By MUHAMMED .S. BAH
The Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia, Madam Isatou Njie
Saidy, has said that African Governments and their development
partners must be willing and be able to invest heavily in African
youth. This, according to her, will enable them take up their role inhelping Africa develop spectacularly and sustainably for the benefit
of its people.
Madam Njie Saidy said this while officially opening the African Youth
Summit Banjul + 10 at a local hotel on Tuesday, 24 May, 2016.
The Vice President underscored the importance of the African Youth
Charter describing it a legal framework that address the issues of
young people in the
She also described the African Youth Charter (AYC) as critical to
governments and to the continuous
engagement of young people of Africa whom she said will eventually and
naturally inherit the mantle of leadership.
She expressed confidence that the summit will come up with unanimously
agreed pathway for the successful furtherance of Africa Youth Charter.
The Vice President used the opportunity to highlight the progresses
registered by the Gambia Government on youth development before and
after the Adoption of the Charter in 2006.
According to her, The Gambia is amongst the first five countries to
ratify the Charter in 2009 describing it as a great commitment. “It is
encouraging to note that since the Seventh Ordinary Session of the
African Union Summit in Banjul in July 2006, 42 countries signed the
Africa Youth Charter and 38 ratified it, making the charter one of
the Fastest-Ratified Legal Instruments of the African Union” She noted.
Madam Njie Saidy assured them of the Gambia government’s continuous
support to young people and the implementation of the African Youth
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Youth and Sports Alieu .K.
Jammeh, highlighted the achievements made by the Gambia government in
support of youth through his Ministry. “The Government has done a lot
with regards to youth development in the country; e.g the government
established the National Youth Council
in the year 2000 before the adoption of the African Youth Charter in
2006. This shows the commitment of the Government in promoting the
affairs of young people,” he remarked.
Ms. Francine Muyumba, President of the Pan African Youth Union, highlighted
the importance of young people in nation building. She challenged
African leaders to invest in youth for a better Africa. She also
called on the youth to take up the responsibility of shaping up their
lives as young people of Africa for a better future.
Ms. Muyumba also stressed the need for the African Union to establish
an African Youth Fund and for them to be able to access those funds in
venturing into entrepreneurship among other things that can help them
develop their lives.
Other speakers such as Dr. Babatunde Osotomhim, Executive Director,
UNFPA, and H.E. Marital De Paul Ikounga, Commissioner, High Research
on Science and Technology highlighted the importance of investing in
The outcome of the African Youth Summit, Banjul Plus 10 is expected to
be presented at the next AU Summit.