The Ministry is responsible for policy evolution and overall coordination of the activities of youth and sports, while implementation is carried out through its six(6) satellite institutions. Deputy Permanent Secretary of Youth is responsible for the supervision of NYC, NYSS, NEDI and PIA, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of 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 even though the two Deputy Permanent Secretaries are involved.
National Youth Council was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000 and is currently headed by an Executive Director, who is appointed by the Hon. Minister in consultation with members of the Council. It is an autonomous and non-partisan body that allow for the representation of the interest of all young men and women irrespective of their ethnic, political or religious affiliation in all facets of development. Its main goal is empowering young Gambian men and women.
a) Conducting research on youth development.
The National Sports Council was enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the President of the Republic on the 14th of December, 2000.
It is headed by the Executive Director, who is appointed by the Minister. Other members include elected Regional Sports Chairpersons of the seven administrative regions, Representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and Gambia National Olympic Committee, three experienced sports personalities (two of whom MUST be women) and the Executive Secretary who serves as Secretary to Council as an Ex-officio member.
The National Sports Council is the supreme council of sports in the country charged with the following functions and responsibilities:
a) Advise the Minister on matters relating to sports.
b) Act as the main promotional and coordinating agency of sports in the country.
c) Strengthen the cohesion among the various structures of The Gambia Sports Association and other Sporting Organisations.
d) Act as the approving body for the registration of National Sports Associations.
e) Assist in co-ordination, monitoring and evaluating the implementation and impact of the programmes within the policy framework.
f) Develop, promote and co-ordinate all forms of amateur and professional sports at the national and international levels.
g) Promote the diversification of sports to all parts and at all levels in the country.
h) Ensure that the National Sports Association at all levels conform to the national and international rules, regulations, norms, standards and codes of conduct governing the particular sport.
i) Encourage the development, provision and maintenance of sports facilities for all concerned and ensure their equitable distribution and proper use.
j) Assist registered National Sports Associations in the recruitment of competent coaches, instructors and their technical assistants in building capacity and enhancing performance in sports.
k) Offer assistance to migrant Gambian sports persons in their engagements in foreign countries.
l) Raise and maintain a fund from such sources and by such means as the Minister may approve to enable the council to carry out its functions and achieve its goals.
m) Administer the All Africa Games and all other sporting programmes organised by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa or other recognised bodies.
n) Administer and manage the Sports Development Fund.
The National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) was established in 1996 with the aim to provide the youth who form the majority of the population with the requisite skills to address the acute problem of unemployment. It was supported by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) of Nigeria during its first eight years of establishment.
The NYSS specifically seeks to train the youth to appreciate the dignity of labour, instil in them the spirit of self-reliance and encourage them to create rather than seek jobs. This is in recognition that the youth are the future leaders and such must be equipped with the necessary skills to enable them contributed effectively to national development while ensuring sustainable development.
The skills training programme spans the following areas: Agriculture, Auto mechanics, Carpentry, Computer/PC Repairs and maintenance, Electrical/Electronic engineering, Entrepreneurship, Farming, Hair-dressing, Maritime and Small Scale Fishing, Masonry, Painting and Decoration, Plumbing, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Tailoring, Welding and Fabrication and Fishing & Maritime Training. In order to enable effectiveness of its programme, the NYSS has entered into partnerships/agreements with institutions such as the GTTI, other technical training institutes, farms/orchards/gardens, workshops, companies, etc for the acquisition of practical skills by its corps members.
Although the Government of The Gambia is its main sponsor, it generates income from its youth farms and other agricultural ventures. In partnership with GAMJOBs, credit facilities are provided to successful corp members to pursue business ventures of their choice.
The board is responsible for among other things drawing up of detailed programmes and schedules of training (which shall be designed to achieve the aims of the service scheme); ensuring that the programmes and schedules drawn up are strictly adhered to, evaluating and monitoring the management of the service scheme, co-ordinating the work of the Regional Committee in furtherance of the aims of the Act, and assessing and reviewing the progress of the service scheme. The regional Committee shall be under the control and supervision of the board and shall be responsible for arranging and providing accommodation, boarding, transportation and other essential facilities for the welfare of the members of the service scheme, preparing reports on members of the Service Scheme; arranging facilities for orientation courses and winding-up exercises, compiling information on opportunities for employment within a region, after consultation with the Director or appropriate authority, deploying members of the Service Scheme, ensuring the safety and security of the members deployed to the regions, selecting service scheme honours and award winners at the regional level; ensuring the effective integration and full participation of the members deployed to their regions; and developing and executing integrated programmes for the development of the regions through community development projects.
The President’s International Award started operations in the Gambia in 1979 through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then the Ministry of Education. Until the separation of education and youth and sports it came under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It is also a member of the International Award Association within the framework of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the UK.
Since its inception, it has challenged young people aged 14 -25 years to discover hidden potentials and transform them into productive life and livelihood skills. It provides a balanced progressive programme of extracurricular activities for young people throughout the world. It has four mandatory sections namely; Service, Skills and interest, physical recreation and adventurous journeys divided into three different levels of Awards namely; Bronze, Silver and Gold.
In The Gambia, the Award programme has an added value by providing livelihood skills training to young people as a means for employment as employment creation is one of the Gambia’s challenges to young people particularly those who cannot transit to higher educational opportunities. This programme provides livelihood skills in CARPENTRY, WELDING, ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION, HOME MANAGEMENT, SECRETARIAT DUTIES, COMPUTER TECHNOLGY and BUSINESS STUDIES; including basic maths and English to enhance their writing skills. The other component is the apprentice training programme for none schooled young people, which run for three years.
However, the Award is still not able to cover the length and breathe of The Gambia. It has started its decentralisation programme by establishing a regional and skills training center in Kerewan North Bank Region. It is hoped that similar programmes will be established in other regions within The Gambia.
To provide opportunities for young people through knowledge and skills development for employment and responsible leadership
The President’s International Award shall challenge young people to:
a. Develop a positive and realistic self-image of young people, the will to know and accept their own strengths and weaknesses and be more aware of one’s potentials and talents.
b. Develop self-motivating attitudes and an independent mind.
c. Build the capacity of young people through life skills and livelihood skills for creating greater employment opportunities for young people living in The Gambia.
d. Develop a sense of community responsibility and connect to the broader society.
e. Develop a sustainable global partnership for the promotion of the fundamental principles of democracy, accountability and participation of young people in both local and international initiatives.
The National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) was established in 2004, under the Office of the Vice President but operationally supervised by the MOYS and receives funding from the Government of The Gambia, GAMJOBS and other private organisations such as the banks. The main purpose of its establishment is to empower the Gambian youth and women through the provision of training in business entrepreneurship, funding to operate businesses in the informal sector and business advice to ensure sustainability. Business advice provided is geared towards ensuring sustainability and expansion.
Even though it was set up in 2004, it was not until 2013 that it was fully institutionalised through the National Enterprise Development Initiative Act 2013. This has enabled clearer Terms of Reference and management structures and systems. Some of these systems include among others the HR Policy, Loans Policy and Service Scheme.
NEDI operates in all the seven regions of The Gambia and is involved in retail shopping, bakery, fishing and fish selling, catering, tailoring and butchery. Its establishment is aimed at not only the empowerment of Gambian youths and women, but also the availability and affordability of basic food items and services to the Gambian populace.
The Platform for Entrepreneurially Empowered and Independent Youth and Women
a) Identify and select potential youth and women entrepreneurs through a well-defined criteria.
b) Give out and administer loans to youth and women entrepreneurs.
c) Conduct risk assessment and proper financial management.
d) Provide entrepreneurial training for youth and women to promote employment creation for them.
e) Develop business plans for potential youth and women entrepreneurs.
f) Carry out business advisory and monitoring and evaluation services for existing and potential entrepreneurs.
g) Where it deemed prudent, engage in the business of importing and exporting basic commodities and other materials.
NEDI may also exercise such powers as are necessary to enable it perform its functions or incidental to the proper discharge of those functions, and in particular it may:
a) Establish offices and branches in any place(s) within The Gambia;
b) Charge for any service(s) it provides; and
c) Consult and seek the advice of any person in the performance of its functions.
This was established in 2013 but eventually got fully operational in 2014. It replaces the then Department of Youth and Sports (DOYS) and this transformation is one the biggest achievements of the previous strategic plan (2010-2014). Its establishment stems from the strong recognition by the Ministry that effectiveness and efficiency in its work cannot be achieved without an appropriate structure for both short and long term planning and programming. Its functions in general include policy and strategic planning of MOYS and monitoring/evaluation of its implementation. It is also responsible for youth and sports programmes development and provision of technical advice to the Permanent Secretary of MOYS and heads of its satellite institutions.
However, the DOPP is not yet fully institutionalised as its scope of operations is not very clear. Thus, it is currently focused on operational rather than strategic issues. These problems including weak capacity in planning need to be resolved as soon as possible to enable it fulfil the purpose for which it was established. As the technical arm of the Ministry, its proper functioning will have a knock-on effect on the entire Ministry and thus the realisation of its goals and objectives.
Even though it is called the Independence Stadium, it is charged with the management of all stadia, all government sporting facilities and the Friendship Hostel which is located in the Independence Stadium.