By Omar Bah
The Gambia chapter of Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) will tomorrow launch the first ever rural Youth Award 2017 (RYA2017) at the Nema Project Conference Hall in Abuko.
The award ceremony is financially supported by the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) The Gambia, European Union Trust Fund for Africa, the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema), and the National Youth Council (NYC).
Speaking to The Standard yesterday ahead of the launching, GYIN Gambia Executive Director Mamadou Edrissa Njie said the motive behind the initiative is to celebrate the success of the rural youth who have in one way or the other become successful in doing business.
“The award is geared towards celebrating the success of the rural youths, because we believe celebrating their success with them will inspire them and give them the opportunity to be mentors in their own regions,” he said.
He said GYIN as a national youth organisation that specializes on rural development deems it fitting to expose these young determine business men and women to avail them the opportunity to sell their businesses to the outside world.
“Believe me some of these young people started their businesses with only D4500 but today they are very successful. They don’t rely on their family members or other sources, because they are self sufficient,” he said.
He said many of these young people are no more thinking of embarking on the Back-way journey, because they are comfortable with what they earn in their businesses.
“I am proud to also announce that we will be receiving some young people from Senegal who will be gracing the occasion. It is also important to note that we will be giving cash prices to awardees,” he added.
About the rural youth award
The Rural Youth Award 2017 (RYA2017) would be held at the Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Centre in Jenoi, Lower River Region (LRR) on the 29th April 2017.
The theme of the award is ‘WE NEED YOUNG PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS: We need them to produce process and market the food that will feed the world’.
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 in their communities.
The award would recognise and celebrate the efforts and successes of rural youth in entrepreneurship in the areas of agribusiness and information technology.
RYA2017 would also showcase talented rural youth on entrepreneurship, agribusiness and information technology and would also serve as a platform to promote gender equality and inclusiveness.
The key expected outcomes of RYA 2017 includes supporting rural youth business plans, providing 6 months mentorship for the awardees, supporting rural youth with enterprise development opportunities, and supporting to increased agricultural production and productivity and access to markets services.
The Rural Youth Award committee believes that rural youth have a key role to play in reversing the threats of agriculture, climate change, food security and related issues.
The award is open to young Gambian men and women in rural areas within the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Applications are open and any interested and eligible candidate can pick up a submission form at GYIN Gambia office along Banjul-Brikama Highway at Churchill’s Town during working days.
Young Farmer of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Business Idea of the Year, Young Emerging Business of the Year, Young Information Technology Enterprise of the Year, Young Commercial Farmer of the Year, Young Agribusiness of the Year, Young Social Media Campaigner of the Year, Best Business Innovation of the Year and Young Business Partner of the Year.
About GYIN Gambia
Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia) is a national youth network operating across the country and has been implementing a number of youth projects in the country.
From July 24-31 2016, GYIN Gambia organised and hosted its first national youth summer camp known as the Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Information Technology (ELIT 2016) summer camp in which 45 rural youth ( 26 females and 19 males) participated.
The idea for the first ever rural youth award-RYA stemmed from recommendations from that National Youth Summer Camp held in Jenoi, Lower River Region of The Gambia. One of the 11-point recommendations is to organise a Rural Youth Award- celebrating youth in Entrepreneurship, Agribusiness and Information Technology.
The summer camp was supported by the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) that is being supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of The Gambia.