace Hub the Gambia (PHTG) started a nationwide Youth Leadership Forum on 11th April 2022. The Nationwide Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund through UNFPA the Gambia.
PHTG National Programme Coordinator, Mr Bakary Sonko highlighted the importance of the Nationwide YLF to young people and women of the Gambia.
“In the modern generation, young people and women are critical constituents for innovative and participatory leadership. Given the numbers they constitute in our society, young people and women should be at the heart of governance, leadership and development for sustainability. Therefore, an initiative such as YLF will foster the shaping of emerging young and women leaders in regions across the country,” said Mr Sonko.
The PHTG Coordinator explained that the YLF organised by PHTG will organize town hall meetings across all the seven regions of the country including one major meeting in Banjul targeting 50 participants in each of the seven regions.
Mr Sonko noted that these sessions will target women, youth, older generation especially veteran politicians to discuss the way forward and reflect on the lessons learnt along the line to inspire a very strong youth force in political participation.
The YLF also aspires to create a platform for young potential/emerging leaders to be introduced to civic and ethical leadership, accountability, communication and community service. Mr Sonko revealed that YLF will explore innovative ways of creating a hub for the advancement of youth and women in the participation and decision-making processes in the Gambia.
He concluded by turning his attention to the recently concluded 9th April 2022 National Assembly Elections. Mr Sonko believes that a considerable number of young people elected in the recently concluded elections gives YLF hope for increased youth representation in the 2023 local government elections.
Peace Hub the Gambia is a peacebuilding and social cohesion network, established in 2020 which seeks to create a conducive environment for young people in peacebuilding, social cohesion and reconciliation to support and strengthen the gains of The Gambia’s Transitional Justice process.