By Ceesay Njieh
President Adama Barrow of The Gambia on Friday launched a mandatory National Youth Service Graduate Program for University Graduates.
The initiative which the President had hinted three months ago was designed to empower the youths and avail them of opportunities to serve the nation.
Here is an excerpt from his statement at the Launch
“Last June, when I delivered the State of the Nation Address, I declared that the proposed mandatory National Youth Service Programme targeting university graduates was under consideration for implementation.
“I am delighted that, exactly three months after that public declaration, we have gathered here to launch the pilot phase of that important programme. It is an initiative designed to empower our youth and avail them of opportunities to serve the nation. In addition, the programme seeks to create pathways for knowledge building, skills acquisition, and employment opportunities for the youth.
“As the pioneers of this laudable initiative, I congratulate all those selected to serve as the first batch of the Graduate Programme.
“I am thankful that it is during my tenure as President that The Gambia is implementing a National Youth Service Programme for university graduates. The target for this phase is one hundred (100) University of The Gambia (UTG) graduates and will be implemented by the National Youth Service Scheme, under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the University.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
“This initiative is another clear testimony of my government’s commitment to enhancing the employability and development of our youths. With the awareness that more than sixty-three (63%) of our population are under the age of thirty-five (35), my government has, since its inception, continued to devise strategies to empower the youths and create opportunities for them in various areas that include education, training, and sports.
“It is evident that the younger generation has a lot to offer, which we must tap into in the interest of the nation. This cannot happen, however, without the right opportunities and investments.”