Youth leaders urge Barrow to address young people’s concerns

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On December 4, Gambians went to the polls and re-elected President Barrow to lead the affairs of the country for the next five years. Now, expectations are high for the Gambian leader to bring development to the doorsteps of the masses.

In this regard, the youth leaders promptly called on the Head of State to address the needs of the youths in their various regions to improve the standard of living.

Speaking exclusively to The Point, Ousman Sanneh, Regional Youth Chairperson for the Lower River Region (LRR), called on President-elect Barrow to ensure there is effective youth political participation and representation equal politics in the country.

He said there is a greater need for young people to be involved in political participation and hold elective positions so that they participate meaningfully in the decision-making processes of society.

“I want President-elect Barrow to ensure that young people participate in politics, and once we talk about youth political participation, it is not just about participation just to participate. However, we must be represented in the National Assembly or have positions in the government. It can enhance political participation,” he said.

Speaking further, Sanneh said the government should create more employment opportunities for the youths of the Lower River region to ensure that they earn money to live a decent life.

According to the 2018 survey, which was conducted by the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and submitted to the Gambia Labor Force Survey (GLFS), the youth unemployment rate is 41.5%.

The data also shows that 30.6% of young people in urban areas are unemployed and 69.4% in rural areas.

In this regard, Mr. Sanneh: “I wish that more employment opportunities for young people are created in the region. Because, if you look at the unemployment rate in the region, most of those affected are young people,” he noted.

Isatou Secka, chairwoman of the Kanifing Municipality Regional Youth Committee (KM RYC), called on the government to renovate the municipality’s youth center located at Kanifing Estate. She said that the renovation of the facility will enable more young people to learn life skills that will help them lead a decent life in the future.

The youth leader further opined that the government should waive the tax for young entrepreneurs. She said imposing a free tax on young entrepreneurs would contribute to business sustainability for newcomers to the market.

“Sometimes young entrepreneurs have little capital from loans or grants to start a business and they often find it tedious to move forward in a year. Because they don’t have a lot of assets, their tax exemption will help them invest all their income in the business and support the business,” she said.

Bubacarr Sidibeh, Regional Youth Chairperson for the Upper River Region (URR), instructed the government to provide more youth empowerment projects for the youth of the URR, such as mechanized agriculture, as well as financial assistance to young people who have life skills to start businesses in their various fields of expertise.

“I believe that if young people are supported they will be able to employ themselves and others,” he said.

Going forward, he called for better recreation centers for URR youths, noting that URR youths love sports but do not enjoy them at all due to lack of better grounds. .

He cited that the city of Basse has a stadium which has the capacity to carry many spectators but is now in a terrible state. He added that other districts in the URR also lack sub-stadiums where youngsters can play football.

For Mr. Sidibeh, the government should ensure that young people have adequate football, basketball and volleyball courts in the region.

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