The event was held at the Tango under the theme, ‘The Role of the Media in Promoting Agricultural Development and the Attainment of National Food Self-Sufficiency Agenda’. In his speech, Nfamara Jawneh, president of the Young Journalist Association of The Gambia said: “Today marks yet another milestone in the annals of the Young Journalists Association of The Gambia and I say happy birthday to members both home and abroad. YJAG is an independent non-profit making organisation formed in September 2007 and registered in December the same year. It was formed by few young journalists in The Gambia who realised the need at the time to form a formidable group that would champion the cause of young media practitioners in the country. YJAG has members from both print and electronic media national wide and student journalists from school based press clubs. The objectives of the association include the promotion of unity among journalists in The Gambia; provide capacity building to our members and championing their welfare and as well contribute to the socio economic development of The Gambia. This is done through objective reporting and promotion of press freedom and freedom of expression in The Gambia. YJAG executive cannot achieve all its objectives and hence the need to call on all members including the non-active members to come on board and take ownership of what belongs to all of them. The theme of this year’s celebration is very fitting and timely as it happens on the heels of the international food day and government’s Vision 2016 declaration. As journalists, we belief we have a very important role to play in promoting the attainment of food self-sufficiency which is achievable if all hands are on deck in a country that depends largely on agriculture. We have a vital role in advancing the sector. I would like to use this opportunity to implore on all young journalists in The Gambia both print and electronic, private or public media to join YJAG for own good and I assure you all of our continuous commitment and dedication to the cause of our baby YJAG.”
In declaring the event open, Ousman Jammeh, director general of the Department of Agriculture, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, urged young journalists to equip themselves in the field of agriculture noting that it is very crucial for journalists to gather all the major documents of agricultural policies to ease their job. He said that journalists should follow agricultural projects and their impacts during the course of implementation. He stated that if journalists understand agriculture, it will be very easy to enlighten their audience and readership.
Njundu Drammeh, YJAG board chairperson called on young journalists not to rest on their laurels because much needed to be done. All YJAG members should be ambassadors in promoting the values and objectives of the association. He added that an unexamined life is not worth living and journalists help people to be enlightened every day.
Emil Touray, president the Gambia Press Union (GPU) described the day as a day of reckoning and reflection in mapping out the way forward.
“YJAG like any other journalism body is complementing the effort of the Gambia Press Union in advocating for a democratic process and press freedom. I want to advise the young journalists to work in the interest of journalism in the country and the GPU will continue to support the organisation at all times.”]]>