The Ministry of Youth and Sports is a Key Component of the Government that is bestowed with the responsibility to coordinate, facilitate and ensure the development of youth and sports in the country. It provides the Policy direction (Youth and Sports Policies) for the smooth implementation of youth and sports activities and programmes throughout the country.
The Gambia’s youth constitute over 70%of the population which necessitates the need for their effective mainstreaming and assuming center of focus to drive socio-economic change and national development. The ultimate goal of the policy is to function as a guide for Ministry and its partners to ensure that investment in youth takes place across sectors.
While the Ministry is responsible for policy evolution and overall coordination of the activities of youth and sports around the country, implementation is carried out through its satellite institutions such as, the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS), the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS),President’s International Award (PIA), National Youth Council (NYC), National Sports Council (NSC), National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) and the Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel.
The Ministry is headed by the Minister who is supported by the Permanent Secretary (PS) and Two Deputy Permanent Secretaries (DPS).(DPS of Technical and Sport Matters and DPS of Administration and Finance). While DPS Youth is responsible for the supervision of NYC, NYSS, NEDI and PIA, the DPS Sports is in charge of NSC, and Independence Stadium. The newly established Department of Planning and Programmes (DOPP) is the technical arm of the Ministry. It is directly under the PS.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT (YEP)
The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) addresses the economic root causes of irregular migration by supporting youth employment and entrepreneurship. YEP focuses on vocational training and support for micro and small-sized enterprises and creates new jobs in selected sectors through value addition and market linkages.
YEP aims to contribute to the inclusiveness of the society and reduce migration pressure by improving the employability of youth by creating more jobs and opportunities, especially potential and returning migrants.
GAMBIA SONGHAI INITIATIVE (GSI) CHAMEN
The GSI Project is designed (2014) to tackle the growing youth unemployment and increasing poverty among rural populations of The Gambia. It is also developed against the growing need of transforming the agricultural sector into a productive, efficient, sustainable and remunerative enterprise, especially among youth.
The overarching goal of this project is to sustainably reduce poverty, unemployment and food insecurity by tackling their root causes and deploying proven strategies for achieving large scale and lasting impact.
The frustrations and lack of desirable opportunities for the youth community has propelled thousands of our young people to undertake the risky journey, often with tragic consequences, across the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better future. In the same vein, the issues and challenges affecting youth and sports development in The Gambia include among others the policy and legal environments, youth and sports infrastructure, institutional capacity and partnership.
To address these challenges, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is focusing not only on the evaluation and formulation of both the youth and sports policies but also the review of its legal instruments i.e. the various Acts that established the satellite Institutions under its purview as well as the mid-Term review of its strategic Plan in accordance with the NDP in order to effectively deliver the promised mission to the Youth.