Friday, December 26, 2014

IFAD Member States renew commitment to the billions of rural people in developing countries

Rome, 19 December 2014 –The 173 Member States of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today reaffirmed their shared commitment to the Fund’s mission by announcing a US$1.44 billion target of contributions directed at investing in rural people in developing countries.

The target of IFAD’s 10th Replenishment will enable it to strengthen operations over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018. During this timeframe, IFAD’s plan is to expand its reach to up to 130 million rural people, which represents as much as a 31 per cent increase of those benefitting from its investments.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Successful IFAD-supported project helps influence national policy in The Gambia

Yai Ceesay is learning to write her name as a student in Sibanor village 

The Gambia is taking steady steps towards prosperity by scaling up proven land and water management practices across the country and developing national policies to back these efforts.
Nema, the local Mandinka word for prosperity, is also the name of the IFAD-supported National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project currently being implemented in The Gambia. This initiative, which is building on the achievements made over 30 years in partnership with smallholder farmers and the government, is scaling up the successes of the earlier IFAD-supported Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP). The two projects are part of a 20-year programme promoting community-driven agricultural land and water development.

"The achievements of those farmers that participated in PIWAMP, especially the women, convinced the Government of The Gambia that investing in agriculture on a wide scale is a path to prosperity – Nema - for the country and its citizens," said Moses Abukari, IFAD's country programme manager for The Gambia.

A Unique New Library for The Gambia – The African Poetry Library

The Gambia is one of only five recipient countries on the continent to host a new African Poetry Library donated by the African Poetry Book Fund, a foundation to promote poetry in Africa, based at the University of Nebraska in the USA.

The African Poetry Library – a Reading Library in The Gambia is thanks to the efforts of the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF), Prairie Schooner, (the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's literary journal), and University of Nebraska-Lincoln's (UNL) Libraries in conjunction with individuals and organisations in The Gambia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

The African Poetry Library Initiative is a collaborative venture to establish accessible and user friendly small poetry libraries on the African continent to support aspiring and established poets giving them access to contemporary poetry in books and journals, and serving as a resource for poets interested in publication in Africa and around the world. Each library received 300 books, journals and magazines during the summer of 2014 and will receive a further 300 books journals and magazines in 2015 and again in 2016.

The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) have partnered on this prestigious project and are hosting the library at the Centre’s Office in Fajara, behind GT Bank. The caretaker organisations of the library are the African Homecomers Collective and SABLE LitMag who have negotiated the discussion with the AFPB to install and receive the Reading library which will be run by their volunteers.

Smallholder farmers are more than climate victims – says IFAD report

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze
Smallholder farmers in developing countries are more than victims of climate change; they are a vital part of the solution to global warming, according to a report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The Smallholder Advantage, a report on IFAD’s response to climate change, shows how investments in access to weather information, technology transfer and disaster preparedness are helping smallholder women and men to feed themselves and their families on a warming planet - whilst restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing agriculture's carbon footprint.

“We see smallholder farmers as an important part of the solution to the climate change challenge,” said IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze. “With around 500 million smallholder farms responsible for around four-fifths of food supplies in developing countries, we recognize that rural women and men operate vital businesses on the climate frontline.”

“Small farmers often experience more extreme and unpredictable weather, yet they are among the least represented in national and global policymaking on climate change,” Nwanze added. “What IFAD emphasizes in the climate change debate is that smallholders are among the most effective clients for public funds for dealing with issues around climate change.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bioclimate Education Centre to provide income, employment opportunities

Kawsu Jammeh addressing participants
Mr. Kawsu Jammeh, Coordinator Sahel Wetlands Concern, Community-Based organisation in Dumbuto in the Lower River Region says that the modern-day Bioclimate Education Centre which construction is ongoing is to provide income and employment opportunities for the communities in Lower River Region and other regions across the country. 

The organisation gathered participation from the various levels of community in the region to took part in the inception workshop organized by Sahel Wetlands Concern..

Sahel Wetlands Concern proposal to construct a Bioclimate Education centre is funded by the Global Environment Facility-Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) to construct a centre in Dumbuto village in Kiang West, LRR.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New online series cultivates a change in thinking about how to feed a growing global population

Rome, 02 December 2014 – As the International Year of Family Farming comes to a close, an engaging new online video series produced by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) promises to keep issues affecting the world’s 500 million smallholder family farms alive and topical.

Launched today at IFAD’s headquarters in Rome, AgTalks: Cultivating Change asks prominent and emerging thought leaders to share their insights and views on how to address the challenge of feeding an expanding global population at a time when many of the family farms that grow 80 percent of food in developing countries are faced with enormous obstacles such as insufficient national policies, limited access to markets and changing weather patterns due to climate change.

CSG President Attends Regional Training Programme for Collective Management

Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay, President of the Collecting Society of The Gambia
Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay, President of the Collecting Society of The Gambia (CSG) returned from a Regional Training Programme for Collective Management Organizations in Africa,  organized by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and Norwegian Development Cooperation Association (NORCODE) from the 5-7 November 2014 in Harare-Zimbabwe. 

The training introduced participants to new issues in the area of copyrights and related rights, the linkages between copyright offices and the collective management systems. The meeting also discussed the current status and challenges of collective management organizations in Africa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gambia have its first home grown social job portal

Ebrima Dem is a new job website for Gambia co-created by Ebrima Dem and Modou N.S Njie. The website which is one of the first of kind in the country is dedicated to publishing job vacancies and supporting job seekers in their job search online. According to Mr, Modou N.S Njie, the Chief Technical Officer ( CTO) of, this job portal will allows employers to  easily place ads of their job openings and access online resumes of registers professionals.

The website he went on, will also enables employers to reach target audience of qualified candidates in the Gambia, for their advertise vacancies at the quickest possible time.

Mr Njie added that through the, job seekers can also browse for jobs based on their sectors of interest and post their CVs online where it can only be accessed, viewed and downloaded by registered employers.

Improving incomes and building resilience of rural population in Morocco to adapt to climate change

IFAD invests in developing value chains in rural mountain areas

Rome, 10 November 2014 – The government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a US$25.5 million loan and grant agreement to finance the first phase of the Rural Development Programme in the Mountain Zones. This project aims to reduce poverty by 30 per cent by 2030 and improve living conditions for rural people in the mountain areas of Morocco.

With a total cost of $50.0 million, the project is co-financed with a $13.5 million contribution from the Government of Morocco, a $6.51 million contribution from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a contribution of $2.0 million from the beneficiaries themselves and a $2.0 million grant financed by IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP).

The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Hassan Abouyoub, Ambassador and Permanent Representative for the Royal Kingdom of Morocco to IFAD, and Michel Mordasini, Vice-President of IFAD.

BAJ Gambia director of Programmes off to France

Njie BAJ Gambia Director of Programmes

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, the director of Programmes at Biodiversity Action Journalists The Gambia (BAJ Gambia), a professional media advocacy and research organisation on Monday left Banjul for France, at the invitation of the organising committee of the 3rd International Conference on Biodiversity and United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 This conference is the third in a series, organised by the French CNRS Institut Ecologie et Environment (InEE) and the German Leibniz Association (WGL) and will take place from 29th to 31st October, 2014 in Aix-en-Provence in France. 

The conference will focus on the theme “Biodiversity and Food Security, from trade-offs synergies.” 

The conference will be officially opened with a keynote presentation, to be delivered by Professor José Sarukhán, UNAM, México, while Professor Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya will officially close the event.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Gambia: UN human rights team prevented from completing torture and killing investigations

  BANJUL (7 November 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteurs Christof Heyns and Juan Méndez have been prevented from completing a torture and killing investigation during the first visit ever to The Gambia by experts of the independent fact-finding mechanism of the Human Rights Council Special Procedures.

The two UN human rights experts carried out an official mission* to the country to examine the current level of protection of the right to life in law and in practice, and assess the situation and identify challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in The Gambia, among other things. 

In a remarkable and encouraging step, the Gambian Government invited the two UN Special Rapporteurs earlier this year to conduct a joint visit from 3 to 7 November 2014.

Unfortunately, and despite a written agreement accepting the Terms of Reference of the two mandates, once the investigators arrived, the Government denied them access to certain sections of the first prison the two mandate holders attempted to visit. They offered instead a guided tour to parts of the prison, informing that under no circumstances would they be allowed to visit the Security Wing, where inter alia the death row prisoners are held.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed Islamic School Awards Outstanding Students

Hatem Saad Raslan
Located along the busy Kairaba Avenue, Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed Islamic School on the 22nd October 2014 awarded the most praiseworthy and harding-working students of Grade 6 at a colourful ceremony held at the school grounds.

The school, which was founded, by Saad M. Raslan and Sons International Trading Company has today been known for graduating excellent students’ in the country.

Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, Abass Ahmed Jammeh, the principal of the school commended Saad M. Raslan and Sons Company for building the school in the country, adding that the school is charging low fees whiledelivering quality education.

He further thanked the serving students while advising them to continue burning the night candle for a better tomorrow, saying that one can only pass his or her examination only studying his or her book at all times.

“For the past years, Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed Islamic School has been known for graduating best students and the teachers of the school are committed in delivering quality education.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

STOP PRESS: The Gambia’s human rights record to be reviewed by Universal Periodic Review

GENEVA (23 October 2014) – The Gambia’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the second time on  Tuesday 28 October 2014 in a meeting that will be webcast live. 
The Gambia is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 27 October to 7 November.   The Gambia’s first UPR  took place on 10 February 2010.

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) national report - information provided by the State under review  2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Among the issues raised in the national report and through advanced questions received are:  equitable access to education; poverty alleviation; gender-based violence; maternal health and infant mortality; women and children’s rights; female genital mutilation; the rights of persons with disabilities; judicial reforms and access to justice; human trafficking; freedom of speech, expression and assembly; combatting torture and arbitrary or summary executions; and LGBTI rights.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Advocacy letter: UN Secretary General must recognise the 'Right to Know' in his Post-2015 report


His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
CC: Amina J. Mohammed, Assistant Secretary General

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

We write to you as a coalition of civil society organisations committed to sustainable development, to urge you to highlight the importance of the right to information, free media, and the protection of civil society organisations’ ability to organise and engage in your upcoming stocktaking report on the Sustainable Development Goals to the General Assembly.


His Excellency Sheikh Prof. Alh. Dr. Yahya Jammeh Nasirul Deen Babili Mansa
Your Excellency, Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Your Majesties,
Your Excellencies and Your Highnesses,
Distinguished Heads of State and Governments,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks be to the Almighty Allah for giving me another opportunity to address this global body at a time that human civilization is teetering on the brink of a major catastrophe. But before going further let me convey our warm felicitations to you Mr. President on your election to the Presidency of the 69th Session of the United Nations Assembly. While wishing you success, I would like to assure you of the support and cooperation of The Gambia during your tenure as President of the Assembly. I would also like to commend your predecessor His Expediency Mr. John William Ashe for his able stewardship as President of the General Assembly.

Mr. President, it is well known fact that injustice, iniquities, exclusion and greed ail contribute to the creation of international tensions that could lead to catastrophic consequences, conflicts, wars, death and destruction. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Climate change threatens food security, affects crop productivity

Gambian Women in the rice field

Author: Abdou Rahman SallahExecutive DirectorBAJ Gambia

The 2011 crop failure in The Gambia was mainly attributed to Climate Change and this has greatly affect the lives of local people particularly the women farmers whose survival, school fees, health bill, feeding depends on it.

In Central River Region a provincial region in The Gambia, there are six hundred and sixty-nine villages and these communities are farming communities who were hard hit by the effects of climate change, thus warranting the government of The Gambia to declare crop failure and called on international communities for support according to a statement from the presidency.

Climate Change is one of the major challenges hampering agricultural development in Africa, especially in the West and Gambia in particular. This change in long-term weather conditions is threatening food security and according to reports local people are hungry and more people will go hungry according to media reports.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Empowering indigenous peoples is a must for sustainable rural development, says IFAD President

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze

IFAD at UN World Conference roundtable on advancing indigenous peoples' rights

 Rome/New York, 23 September 2014 -- The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) called for greater support to indigenous peoples whose economic and social empowerment is a prerequisite for the kind of sustainable development that can transform struggling rural areas in developing countries.

“Today, many of the world's indigenous peoples and communities still struggle to preserve their identity, culture, land and resources – despite the real progress they have made," IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said in an address during a roundtable discussion at the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, a high-level plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. “Too often, indigenous peoples are still neglected by development efforts or vulnerable to discrimination.”

While indigenous peoples account for just 5 per cent of the world’s population – more than 370 million people – they account for 15 per cent of those living in poverty.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kawsu Sillah appointment as a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School

Ambassador Kawsu Sillah
Kawsu Sillah a Gambian born youth activist has been appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School, Mansa Banko blog can report.

A World at School is global movement of young leaders working to get 57 million children into school and learning by the end of 2015 – as the world promised in Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2)

“I was moved to join this call to action because my right to education has being denied and also Shazia and Kainat along with Malala Yousafzai, were shot by the Taliban for going to school in Pakistan just over a year ago. Their story, and that of so many other youth advocates I have joined forces with, inspires me to stand up for the millions of children that are kept out of school because of poverty, early marriage, child labour and different forms of discrimination,” says Sillah

Friday, September 19, 2014

New financing agreement to boost food security in Burundi

IFAD invests in rural development to create jobs for women and young people

Rome, 19 September 2014 – The government of the Republic of Burundi and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a US$1 million grant agreement for the Burundi National Programme for Food Security and Rural Development programme that will strengthen food security and rural development in the regions of Imbo and Moso.

With a total cost of $57.9 million, the programme is funded through a $30-million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme managed by IFAD, a $20-million loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, and a contribution from the government of Burundi. The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Odette Kayitesi, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Burundi, and by Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD.

Monday, September 15, 2014

GYIN Gambia trains Nyofelleh Tabakoto Development Association on organisational mgt, others

Executive members at the meeting taking records
Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia (GYIN Gambia) under the auspices of its executive members, engages Nyofelleh Tabokoto Development Association in Kombo North, West Coast Region members on organizational management, networking and partnership, the role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CSOs), and youth organisations roles and responsibilities in national development held on Thursday 18th Septmeber, 2014 at Nyofelleh village.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the meeting, Pa Sorry Jallow, Board Chairperson of the association spoke at length on the importance of forming an association saying that association brings unity in the family, community and even in the country.

Burkina Faso to host 5th ERERA Forum

ERERA's 5th Forum on regional electricity regulation will take place on November 13 and 14, 2014 in Ouagadougou, capital city of Burkina Faso. The Forum, like the others before it,  serves as a permanent platform for discussion aimed at regulators and all stakeholders in the electricity sector in West Africa. 

ERERA is also expecting to give the 2014 forum an international character in order to expand this sharing of knowledge and expertise to electricity sector regulators  in other parts of Africa and the world, including southern Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America who  share the same challenges in terms of regulation and who have similar experiences  on  issue of regulatory practices.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SEPTEMBER: Advocate of the Month- Grace Mageka

September Advocate Champion
Grace Mageka, a Kenyan African youth leader & advocate for better youth policies in Africa and moving Africa to the next level. I am very hardworking and team player, creative and innovative, confident, intelligent, competent, vibrant, dynamic, enthusiastic, self-motivated, proactive with I can/must do attitude with a sense of initiative and ready to go beyond achieving academic excellence but also to take initiatives to positively impact the society.

Purpose: To work on raising the mobilization and awareness of youth towards creating a better future for themselves where they can explode and develop their capacities.

Mission: To positively impact global challenges by engaging young people in initiative and work streams related to specific challenges they have identified.

Vision: I aspire to transform the next generation of young leaders through personal experience that build knowledge and engender better understanding of global, regional and national.

Business and human rights in Africa – first UN regional forum

ADDIS ABABA / GENEVA (10 September 2014) – Business enterprises, governments, civil society and national human rights institutions from across Africa will meet in Addis Ababa from 16 to 18 September to discuss key business and human rights challenges for the continent.

The African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights is convened by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights with the support of the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It will bring together 250 participants.

“This meeting has no precedent in the region. It is the first time such a wide range of stakeholders will gather to openly discuss how better to ensure that human rights, business and economic development work together. It is a unique opportunity to promote national and regional action plans on business and human rights and the scaling up of responsible business practice,” said Michael K. Addo, who chairs the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Development Forum to focus on women economic empowement

VP Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy
The office of the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia  in collaboration with partners including Community Based Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, public and private sector and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to organise a 'Development Forum'.

The 10th September 2014  forum to be held at the Kairaba Beach hotel outskirt of Banjul on the theme “Closing the Gender Gap-the Realities in The Gambia.

The focus area of the daylong forum will be on Economic Empowerment of Women and specifically on Women in Agriculture. Combined with wider audience participation, a group of key stakeholders will be engaged to jointly address the key aspects which would contribute towards the achievement of a more successful and vibrant agricultural sector most especially for women, according to a media release made available to Mansa Banko blog

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gender and Climate Change –Challenges and way forward

Author: Abdou Rahman Sallah
            Executive Director BAJ Gambia

Gender inequalities substantially limit women’s access to control over and use of services and productive resources. As a result, natural hazards have different impact on men and women. These inequalities make the effect more devastating for women. With equal gender opportunities, a new environmentally friendly perspective needs to be developed that makes men and women equally accountable for their personal consumption and renders them responsible for the impact they have on the environment.

Urgent actions are needed to combat climate change but lack of information on gender and climate change has slowed our reactions. Today, there is inadequate information on gender issues relating to climate change. Further research is therefore needed in several aspects to establish the linkages between gender and climate change.

One key challenge is the small proportion of women in relevant professions and position of authority. International climate change process would be achieve sustainably we need to espouse the principles of gender in all stages of the process from research, through analysis, agenda formation, negotiation and decision making, regime implementation etc.

Monday, August 18, 2014

GAMBIA: IFAD President to discuss investments in smallholder agriculture, women and youth

Kanayo F. Nwanze IFAD's President
The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze, will arrive in the Republic of The Gambia on 20 August for a two-day official visit to meet with His ExcellencySheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh,
President of the Republic of The Gambia, and high-levelgovernment officials. The focus of discussions will be on strengthening partnershipsand furthering work to transform rural areas into economically vibrant places.

“Investments in smallholder agriculture that prioritize rural people, and in particular women and youth, will be on the top of my agenda during my discussions with country leaders in Banjul,”said Nwanze prior to his departure. “Smallholder family agriculture  can be a high-yielding, efficient and lucrative businessas well as a dignified profession that produces food, creates jobs, sustains families and puts countries on the road to stable, inclusive development.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Regional training on sustainable land mgt, climate change adaptation in Banjul

A five-day training on local project management for recipient communities of the regional sustainable land management and climate change adaptation in the Sahel and West Africa Programme (PRGD) will run from the 11th till 15th August 2014, at the Ocean Bay Hotel.

In his welcoming remarks, the governor of North Bank Region, Lamin Queen Jammeh, said the forum was aimed at developing the capacities of rural communities, project managers and promoters through training, using a regional approach towards Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and climate change adaptation in the Sahel and West Africa.

It was due to the commitment of the respective governments, development partners and individuals’ efforts that the PRGDT project was conceived some time back, he said.
He noted that individual projects under the main project are being harmonised for training and are currently being attended to with great enthusiasm from participants in The Gambia.

“This training workshop, which converged all stakeholders on SLM starting from the local communities at rural policy makers and at national levels, was a clear manifestation that decentralization is taking place in a context of differential but shared responsibility in the management of our scarce resources,” Governor Jammeh added.

He said countries through the realization of the impact of climate change, particularly in the rural areas, is affecting livelihoods, and adaptation as a climate response to the communities could not be overemphasized.
The use of sound knowledge and appropriate tools to address climate change effects and impacts as desired by the training could be one of the surest means of improving community livelihood which would ensure environmental sustainability.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GAMBIA: GEF-UNIDO to promote investment in Renewable Energy for sustainable development

Edward Saja Sanneh Minister of Energy has said that the objective of Global Environment Facility –United Nations Industrial Development Organization (GEF/UNIDO) project is to develop and promote a market environment that would stimulate investment in renewable energy based mini-grids for productive uses in the rural areas of The Gambia.
"It is salient to mention that no government can single-handedly finance and manage the whole energy sector without the direct involvement of the other key stakeholders, particularly the private sector," said the energy minister.
Minister Sanneh was speaking recently at a ceremony of a five-day training of trainers on renewable energy expert held at Gambia Technical Training Institute premises organized by Global Environment Facility –United Nations Industrial Development Organization (GEF/UNIDO) 4 project in The Gambia.
According to him, Ministry of Energy is working closely with relevant stakeholders to review the list of renewable energy components that would benefit from zero tax on importation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Environment advocates in the wild

About thirty (30) journalists from Biodiversity Action Journalists Gambia (BAJ Gambia) led by the staff of Department of Parks and Wildlife Managemen, Mr, Abdoulie Sawo from the 24th to 25th July, 2014 embarked on a two days visits to national parks; aim at obtaining first-hand information about the existing parks in the country.

BAJ Gambia members
The places visited included Tanji Bird Reserve, Abuko Nature Reserve and Kiang West National Parks thanks to the support of UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme.

The first place to visit was Tanji Bird Reserve in the Kombo North, West Coast Region, shortly before they go in the parks they (BAJ-Gambia) were briefed by staff of the department on the ground on history and activities of the park including benefits, challenges and way-forward.

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Director of Programme for BAJ-Gambia in his introduction stated that the visit is the final activity of the UNDP/ GEF-Small Grants Programme financed programme and this came after series of programmes implemented across the country as stated in the project document, thus encourage public participation in environmental protection.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture: Connecting the dots

ROME, 24 July 2014 – As the importance of nutrition-sensitive agriculture rises on the global development agenda, IFAD and its partners are working to "mainstream" nutrition into their investments and activities. As a result, there is an increasing demand for experts who understand the links between agriculture and nutrition. In the coming years, they will be called upon to design nutrition-sensitive agricultural and rural development projects that effectively contribute to ending hunger and malnutrition in poor and vulnerable communities.

Woman picks cucumbers in her vegetable field in Bangladesh. ©IFAD/GMB Akash

To expand the pool of experts who can take on such assignments, IFAD hosted an intensive training workshop at its Rome headquarters last week. About 40 staff and consultants  participated in the four-day session, which was developed jointly by IFAD, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and REACH, a partnership of United Nations agencies working to scale up food and nutrition interventions.

"This is a watershed moment," said Bibi Giyose, senior nutrition policy officer at FAO and previously nutrition advisor at the New Partnership for Africa's Development, or NEPAD. The session was an example of UN agencies "working together for one big, wonderful cause," she noted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LRR Youth targets multi Agric Surveys for CORY Project

LRR participants at GYIN Gambia CORY step-down forum
Youth in the Lower River Region (LRR) are prepared to conduct production and market surveys to expose the state of horticultural advantages for women and youth in the region. This plan was unveiled at a step-down orientation meeting of the national launching of the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) project powered by the Gambian chapter of Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN-GAMBIA) on Tuesday at the Ba’lal Rural Empowerment and Sustainable Development Initiative (BRESDI) secretariat in Soma.
Ebrima Bah, GYIN-Gambia representative in Lower River Region said the meeting was meant to share information on implementation plan and schedule, target groups and youth selection criteria with participants. He also said that it was expected of them to discuss on the expectations of youth from the various components of the project and design a test measure in domesticating the project plan in context of the LRR region.

Caravan of Mercy gives largesse to villages in LRR, others

Beneficiaries of Caravan of Mercy food distributions
Caravan of Mercy, Overseas Coordinator Mr. Pa Modou Sillah who is also coordinating Caravan of Mercy activities in the Republic of Senegal and Guinea Bissau stated that his organisation will continue the good will gesture for Gambian peoples in complementing the efforts of the government by given Ramadan donations to families.

Mr. Sillah was speaking in an exclusive interview with our reporter in his office in Brikama Caravan of Mercy Head Office shortly after the Ramadan food items distributions recently. 

According to Sillah, Caravan of Mercy which is registered as an international Non-Governmental Organisation in the country through its partners in the United Kingdom has donated food items to Gambian as part of their contributions to help the poor and needy.

GAMBIA: Journalists, youth organisations, students' researchers discuss GIs importance

Participants at  GIs Gambia forum
BiodiversityAction Journalists Gambia (BAJ Gambia) advocacy journalists organisation on Thursday 17th July brought together local journalists, youth organisations and student researchers under one conference room to discuss on Geographical Indications (GIs), a program organized under the auspices of Biodiversity Action Journalists Gambia (BAJ-Gambia) held at its head office in Churchill’s Town.

The general objective of the gathering is to share GIs information with participants as well as putting in place GIs team in The Gambia.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

GYIN Gambia launches CORY Consortium 3 year project

GYIN Gambia CORY National Orientation Workshop Participnats
The CORY project is a new initiative that supports young rural women and men in West and Central Africa to become entrepreneurs.  Over its 3-year implementation period (2014-2017), the CORY project will focus on rural young women and men, ages 15-35 years, who are involved in agriculture production or activities associated with rural business. 

GYIN Gambia chapter together with National Implementing Partners- Jarumeh Koto Youth Development Association, Gambia Women Finance Association (GAWFA), Village Savings and Credit Associations (VISACAs) on the 8th -9th July at Ocean Bay Hotel launched the CORY project.

The project also targets rural youth institutions for business training, advocacy, networking and knowledge exchange – all with a 1:1 female-male ratio.

Mamadou Edrisa Njie GYIN Gambia National Coordinator said by capitalizing on innovative ideas and taking into account the wishes and desires of many rural young women and men, the network recognized the need to provide a continuous “space” by establishing a platform now known as GYIN International.

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Plastic waste is one of the menaces of our time"- says Sambou

WED BAJ Gambia members in action
Biodiversity Action Journalists-Gambia (BAJ Gambia), a local media organisation operating across The Gambia, in complementing the efforts of the area councils and municipalities in keeping the country clean and tidy held cleansing exercise on World Environment Day (WED) 5th June, 2014 in Lower River Region.

Mr. Ansuman Sambou, director of planning and development at Mansakonko Area Council, have this to say during the celebration of the World Environment Day in Lower River Region, that plastic waste is one of the menaces of our time.

He said Biodiversity Action Journalists-The Gambia (BAJ-Gambia) Lower River Region (LRR) chapter coming with this theme: ‘Eliminating Plastic’ was really timely.
Plastic is everywhere and it is one quarter of waste, he said, adding that its management is very key to human health and the biodiversity of the country.  

“The celebration of the World Environment Day is key in the socio-economic development of the country,” said Ansuman Sambou during the celebration of World Environment Day organised by BAJ-The Gambia LRR office.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Climate Change is sucking funding away from biodiversity


money_sucking_vortexFrom the “let’s include climate change is all our work so we’ll keep getting funded” department, comes this admission in the form of a press release from The University of Kent.
Overshadowed by climate change
Kent research suggests that recent high levels of media coverage for climate change may have deflected attention and funding from biodiversity loss.
In a paper published by the journal Bioscience, Kent conservationists also recommend that, to prevent biodiversity from becoming a declining priority, conservationists need to leverage the importance of climate change to obtain more funds and draw attention to other research areas such as biodiversity conservation.

BAJ Gambia top brass participates in 3rd National Renewable Energy forum

Executive Director Abdou Rahman Sallah and Mamadou Edrisa Njie Director of Programmes of Biodiversity Action Journalists Gambia (BAJ Gambia), are currently attending 3rd National Renewable Energy forum in Banjul, The Gambia an invitation through REAGAM membership.

The forum is organised by PURA annually in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), through funding from USAID on theme: Policy ‘for Small Scale Renewable Energy Regulation’ from 18th-19th, June 2014 held in a local hotel in The Gambia.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CAID: Commemoration of Day of the African Child Film Screening

Ibrahim Ceesay
Social Justice Activist & Film-Maker
Executive Director, CAID
In commemoration of the African Child Day, Children and Community Initiative for Development (CAID), on 16th June, 2014 to gather government officials, youth groups, UN Agencies, Students, CSOs amongst others personalities to a screening of the award winning film ‘’The Hand of Fate’’ on the 16th of June 2014 by 6:00p.m at the Ebunjan Theatre, opposite Gambia Football Association House Kanifing Institutional Area, as part of commemoration of Day of the African Child (DAC) 2014. 

The screening will be followed by discussions, questions and answers with cast and crew of the film, Government officials, UN Agencies, Students, Youth Groups and Civil Society Organizations on the theme of DAC 2014.  

The Children and Community Initiative for Development CAID, is a public interest based organization striving towards children and community development in the Gambia. Disadvantaged communities and children that vulnerable to poverty and human rights violations are powerful agents of change and development when mobilized from within. CAID believes that children are the leaders in future making therefore, they should be educated, empowered and equipped with the necessary skills in circumventing challenges affecting them at all levels.

APO Media Award: WIN $500 a month for one year, one lap top, one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of your choice and more

The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year, and the third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year

DAKAR, Senegal, June 12, 2014/ -- APO (African Press Organization) (, the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2014 APO Media Award (#APOMediaAward).The first-place winner will be presented with $500 a month for one year, one laptop and one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of his or her choice as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.

 The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year.
 The third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year.

APO Media Award celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – business, economy, technology, agriculture, health, energy, gender, logistics, tourism, motoring, aviation, not-for-profit issues, diplomacy, environment, mining, entertainment and more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BAJ Gambia celebrates World Environment Day in URR with a grand style "Cleansing Exercise"

Group Picture: BAJ Gambia with Basse Community People
Biodiversity Action Journalists Gambia Upper River Region (URR) chapter in collaboration with Basse Area Council and other institutions such as the regional forestry office, water resources office, town development committee and a cross-section of the local communities in Basse, gathered to clean Basse major praying ground as part of observing World Environment Day 5th June, 2014 an initiative organised by BAJ-Gambia and supported by Basse Area Council.
The celebration attended by key institutions and local communities was part of BAJ-Gambia’s activities in observance of World Environment Day, according to Abdou Rahman Sallah, executive director of Biodiversity Action Journalist Gambia in an interview with reporters during the exercise in Basse URR.

Friday, June 6, 2014

World Environment Day: the importance of ensuring access to information and freedom of expression

World Environment Day provides an opportunity to shed light on the increasing importance of the right to environmental information, as recognized in documents such as the Rio Declaration from the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Eco -92).
ARTICLE 19 South America believes the right to a healthy and sustainable environment for all requires governments to disclose complete and current information on construction, public policies and environmental programs. Access to information provides a more transparent and participatory decision-making process on development and environmental issues. It also improves governments’ performance in meeting people's demands and gives more legitimacy to environmental decisions by ensuring citizens’ rights to participate, and by promoting accountability.

Open Letter to President Obama from Gambian environment minister

Pa Ousman Jarju Gambian minister
Dear President Obama:

As former chair of Least Developed Countries group in the United Nations climate change negotiations, and former Special Envoy for the group, I am speaking on behalf of LDCs who are already suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change.  

The latest IPCC report indicates that the evidence of human-caused climate-change impacts is unequivocal, and that increased warming likewise increases the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.

The research shows that these increases in temperature will be linked to increases in the level and the extent of poverty around the world, making more difficult our recovery from climate-related disasters. Both will set back decades of human development efforts and create new security risks for the world.