Youth development is indispensable
Man owes his claim of supremacy over other members of the living kingdom to his power of imagination. This he translates into action by means of some physical aids. These take the form of machines and a horde of other forms of equipment. In order to reach this point, however, he required specialised skills that have evolved over time.
In virtually everything we do we employ some form of skill. The first world actually developed through skills training. Advanced countries are in fact advanced simply because they outshine the rest of the world in the skills they use to put up all the domineering structures that we use today as yardstick for measuring development. For instance, it took the Wright brothers some form of skills to assemble that historic aircraft that would revolutionise the transport industry generations to come.
Nonetheless, emerging trends show an unequivocal obsession for white-collar jobs. And this weighs down, with catastrophic consequences, on our inclinations to skills-related professions.
However, all indications are that sight has not been lost of this fact. The government of The Gambia is cognizant of the importance of a skill-based society, which has the potential of ensuring uninterrupted development. The establishment of indispensable institutions like the National Youth Council, the National Youth Service Scheme etc, etc, as well as the increasing weight of support being extended by government towards realising these goals, by increasing youth representation at all levels of decision-making, are all indications of the efforts the leadership of this country is making to empower our young people.
The youth form the core treasure of a nation. An enterprising youth population accelerates a nation’s development processes. On the contrary, a dependent youth population is a burden; it hinders progress, and contributes to a failed state. This is surely not what The Gambia wants to settle down for, hence its stance on the development of a skillful youth population.
If we ask the question: why do we prefer imported goods over homemade ones, very few people would advance tangible reasons for it. The President’s International Award, for instance, produces high-class household and office furniture that matches, both in quality and in standard, the expensive, imported ones that we scramble for. It is high time we realise that for as long as we remain dependent on foreigners for what we consume, we will always be at their mercy, even in our own country.