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Promoting youth leadership and participation is key in enabling young people to develop the skills and knowledge and mobilise the support needed to make informed decisions. In a quest to ensure that Gambian young people take a leading role in building and sustaining peace in their communities, WANEP The Gambia with support from UNFPA through the UN Peacebuilding funded project on youth programming, conducted a 10-day training for 25 young women and men between the ages of 18 – 25. The participants drawn from all the administrative regions of The Gambia were equipped with skills in conflict analysis, mediation and dialogue among others. Following the completion of the training, the young women and men developed proposals on peacebuilding initiatives in their respective communities.

On Friday 17th September 2021, UNFPA The Gambia Country Representative Mr. Kunle Adeniyi joined the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Mr. Saikou Sanyang and the National Network Coordinator of WANEP The Gambia Madam Salama Njie to present grants amounting to D50,000.00 to 25 young people. Speaking at the grant award ceremony, the UNFPA Representative Mr. Kunle Adeniyi highlighted that peace remains the critical bedrock of every development process, and it does not mean the absence of conflicts but rather the early identification of conflict triggers and their amicable resolution through dialogue, education, knowledge, and human interventions. 

Young people remain the most important demographic of The Gambia in terms of their numbers and ability to author and influence stability and peaceful co-existence. - Mr Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA The Gambia Country Representative

On her part, the National Network Coordinator of WANEP The Gambia Ms. Salama Njie pointed out that capacity building is vital in strengthening socio-economic development and advancing respect for human rights and freedoms. This she said, will enhance growth and advance the realisation of sustainable peace and development.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, “young people play a major role in development, as we await them to launch our world into a better place.”

He encouraged participants to utilise the grants for the purpose they were given and be leading lights in peacebuilding and conflict resolution among their peers and in their communities.

Mankamang Daffeh is one of the 25 grant recipients and he intends to reach youth in his community to sensitise them on the importance of peacebuilding and the need for them to be agents of peace especially ahead of the December 4th Presidential elections.

Empowering young people is at the core of UNFPA’s mandate. Through the support of UN Peacebuilding, UNFPA is working with its partners in The Gambia to promote the inclusion and effective participation of young people in decision making and peacebuilding. This is vital in advancing sustainable development, ensuring that youth live empowered lives and are no longer left behind.


Media contact:

Faith Ememodo – UNV Communications, UNFPA The Gambia