By Dawda Baldeh
A one-time Secretary at the Janneh Commission and now independent presidential candidate Alhagie Mamadi Kurang, leader of Gambia Youth for Change party has told Daily News that lack of government coordinated efforts is the cause of increased level of poverty in the country.
Speaking to the Daily News, Kurang said all the problems that the country is facing now, ranging from health issues, agriculture, education, unemployment, inadequate food supply, water, electricity are all caused by the lack of government coordinated efforts. He added that the outcome of such an uncoordinated effort by the government can only be poverty.
He said poverty is getting higher in the country. “I think what is missing is lack of government coordinated efforts to reduce the poverty level,” he said.
However, Kurang said if he is elected in the 4th December 2021 election , he will build one hundred thousand houses (100,000) within his first five years in office to help Gambians afford decent houses. He said if people cannot afford decent housing obviously the standard of living will remain poor.
He said rent is getting higher everyday and many people are not receiving reasonable salaries. “If we build houses and sell them at a cheaper price to ensure both police, nurses, teachers, low income earners will afford the houses,” he said.
The youthful presidential aspirant ( Kurang ) added that if one hundred thousand families afford decent houses which will accommodate millions of people it will be a greater achievement for the country.
He said the country need massive investment projects to keep the youth busy. Adding that the population is rising faster and the only thing leaders need is to come up with radical projects that will keep the youth engage.
He further said the country’s education system is very poor and not accessible by many. The youth for change leader said he will make education relevant and accessible so that people who want to further their education can get access to quality education. Getting access to college or universities has been a challenge to many graduates, Kurang told the Daily News.
“If the youth are given the right education and technology, they can create employment for themselves. Every year our university is graduating hundreds of students but must of them remain unemployed because they cannot employ themselves,” he said.
He said a country cannot develop without the efforts of the youth. So, for them to contribute in the development they need to be given the right education. We must give them the right skills the enabling environment to let them participate in the development.
Building infrastructure obviously is key in national development, but young people should be equipped with the right technology and education to be able to implement change, Kurang said.
“I want to address these problems by making education accessible and relevant. The country is very small with a lot of flat lands with fresh water but this water is not been tapped into. Our soil is very fertile and is good for agriculture.
Asked about their readiness towards the elections, he said “we are very prepared because we have been going round the country for the past year selling our agenda to the people and they have been very responsive to our message for change.”
He said the country needs change in the way people approach development, education, agriculture, health. He added that every aspect of people’s lives needs change. “The emphasis, trust, energy for this change can only come from the youth,” he said.
The economic and accounting specialist said there cannot be any meaningful change in any society without the youth. He told Daily News that was the reason they came up with the youth for change idea. He said the only people who can make this change possible are the youth.
The aspiring president said agriculture alone can develop this country only if utilized in the right direction. He employ that if the fresh water and fertile land is use for agricultural production, the country will stop importing rice and other food stuffs that can be cultivated in the country.
Speaking on range of other issues, the Presidential aspirant said the health sector is not up to standard and he promised to improve the health sector by introducing primary healthcare services.
“If the youth are given the essential skills and paid reasonable salaries, they will not risk their lives to embark on the back-way. “Some people will work from 9am to 5pm and at the end of the month they receive a salary that cannot buy them a bag of rice, take care of their parents and pay their house rent, this is why many will quit their jobs,” . Kurang said.