Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Report: International Conference On the Future of AgriFood Sector in Africa

By Solomon Elorm Allavi GYIN

This conference seeks to engage various researchers in the academia from different parts of the world on the best way forward to actively bolster youth engagement in agriculture and agrifood systems. My critical observation was that there was fewer presence of the targeted audience, youth, thus any casual observation will infer that it was strictly an academic exercise. Nevertheless, the two main youth networks represented-the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) and the Young Professionals in Agriculture and Research Development (YPARD) youth representatives- made several inputs during the discussions. Deliberations on the theme-Young People engagement in the agrifood sector- was very much on point and I really gained so much insight and knowledge in the intellectual discourse. 

GYIN-Gambia Secretary General To Attend Global Greens Congress In Dakar

Miss Touray GYIN-Gambia SG
The third Global Greens Congress and the first in Africa, will be held in Dakar, Senegal from 27 March to 1 April, 2012. The Global Greens 2012 will be hosted by the Fédération Démocratique des Ecologistes du Sénégal (FEDES) in partnership with the African Green Federation and the Global Greens Coordination.
 Miss Meita Touray, secretary general, Global Youth Innovation Network- Gambia better know as GYIN-Gambia has been selected by Global Greens to be part of its Global Greens congress delegates. Touray will depart at the Banjul International Airport early morning on Tuesday 27 March, 2012 to join the Global Greens 2012 congress delegates.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

PIWAMP Holds Successful Annual Consultative Meeting

The Project Management Unit of the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project called PIWAMP, from 16 to 17 March, 2012 held its 2011 annual consultative meeting at the Rural Agricultural Farmers Training Centre at Jenoi in Lower River Region. 
The meeting brought together the management and staff of PIWAMP, Coordinators of Project Units, representatives from the Ministry of  Agriculture, Global Youth  Innovation Network- GYIN-Gambia, Upland and Lowland Field Coordinators, among others.
The 2011 annual consultative meeting- an important learning exercise- brought together project staff, service providers and project beneficiaries to discuss  and agree on causes of  action for project  activities that have been implemented, said Alagie Jatta representing Deputy Governor of LRR at the official opening ceremony.

GAMBIA: Unemployment, Underemployment Pose Significant Challenge

The Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment’s  Senior Human Resource Officer, Mr. Mamadi Dampha, has said that as stated in the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE),unemployment and underemployment pose significant challenge to the Gambia.
Dampha was speaking on behalf of his boss, Minister  Kebba  Touray at a day’s forum on  the theme “Walk For Employment”, held at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, and graced by members of the Youth Employment Network of The Gambia, simply put YEN.
“Each year the labour market demonstrates  weak  absorption capacity as growing numbers of Gambians demand jobs that do not exist and that durable jobs are key to eradicate poverty,”  the Ministry official stated. He stated that in response to the increasing unemployment and poverty in the Gambia, particularly among women and youths, the Ministry of Youths and Sports has adopted some strategies. 

Revenue Authorities Told To Embrace West African Tax Administration

The West  African Tax  Administrartion forum (WATAF) is part of the  African Tax  Administration forum which was formally launched in Uganda on 16 November 2006 to enable  African  Tax Administrators assist each other to build capacity, share best practices, as well as exchange relevant information in order to strengthen the mobilisation of domestic revenue and significantly minimize the sub-region’s  dependency on external budgetary support to fund the governments’ development programmes, were the words of  Mr. Mambury  Njie, Minister of  Finance and Economic Affairs  at the Third meeting of the West  African Tax  Administrations Forum.
Hosted by The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on March 12, 2012 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel and was attended by delegates from ECOWAS, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South  Africa as well as local GRA Staff in Banjul.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

26 seats APRC Unopposed, NRP Puts 8 and 20 Independent Candidates

AUTHOR: Bakary Ceesay-

Media release from the Independent Electoral Commission on the 10th March 2012 that in accordance with Section 52 of the Election Act, nomination for candidates are closed and that the APRC fielded in candidates for all the forty-eight constituencies, eight candidates for the opposition NRP party and twenty Independent candidates respectively.
   The unopposed APRC candidates and constituencies are Alhagie Sillah of Banjul North, Sulayman S Joof of Serrekunda West, Fabakary Tombong Jatta of Serrekunda East, Pa Lamin Jatta of Kombo North, Abdou Kolley of Kombo South, Alhasan Bojang of Kombo East, Ebrima Solo Jammeh of Foni Bintang, Bintanding Jarju of Foni Brefet, Buba A Bojang of Foni Kansala, Yaya Dibba of Kiang West, Bora B. Mass of Kiang East, Lamin Hydara of Jarra Central, Amadou Khan of Jokadou, Samba Cham of Central Badibou, Lamin KT Jammeh of Illiasa, Ousman Njie of Sami, Foday A Jallow of Niamina East, Ahmad Malick Njie of Upper Fulladou West, Habiboulie K Jawo of Jimara, Netty Baldeh of Tumana, Saikou Susso of Kantora, Alhaji Kassoum Jallow of Wuli West, Saidou V Sabally of Wuli East and Abdoulie Kanaji Jawla of Sandu.

We must lead by putting people first

By: Jeggan Grey-Johnson

 There is likely to be no opposition member in the National Assembly for the next five years, thanks to the shocking stance taken by the opposition parties in The Gambia to ‘boycott’ the polls.  This is a startling reminder of the uphill journey we need to travel whilst treading a path to democracy.  Never before had politicians and leaders demonstrated such disregard, and done such a great dis service to not only their own constituencies, but the entire Gambian populace.  And history will not treat them kindly. 

Pamela Ann White Stages Gambia Arts Exhibition

Pamela Ann White Speaking to Gambian Journalists
The United States top diplomat in the Gambia, Madam Pamela Ann White, has on Friday, 2 March 2012, organised the first Gambian arts exhibition at the residence of US Ambassador in this country,
The evening art exhibition, which many described as historic, was meant to expose the works of Gambian artists, as well as showcase their talents.
The exhibition will be held every six months, said Ambassador White in a happy-mood when speaking to Gambia journalists.
            Friday’s  exhibition was held in a form of colourful reception attended by dignitaries like Ms. Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social; World Food Programme (WFP) Resident representative Madam Victoria Ginja; Her  Excellency Madam Esther John  Audu, Nigerian High Commissioner to The Gambia; Mr. Pap Saine, Publisher The Point newspaper.
 Two professional Gambian artists- Ms. Isha Fofana and Njogu Touray were also present. The exhibition gave an opportunity for the Gambian artists to exhibit their products on the walls and hangers displayed on the grounds of the United States Ambassador Residence garden, in Fajara.

Mansabanko Coverage Of Senegalese Polls In Gambia

Senegalese Flag
Senegal citizens that  are registered with the Senegalese Electoral Commission and are  eligible to cast their  voters  have exercised their rights by participating in the 26  February, 2012 election, as  they turned out  to vote at  the various  polling stations allocated to them in The Gambia.
In Gambia, a total number of sixteen thousand and sixty-three (16,063) voters were expected to cast their votes at  seventy-two (72) polling stations and eighteen (18) counting centers countrywide.
Voters showed up as early as 7:30 am in the morning, and polls opened at 8:00 am and closed at 18:00 hours, according to a party agent who spoke to Mansabanko.

Appearances Of An Uneven Path To Election

NEWS AND REPORT EDITORIAL-  Following the November 24 victory of the ruling APRC party at the presidential poll, we have all deservedly been awaiting the advent of the national assembly elections at the end of this month.  However, as the crucial dates approach for this event, i.e., the nomination of candidates and the elections, certain developments have given us cause to believe that, rather a smooth ride to these national events,  an uneven and even bumpy ride will lie ahead for all concerned--from the APRC to the  opposition parties and even the Independent Electoral Commission, whose chairman went on a nationwide tour of sensitisation, to ensure widespread compliance with the laws and understanding of IEC’s role in the conduct of the polls.

Move To Add Value To Cashew Processing

The Jawneh family of Brikama,  West Coast Region, headed by  Mr. Musa Jawneh President of the National Farmers’ Platform has installed and equipped four scale cashew processing business in The Gambia. The installation came as a result to enhance value-added processing of high quality cashew nuts in The Gambia through a programme by the International Relief and Development the Gambia (IRD).
The project is sponsored by IRD through a ‘food for progress’ grant from the United States  Department of Agriculture (USDA), under the Gambia  River  Basin Cashew value Chain  Enhancement Project (IEP).

USAID/Ba-Nafaa Project Validates Cost Study On Sole Fish

The five year USAID/Ba-Nafa Project in The Gambia on last Thursday gathered a cross section of fisheries stakeholders, government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations  and the media in  Banjul, at the Fisheries Department conference hall to validate the ‘Comparative Cost Study Report on Sole Fish’ between The Gambia and Senegal.
   Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, Mr. Amadou Saine at the opening ceremony said that The Gambia is blessed with abundant fisheries resources and that the sustainable management and utilization of these resources can yield substantial economic and social benefits to the people involved in the fisheries market value chain as well as to Gambia Government.   These, he continued, could be in terms of increased revenue and foreign exchange earnings from exports of fish and fishery products.

CPA Trains Hoteliers, Others On Child Sexual Exploitation

Tourism sector in any country is a significant contributor to that country’s  wealth, providing not only revenue from tourism-related activities but also supporting many worthy causes.
The need to promote responsible tourism is paramount, and it is against this background that the Child  Protection  Alliance-CPA,  with support from ECPAT Netherlands, recently held a two-day capacity building training for Hoteliers, Tourist Securities, media practitioners and police officers on Code of Conduct of Gambia Tourism Board for child protection from sexual exploitation and child sex tourism.
Held at  Baobab Hotel and Resort in Kololi, Mr. Njundu Drammeh, Executive Director of Child Protection  Alliance the participants that each year over one million children are exploited in the global sex trade, most often this  constitutes child trafficking, child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourist destinations.

Monday, March 12, 2012

More About LEAD

LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) is the world’s largest not-for-profit organization promoting leadership and sustainable development. Founded in 1991, LEAD has 13 member programmes around the world, with a fast growing network of leaders and professionals in more than 80 countries, who are inspired and committed to achieving leadership and good governance for a sustainable world. In Africa, a number of individuals from various sectors have been trained to exercise leadership in sustainable development. LEAD identifies outstanding young people across sectors and cultures, develop their leadership potential and understanding of sustainable development, and mobilize them in a network to help achieve sustainable development. LEAD Africa comprises three LEAD member programmes (LEAD Anglophone West Africa, LEAD Francophone Africa, and LEAD Southern and Eastern Africa) in 32 countries.

Vijay Krishnarayan appointed Director of the Commonwealth Foundation

Vijay Krishnarayan, heralding from Trinidad and Tobago and current Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, has been appointed Director of the intergovernmental organisation.
Mr Krishnarayan has supported civil society organisations in the United Kingdom, Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth over the last 25 years. A land-use planner by training, he has a special interest in the relationship between development and the environment. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation in 2006, he spent over a decade in the Caribbean, most notably as Managing Partner for the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), one of the region's sustainable development think tanks.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rome UN agencies celebrate rural women and girls as agents of change

Yvette Azane Ngwemetoh, from north-
west Cameroon, speaks at IFAD on
International Women's Day.
IFAD Social Reporting Blog- At least two things are certain about the millions of women who work as smallholder farmers worldwide. First, they are among the hardest-working people on the planet, and second, they are woefully under-appreciated and under-compensated for their daily, uphill struggles.

For most of those women, and the daughters who work alongside them, yesterday was probably just another day of rising early and tending their fields or herds. But their achievements and challenges were in the spotlight at IFAD headquarters, where the three Rome-based UN food and agriculture agencies – IFAD, FAO and WFP – jointly celebrated International Women’s Day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

How would he be remembered by the Jammeh-Government

Gbeho says Jammeh-administration held sham-elections in 2011

The North Bank Evening Standard-

The ECOWAS Commission on March 6, 2012 hosted its outgoing President, His Excellency James Victor Gbeho, to a farewell party which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of development partners and staff members.

ACRN BLOG: Economic Crisis and Anti-Corruption in the EU

In this blog post ACRN contributing editor Patrycja Szarek Mason examines the European Union’s anti-corruption policy in light of the unfolding economic crisis. She gives us an understanding of the context in which the EU’s anti-corruption policy has developed, the measures taken so far and the gaps that still remain in ensuring that anti-corruption can be a safe-guard against future economic crises.
Please note that views expressed in this blog post are those of the author alone and do not represent the position of The Anti-Corruption Research Network, Transparency International, or any of its affiliates. To comment on this post or to contact Patrycja, please log into ACRN. 

Interview with Diana Jean Schemo, Executive Editor of 100 Reporters


“We see corruption as a kind of mould or rot at the very foundation of a state, one that contaminates the relationship of citizens to their government, deprives nations of any return on their (often immense) natural resources, and dooms even the best-intentioned development efforts. Worst of all, it mocks the best instincts in a people.”

- Diana Jean Schemo, 100 Reporters Executive Director

Interview with Diana Jean Schemo, Executive Editor of 100 Reporters

We’ve had the pleasure to speak with Diana Jean Schemo, Executive Editor of 100 Reporters

Interview with Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi


              Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

“Economic growth should be intrinsically linked to This time we speak to Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Director of the Democratic Governance Group of the Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Fraser-Moleketi gives us an insight on the importance of social justice, accountability, equality and dignity for shaping a new global governance framework for sustainable human development and suggests a role for the 15th IACC in that context.

Where women prosper, societies prosper

Women for Women, Join me on the Bridge campaign, Nigeria

© Women for Women International, Join me on the Bridge campaign, Nigeria 2011

International Women’s Day, now over 100 years old, gives all of us working in international development a chance to take stock and reflect on our progress on gender equality over the last year, and to ensure that going forward our work continues to have an impact and empowers women throughout the Commonwealth.  

Celebrating rural women’s access to media and information

Women participation should increase in the media both as content producers and as active consumers, says UNESCO on the occasion of the annual Women Make the News initiative celebrated every year at International Women’s Day (8 March).
The theme for this year’s Women Make the News campaign - Rural women’s access to media and information – seeks to underscore and stimulate knowledge exchange on good practices in this area as undertaken by public service broadcasters, commercial and community media and NGOs working to improve rural women’s access to media and information.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

International Women's Day: helping women take matters into their own hands

News Release:

Geneva (ICRC) – Although the vast majority of people who go missing in connection with armed conflict are men, the mothers, wives and other family members they leave behind also suffer enormously and often face severe hardship.

AAITG believes that the root cause of poverty is an unjust distribution of,,,

As part of the NGO Week celebrations, a panel discussion has taken centre stage on gender and development.
The general theme was: Factors and issues surrounding the political and socio-economic marginalization and poverty of women and ways of addressing it.
The panelists were Dr. Kujejatou Manneh Action Aid International The Gambia executive director who was also the keynote speaker, Dr. Isatou Touray executive director Gambia Committe against Harmful Traditional Practices- GAMCOTRAP and Mr. Mam Samba Joof executive director for Agency for the Development of Women and Children- ADWAC.
“In order to pursue the discussion on gender and poverty in The Gambia, I will like to start with a short discussion on gender and development and women and development. “This is essential for helping guide directions in the analysis based on human rights analysis for gender and poverty,” Dr. Manneh in her introduction.

Statement by an IMF Mission to The Gambia for Negotiations of a New ECF Arrangement

An IMF mission led by Mr. David Dunn visited The Gambia during February 22-March 6, 2012, to negotiate a macroeconomic and financial program that could be supported by the IMF under its Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The mission met with Vice-President Isatou Njie Saidy, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mambury Njie, Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) Amadou Colley, and other senior officials. It also met representatives of the private sector, civil society, and development partners.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2012

Essay by Dr Cherno Omar Barry, UNESCO-NATCOM

Cherno Omar Barry, PhD
Programme Officer UNESCO/NATCOM

On this occasion of International Women’s Day, I wish to share my humble contribution to the present debate on the state and role of women in our society. I also intend to use The Gambia as a case study to give indicators on how much we have progressed in promoting the question of the Woman.
There is no question that once the issue of the Woman’ Right is mentioned, it makes most of us Gambian men uneasy and uncomfortable. This is quite understandable. Unfortunately, the message has carried with it too much baggage that it has created more controversy mainly because it is not being treated objectively. Another reason is because it is seriously misconstrued or badly interpreted. 

Gambia declares 2011-2012 Farming Season a failure

DAILY OBSERVER- The government of The Gambia through the Office of the minister of Agriculture has declared 2011-2012 farming season a failure resulting from severe crop failures and a corresponding soaring of food prices.

According to a media release from the Ministry, signed by Permanent Secretary Ada Gaye, the post-harvest assessment of the 2011 farming season, which was characterised by below normal and poorly distributed rainfall, indicated a reduction in total crop production of more than 70%. 

YEN to host National Youth Forum, Walk on Employment

THE POINT- Youth Employment Network Gambia Chapter (YEN Gambia) will host a national youth employment forum on 8 March 2012 to be held at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.
The forum will be preceded by a procession from the Arch 22 in Banjul.

IFAD US$14 million grant to improve food security and incomes of rural poor people especially youth and women in Gambia

By Mamadou Edrisa Njie

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$14 million grant to the Republic of the Gambia to help improve food security and incomes of smallholder producers with a particular focus on women and young people. 

An IFAD mission team, led by the Country Programme Manager for The Gambia, Mr. Moses Abukari, has completed its participatory and widely consultative visits countrywide. The team, following a request from the government, is in the country to support the government of The Gambia in developing a new agricultural project- The National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development (ALAWAMDEP).  

Protesters in Niani Set fire on Community Centre, Local Market Over Incumbent’s Candidature

The selection of Niani constituency’s ruling-APRC sponsored incumbent parliamentarian to contest in the upcoming National Assembly elections has triggered protests in that provincial district. 
In a rare move, the youth on Tuesday took to the streets, setting on fire the community centre at Wassu village, where the selection took place, and a local market, in protest against incumbent Ebrima Manneh’s candidature. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Gambia

Picture: CP

Key Developments

» Radio station forced to drop news; no independent broadcaster remains.

» Whereabouts of reporter detained by government remain a mystery.

Years of brutal repression by President Yahya Jammeh’s administration have gutted Gambia’s once-vibrant independent press and driven numerous journalists into exile.

 In August, the government forced Taranga FM, the last independent radio station airing news in local languages, to halt its coverage. The move came ahead of an October presidential election in which Jammeh faced no viable opponent andbrooked no dissent. 

Momodou Sabally discusses three points to success

Momodou Sabally

A motivational speaker and a prolific author of inspirational books and articles, Momodou Sabally, in this article discussed “three points to success” drawing lessons from Jeremy Lin, a basketball player in New York, whose rise to stardom was preceded by being underestimated and overlooked, disregarded by coaches.  However, Sabally said Lin’s success did not happen overnight, three key points contributed to his unimaginable, spectacular success.
Read on to find out and learn from this inspirational masterpiece!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

YJAG discuses proposed collaboration with GPU

The executive committee of the Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) on February 18, 2012 paid a courtesy call on the leaders of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) to strengthen relations and discuss on intended areas of cooperation.

Both sides express commitment to complement each other’s efforts in the promotion and protection of the welfare of journalists in the country, a goal critical to a vibrant media and the professional development of journalists.