Youth participation local governance, decentralization
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
In The Gambia, policies to decentralize government
activities have been on the agenda for more than a decade, since the coming of
the Second Republic. During this period, the quality of government services in
the rural areas have stood out to be the priority of the leadership.
However, most of such changes were triggered by the
redundancy of the linchpin of provincial administration, the then divisional
commissioners who become redundant as far as development is concerned and the
activities of line ministries were deteriorating as their expenditures have
been reduced and they lack the funds to permit staff to operate at village
Area councils that were previously regarded as wasteful are now totally
discredited in the 1980s and mid 90s. Village development committees (VDCs)
have been formed, but the results are mixed and often they are ineffective. By
default, decentralization in the 1980s and early 1990s in The Gambia has been
achieved bynon-governmental organizations (NGOs), which have rapidly grown in
number and significance.
Today, government’s development agenda has, as it should be, laid strong emphasis on youth participation in national development.Realizing the need to enhance their capacity for effectiveness, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Local Government and Lands will train youth councilors on “Youth participation for effective local governance and decentralization in The Gambia” today.
This training will help our youth councilors to reduce if not eradicate the canker of youth ineffective participation in national development. Local youth councilors are important in the redirection of the focus on young people for good. They must understand that the people they represent matter more than any other person. We are however looking to see effective actions potential for changing from the training today.
Author: Amadou Jallow