By Omar Bah
The Gambia Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), an international youth network supported by the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD) a UN agency specialised in rural development, Thursday launched its first Rural Youth Award 2017 at the NEMA project conference hall in Abuko.
The award, according to the organisers is financed and logistically supported by the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), European Union Trust Fund for Africa, NEMA and the national youth council (NYC).
Speaking at the official launching, GYIN Gambia executive director Mamadou Edrissa Njie said the overall aim of RYA2017 is to identify, promote and elevate successful young women and men who, despite all odds, are channeling their creativities, energies and passion to contribute in making a change.
He said GYIN Gambia envisages to create and support an enabling environment under which young people in the country can act on their own behalf and on their own terms, “and to facilitate exchange of experience, learning and networking for young entrepreneurs.
“The award would recognise and celebrate the efforts and successes of rural youth in entrepreneurship in the areas of agribusiness and information technology,” he said.
In his launching remarks, Alhagie M Sarr, himself a rural youth and a member of GYIN said he was glad to preside over the launching of GYIN Gambia rural youth award 2017.
“The importance of recognising the efforts of rural youths cannot be over emphasised. Productive youths play a vital role in the socio economic development of any nation. Therefore creating any opportunity for the youths that will make them realise their potentials and talents is a step in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Mariama Saine an executive member of GYIN said the rural youth award was conceived as far back as in July 2016 when GYIN hosted its first national youth summer camp Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Information Technology (ELIT 2016).
She said one of the 11 recommendations made during the youth summer camp in Jenoi was to organise a rural youth award and celebrate efforts of youth in entrepreneurship, agribusiness and information technology.
“The inclusion of rural youth in decision-making and celebrating their success is a priority for GYIN Gambia. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to recognise the efforts of young rural entrepreneurs especially in agribusiness and entrepreneurship to further motivate the youth and help them fight poverty,” she said.
Read more on the launching of the award tomorrow on Youth platform