|Ambassador Mamadou Edrisa Njie|
Monday, August 27, 2012
GYIN Gambia on "Business-Oriented competition"
Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia Chapter is making its presence in the country’s youths networks felt.
On 12 August, 2012, this legitimate national representative and Chapter of the Washington DC-based Global Youth Innovation Network International, launched its “I am a GYINer” National Campaign, and also commemorated International Youth Day, or in short IYD.
Held at the Voice Newspaper Office in Serrekunda, the event witnessed the attendance of representatives of other youth organizations, Networks, and individual youth activists in the country.
The network,according to its officials, is a charitable organisation and non-political or religious in its efforts to provide opportunities to develop and improve the lives of many young Gambians.
In her remarks at the occasion, the organisation’s Secretary General, Ms. Meita Touray, with honour, extended to her audience and by extension all the youths in The Gambia, “personal and joyous greetings” from the Chairperson GYIN Steering Committee, Mr. Papa Samb.
Touray also used the occasion to thank International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Projects for The Gambia; Rural Finance Project (RFP); Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP); and Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP), as well as all other organisations that joined IFAD and Phelps Stocks in supporting GYIN, inter alia the African Development Bank, GIVI1 Project, MIJARC,the Songhai Centre.
According to Touray, GYIN has reached over 5,000 youth across the world including The Gambia with over 60 active members.
She explained to her audience that the GYIN Campaign is a ‘business oriented competition’ targeting young people between 18-30 years residing in the country, who are founders, owners or executive members of business establishments.
Touray, therefore, called on United Nations System, government of The Gambia, the Private Sector, Civil Society, Academia, Philanthropists, and the media to partner and support GYIN Gambia in the national campaign. GYIN Gambia, she added, prepares young people to take charge of their leadership roles and responsibilities for good governance, entrepreneurship, and expose them to opportunities.
GYIN Gambia Chapter National Coordinator, gave an overview of the ‘I AM A GYINer Campaign’, saying the business-oriented competition has two categories, namely Best Cultural Product and Best Socially Conscious Business. Njie informed the audience that the campaign would include holding of press conferences, nationwide radio Talk-shows; training for entrepreneurs; journalists and bloggers.
Njie divulged that the winners of the two categories would be invited to attend the next global workshop-fair abroad.
As part of the campaign, National Coordinator Njie said that, GYIN Gambia Chapter would write to local organisations, government ministeries, donor agencies, NGOs and the Media for their partnership.
The National Coordinator is of the view that a successful campaign would build a strong and active Chapter, as he called on on Gambian youth to actively take part in the campaign, “because the campaign is for them”.
Njie further revealed that Phelps Skokes, a US-based non-profit organisation is primarily responsible for providing the necessary start up documents to administer the campaign and providing a website support for massive publication throughout the campaign.
Giving a brief background on GYIN, National Coordinator Njie told the gathering that GYIN was launched in October 10-13 in Cotonou, Benin by 66 young people from different background,recalling that the launching workshop-fair was entirely managed by the young people.
As Njie apprised the gathered audience at Voice Newspaper, GYIN has the passion to see generational transformations and changes from the grassroots to the global level.
While noting that GYIN is a youth-led initiative, a youth inspired and led platform open to youth entrepreneurs and rural micro-enterprising, Njie added that its mission is to establish a truly global network of all young entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators, for the purpose of contributing to the reduction of poverty among poor and rural youth by providing opportunities for young entrepreneurs and agent of change in the areas of innovation,agribusiness, enterpreneurship, leadership and self-employment.
Also at hand to address the gathering was Mr.Nfamara Jawneh, GYIN Coach and a Facilitator who was the guest Speaker of the event.
Jawneh told them that theme of International Youth Day 2012 is “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth”- a global call to action to develop and engage in partnerships with and for youth.
Jawneh, a Youth Activist-cum pen-pusher, averred that the day provides an opportunity for everyone-from youth-led agencies, national and local governments, and international agencies- to draw attention to youth issues worldwide.
On 17 December 1999, in its Resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendations made by the World Conference of Ministries Responsible for Youth (Lisbon 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day (IYD).
Young people around the world including The Gambia, Jawneh stated, are faced with pressing global challenges such as high level of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions and marginalisation from decision making processes.
He therefore urged the world body UN, governments, the Private Sectors, among others, to involve youth in all their activities starting from the designing of projects, their implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation of the projects.
Collective and concerted efforts on the part of all stakeholders, he charged, “is needed to respond to the pressing global challenge faced by young people.
Jawneh underscored the importance of partnering,saying it is key to harnessing such efforts.
“Partnerships can increase opportunities and success by leveraging comparative advantages, resources, shared interests and diversity to enhance the impact of each individual partner’s efforts,” he asserted.
Jawneh is optimistic that through working proactively to forge meaningful partnerships with young people and youth organisations, they could ensure that they lay the foundation for building a better world.
Journalist Jawneh did not conclude his address without enjoining the private sector in the sub-region to harness the talents in young people, train them on apprenticeship and redirect their potentials.
Mr. Assan Sallah, GYIN Gambia Board Member commended GYIN Gambia for registering a great success within a short period of time.
Recalling that GYIN Gambia was registered with the Attorney General’s Chambers on 4 June, 2012, Sallah acknowledged that it has,within this short period, participated in many national, regional and international fora.
He therefore exhorted the young people of this country to become GYIN members;opining that GYIN Gambia has now become a household name in the country.
Board Member Sallah thanked the Executive and general membership of GYIN Gambia Chapter for having “a clear goal, mission and vision in youth work”.
Sallah, himself a journalist, used the opportunity the occasion to encourage young journalists to cover the Network’s Campaign by using the pages of newspapers and the radio Stations to write and air GYIN activities.
This, Sallah believes, would increase youth membership and partnerships between GYIN Gambia and other partners.
Ms. Fatou A. Drammeh, Vice Chairperson of GYIN Gambia expounded on the “tremendous achievements” registered by GYIN Gambia.
She catalogued the various programmes GYIN Gambia had participated in, namely the Peace Ambassadors National Youth Leadership Training; the African Carbon Forum in Ethiopia; Global Young Greens Congress in Darkar, Senegal-all within 2012.
On behalf of GYIN Board Members,the Chairperson saluted GYIN International Youth Advisory Group and supporters of GYIN, both nationally and internationally.
Madou S. Joof, the Chapter’s Advocacy and Communications Officer was the chairman of the ceremony, which ended with GYIN Gambia Chapter officials entertaining questions from journalists drawn from both the Print and electronic Media outlets across the country.