|Conference delegates at NaYCONF 2012 (Photo Credit: Gambia Sports News Online)|
In what many see as a rare scenario, the Lower River Region went unopposed in their bid to host the next biennial National Youth Conference and Festival (NaYCONF) 2014.
Gambia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Alieu K. Jammeh confirmed LRR as the host of the 2014 NaYCONF In his closing statement on Jan. 92013.
This is the first time in history of the event that a single region bid to host the youth conference and festival without opposition or contestants. "We are left with no option than awarding it to Lower River Region," says Bakary Badjie, chairperson of the NaYCONF conference sub-committee.
Now, the focus is for a taskforce committee to assess the condition of infrastructure and facilities in their suitability to host the event.
The LRR delegation at the just-concluded NaYCONF in Bansang, begged to be given the opportunity to succeed Central River Region in hosting NaYCONF for the first time in history of the region.
Previously, the region threatened to boycott the 2010 NaYCONF after a series of unsuccessful attempts to host it.
The Youth Chairperson of the region states in a letter to the National Youth Council (NYC) that "as the region never has the opportunity to host such a national event, we believe that we should be given the greatest advantage over all regions/municipalities in the country."
In response to whether the region can meet the required condition in hosting the national event the letter stated that the Mansakonko region will met all the criteria set for the bidding of the NAYCONF, ranging from the required budget to other resources including land for the construction of the NaYCONF villa with respect to time.
As part of their proposed fundraising plans, the region outlined its intention to setup a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in all the six administrative districts in the region to among others, take care of accommodation, health, security, and sports.
According to their NaYCONF bidding document, the LRR region intends to use the various facilities within the regional headquarters, such as schools, lodges, and other institutions for accommodation and all the activities for the event.
It also intends to put up mechanisms to ensure enough security, water and electricity supply and health services to make the event a successful one.
Written by Modou S. Joof
- Ebrima Bah, Gambian freelance journalist, editor and publisher of Campus and Field News contributed to this story.