Abdou Manneh who together with six others received the accolade at the UTG debate finals held at the American corner said: “My ambition after having this award is to inspire young leaders to initiate change in their areas of engagement in order to maintain a cycle of changing leadership in communities for development.
“This award will be used as evidence of my leadership in order to help promote civic leadership in The Gambia. Additionally, I intend to use it to come with initiatives that will help promote access to justice and thus create a gateway for the under -privileged to access justice. I am very keen on setting standards for providing free legal services. This will help the poor and fill the gap currently existing. I intend to do this through a network of lawyers, legal professionals in the court and the civil society by establishing a means and merit test. I would like to conduct community outreach/training programmes on law. This will help create awareness about the laws and help eradicate some the unjustified customary practices that impede development.
“This will involve creating a network for women where they can share their struggles and support one another, but also receive legal training on the enforcement of their rights, youth awareness programmes on issues affecting their development and progress and also as a means to create a platform where youths and children can actualise their potentials and thus demand their rights. I hope through community-driven projects focused on legal development, I will then be able to contribute to a culture of good governance and respect for rule of law, throughout The Gambia. I served as assistant public relations officer in 2012 and as secretary general of the Law Students Association in 2013. During my tenure at the Law Students Association, I helped the association to conduct the following activities as part of its chapter happenings: the commemoration of Law Day, Mooting and Debate Championships, weekly radio programmes, leadership trainings, welcoming and mentoring for new students and the representation of the association in major engagements. These made the student body take centre stage in discharging its commitment to society and fulfilling its role to student members”.
The programme officer of Young People for the United States of Africa, Thomas Touray, said the award would go a long way in invigorating his push for greater integration of African people regardless of nationality.
“It is our duty as young people to lead the way in the emancipation of our people. Nobody will come from outside to help us for sustainable development and prosperity but ourselves. This is a great source of inspiration and we shall continue the struggle till our people are totally free from the vestiges of colonialism, poverty, war and disease,” he said.
Mustapha Kah, the president of the association said the leadership award was meant to serve as a source of encouragement to students to take up leadership responsibilities and influence positive change in society. He added: “It is not just enough for students to pass through the university. The university must also pass through them. The award is meant to honour outstanding student leaders who have greatly contributed to the development of UTG. It is also meant to inspire current leaders to learn from their predecessors.”]]>