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TELEVISED STATEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY COMMEMORATION
BY THE HON. HADRAMMEH SIDIBEH, MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS, THE GAMBIA

Fellow Gambians, our dear Youth, Viewers and Listeners, Every year, on the 12th August, the Republic of The Gambia joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International Youth Day.

In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution declaring August 12th as International Youth Day. A unique theme is created annually to assist in focusing awareness on issues affecting youth around the world.

By highlighting the role youth can take and the impact they can make on our global society, the hope is to engage youth and cultivate their increased contributions to their communities.

The global theme for this year’s celebration is: ‘’YOUTH ENGAGEMENT FOR GLOBAL ACTION’’.

The theme seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

The Government of The Gambia through the able and dynamic leadership of H.E President Adama Barrow, we continue to create the enabling environment and platforms for youth participation in decision-making at local, national, regional and continental levels of governance and ensure equal access to young women and men to participate in fulfilling civic duties.

Under my Ministry (Youth and Sports), we are empowering the National Youth Council, its regional structures and national youth organizations and other satellite institutions to become more vibrant and continue to engage to make their voices heard and make contributions to the implementation of our National youth Policy 2019 - 2028, National Development Plan 2018 - 2021 and other priorities of the Government.

My Ministry will this year review the Act of all the Satellite Agencies under the Ministry. This is intended to allow them to be better able to serve the young people of the Gambia and young people will be key partners during the consultation process.  

As the United Nations turns 75, and with only 10 years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all, there is a need to tackle challenges such as the COVID-19 outbreak, climate change, and high rates of youth unemployment in The Gambia. Accordingly the Ministry of Health’s COVID19 situation report as of 8th August 2020, the Gambia has registered 1,346 confirmed cases, out of which about 50% are young people. This is very alarming.

As a Ministry, we are working tirelessly with our development partners to increase our awareness-raising and prevention related activities from Banjul to Koina using the Ministry structure.

At this juncture, let me advise young people that they are no invincible to this pandemic and therefore, they should at all times, adhere to the Ministry of Health and W.H.O’s preventive guidelines.

To address these and other emerging challenges, we need to collectively strengthen the capacity of our youth, provide them with adequate resources, make the best use of their youthful energy and ideas so as to provide solutions to pressing challenges and threats.

In conclusion, I call on every young person to continue to actively engage and take over their rightful spaces.

Finally, I wish you all a happy International Youth Day and successful celebrations.

Thank you.

#InternationalYouthDay2020  #YouthPower   #IYD2020

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