Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian Vice-President Dr. Isatou Touray Tuesday urged African youths to be more critical minded and use non-violent means to engage their governments in addressing their concerns, aspirations and wishes, an official source told PANA here.
She made thid statement when she addressed the opening session of the Third African Youth Forum here.
It was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), OHCHR, other UN agencies, CODESRIA, Trust Africa, ARITLE 19 and the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation in close collaboration with the Gambia government, PAYNCOP and the African Commission on Human and People’s Right (ACHPR).
“Am very happy to hearing young people saying we want development, we want to move forward, we want to alleviate poverty and I believe the only way we can achieve these is to move in a way that is non-conflict means of engagements. We need critical minds and critical consciousness, is not sitting down and going out there and organize protests and start attacking because you don’t know where it will end,” said Dr. Touray.
The forum, known as Banjul + 3 Forum, will also focus on the roles and place of young women and men in the areas of democracy, human rights, guarantee of freedoms of expression, governance, peace and security, heritage, creativity and social transformation.
According to the organizers, the forum aimed to provide young African leaders of both sexes with a platform to reflect and interact with other actors in the societal space to create the necessary synergies to find solutions to their problems and those of society.
Dr. Touray challenged African youths to love their continent, countries and communities in a bid to move Africa forward.
She pointed out that war and conflict would only derail the growth and progress of the continent at a time when other regions were on the move.
She called on African youths to work towards changing the narratives about Africa from negative to positive, noting that all that was said of Africa was about killings, tribal and ethnic problems.
She asked the continent’s youths to learn from the positive stories of The Gambian youth who ended 22 years of dictatorship in the country through non-violent means.
Dr. Touray said the doors of The Gambian government was widely open to engage, promote and enhance the potential growth and development of youths, nothing that the youth were the leaders of today and tomorrow.
She said President Adama Barrow’s government would leave no stone unturned as far as youth matters were concerned.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 20Oct2019