Thursday, February 27, 2014

ActionAid gets New Executive Director

Omar Badji New AAITG Executive Director

Omar Badji is the new Executive Director of ActionAid International The Gambia (AAITG). Badji, who until his appointment was Head of Programmes and Policy, took over the role in January 2014 and is based in Kanifing. He succeeds Dr. Kujejatou Manneh whose term ended in December 2013. AAITG is an Affiliate member of the ActionAid International Federation, a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty.

In his new role, Omar Badji will lead the work of the Affiliate, coordinating its work and strengthening its partnerships to ensure greater positive impact of programme interventions on the lives and livelihoods of people living in poverty. He has worked for ActionAid for over 20 years and has served as interim Country Director for ActionAid Senegal (AAS), Guinea Bissau (AABG) and The Gambia.

FIU ready to work with anti-money laundering journalists network in Gambia

L - R: Mr Drammeh, Mr Jahateh and Mr Camara (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/Feb2014)

The director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has promise to work with the Network of Journalists against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing – The Gambia, a national chapter of the sub-regional network.

Yahya Camara said his Unit is ready to work with the network to see how best the right information on the scourges of the twin evils of Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism (ML and FT) reach the masses.  

The FIU is established by an Act of the parliament and is mandated to render services such combating ML and FT in The Gambia.

Mr Camara was speaking to members of the network during a courtesy call to his office, located within the Central Bank of The Gambia in Banjul, on Wednesday.  

Speaking earlier, Lamin Jahateh, coordinator of the network, said the purpose of the visit is to formally introduce the network to the FIU, and to discuss areas that the FIU can collaborate with the network, as part of the network’s 2014 action plan.

The main objectives of the network include complementing the efforts of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) in combating economic and financial crimes in the sub-region with a view to protect the national economies and financial systems from ML.  

IFAD grants of US$1.95million to create opportunities for rural youth in West and Central Africa

CORY signed
Heather Spidell, President and CEO of CEED, and Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD, signed the grant agreement today.

"Investing in rural youth is critical if they are to stay in rural areas and contribute to their development"

Rome, 26 February 2014 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a grant of US$1.95 million to the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) to support creating opportunities for rural youth in West and Central Africa, beginning in Benin, Cameroon, Gambia and Nigeria.

Heather Spidell, President and CEO of CEED, and Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD, signed the grant agreement today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Lamin Sawo Concern Universal led trainer at the meeting
Before you can start a good business, you must need a clear idea of the sort of business you want to run and a good business starts with a good business idea affirmed Mr. Lamin Sawo Concern Universal- Gambia Business as Farming Officer at entrepreneurship training for start-up businesses for women and youth.

The 24th to 27th training is held at the Jenoi Agricultural Training Centre in the Lower River Region (LRR), implemented by Concern Universal-Gambia and solely funded by the National Agricultural Land and Water Development Project (Nema) the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD financed project.

The reason of why many people go into business, Mr. Sawo said for some; to earn living, support a family, gain prestige, gain additional income, meet expenses for social and traditional functions and to gain some degree of independence.

Nema project training on 80 start-up businesses of women and youth on entrepreneurship

Participants at the training
The National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed project gathered 80 start-up businesses of women and youth from the 24th to 27th February, 2014 at Rural Farmers’ Agricultural Training Centre at Jenoi in Lower River Region.

The 80 start-up businesses participants are selected after the project embarked on country-wide trekking identifying potential business[s] based on demand from the beneficiaries themselves by filing Nema request forms. With the volume of participants, the training has been split into two groups 40 participants for each training session to be conducted by Concern Universal (CU).

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Mr. Momodou Gassama Nema project director said that the Gambia government has seen IFAD’s intervention and support in the country as ‘timely’ noting that Nema project seeks to build on the achievements of IFAD’s previous projects-LADEP and PIWAMP with an added important component: Agricultural Commercialization; which seeks to graduate subsistence farming to commercialization-producing more that what we eat, to sell for profit.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Support for green economy surges but crucial gaps remain

Governments, businesses, investors and others are embracing the ‘green economy’ idea, but differences in the way they interpret it pose barriers to sustainable development, according to a report published today by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Green Economy Coalition.

The Green Economy Barometer report, produced for a three day conference on ‘real green economies’ at Wilton Park this week, provides a current analysis of who is doing what, where, and why.

“The green economy concept is an antidote to the prevailing brown economy, which is a major driver of environmental degradation and inequality,” says Oliver Greenfield Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition. “Its purpose is to improve both society and the natural environment. Right now though, the most powerful players are backing a narrower goal of ‘green growth’, which risks being discredited unless it more effectively tackles inequality.”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Green Tech Vision Trains Sanyang village Welder men on cooking stoves production

(Pic Source:} Participants
1 Green Tech Vision, with funding under the UNDP Global Environmental Facility (GEF) -Small Grants Programme (SGP) project, organized training for welder men in Sanyang village in Kombo North, West Coast Region recently on cooking stoves production. 

With the UNDP GEF-SGP supported project, Green Tech Vision aims to tackle environmental challenges and improve livelihoods in the local communities of West Coast Region; Green Tech Vision is the only Gambian innovative company that produce briquette and make it affordable to Gambians at a low price.

The training aimed to enable welders in the villages of Tanji, Sanyang and Gunjur to be able to reproduce the cooking stove in large quantities so that local communities can have easy access to the product which in turn will save our forest, as less firewood will be used. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO for the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

Ms. Irina Bokova UNESCO DG  Young women and men are critical actors in all aspects of development, and their energy, motivation and vision are essential assets for positive social change.

The need to include young people and to place them at the heart of the development agenda is increasingly recognized, and this is positive. However, we still have far to go, to ensure that they are not only ‘considered’ but have every opportunity to participate as equal partners in decision-making that concerns them and their future and to contribute to action at all levels.

UNESCO works in three directions to empower young women and men – guided by the idea that they are not only beneficiaries but key actors for sustainable change. We act, first, to support the development of inclusive public policies on and for youth, in order to create an enabling environment for them to prosper, to exercise their rights and to engage in public life.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Anti-LBGT Rhetoric in The Gambia

Press Statement
John Kerry, Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 19, 2014

The United States is deeply troubled by the hateful rhetoric used by President Jammeh in his National Day speech on February 18. All people are created equal and should be able to live free from discrimination, and that includes discrimination based on sexual identity and sexual orientation. We call on the Government of The Gambia to protect the human rights of all Gambians, and we encourage the international community to send a clear signal that statements of this nature have no place in the public dialogue and are unacceptable.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms belong to all individuals. The United States stands by you no matter where you are and no matter who you love.Comments on Facebook:

  • Ahmadou Bokarr Jawo In the Gambia or Africa we do not lived our lifes as fellow human directed no man is perfect, Allah created all and according to his comandment we ll lived if john kerry cares for humanity let them take w. Bush n tony blaire to justice after they invaded Afghanistan, iraq n planning to destroy every muslim state. they called the invation of iraq a mistake,
  • Badalieu Nyang John kerry and the so call american goverment we Gambians are god fearing people n trust in the teachings of our holy book the quran n respect our culture, so if yu are to defend LGBT, take it to your country not our region we belive in god not humanity, how many innocent people were killed by your drones in afghanistAn n pakistan wat action did the american goverment take only making nonsense appology, follow ur saitanic religion n leave us with ours, Raging fire gona burn all lesbians n GayS to ashes
  • Salifu M Bah What the hell does john kerry has to do about the affairs of another state.
    ? Mr. This is nt about the president, its the the people, our way of life and what we belief in. LGBT have no place within the, don't u understand that this threatens human existence, don't u understand that u never have been this hypocrite of a secretary of state if your parents wer gay or lesbian..... Infact our religion bestowed on us marriage to the opposite sex which in a sense is for the preservation of human just save us this shit!

Statement by President Yahya Jammeh on the occasion of the Gambia’s 49th Independence anniversary 18th February 2014

President Yahya AJJ Jammeh

 Bismillaahir Rahmaani Raheem 

Alhamdu lillaahe Rabbil Aalameeen

Alhamdu lillaahe Rabbil Aalameeen

Alhamdu lillaahe Rabbil Aalameeen

Fellow Gambians and friends of The Gambia

I greet you with the most noble salutation “Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahe wa Barakaatuh,” on the important occasion of the 49th anniversary of our independence. I salute and commend you for the journey we have all been making to usher in a modern prosperous and dignified independent motherland for the past 49 years and even more significantly with the assumption of a more profound meaning of our independence as a sovereign Nation during the last twenty years from July 22nd 1994.

We continue our march for greater prosperity, progress and independence as a proud and dignified nation and taking charge of our destiny with THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH as our only MASTER to WHOM alone we bow down in worship. Our independence was achieved through the hard work of patriotic independence minded citizens but that independence was a sham as Gambia’s leadership then plunged our country deeper into the complete hegemony of the British Empire and therefore failed to bring about any significant socio-economic development.

For a country that was once labelled as a “hell hole on earth” by a former US President during the height of massive looting of our resources by our merciless colonial Masters; we should definitely be proud of ourselves considering the rapid development we have achieved so far during the past 20 years i.e. from July 22nd 1994 when we became truly independent from the exploitative hegemony of the ungrateful Kingdom of our former colonial Masters.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Traditional communicators, drama groups trained on use of briquettes, fuel efficient stoves


As part of their strive to protecting the environment and improving the livelihoods of the people, Green Tech Vision trained traditional communicators and drama groups in Gunjur on fuel briquettes and fuel efficient stoves.
The January 14 training was aimed at exposing the participants to the importance of fuel briquettes and fuel efficient stoves to the protection of the environment and its income-saving capability to families.

The training is funded by UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme and participants are expected to disseminate the knowledge they have to the villagers through their singings and dramas. The project has signed an MoU with the targeted communities- Gunjur, Sanyang and Tanji village.

The introduced fuel briquettes, fuel efficient stoves and alternative fish smoking technologies to fishing villages in The Gambia is aimed at tackling environmental challenges and improving livelihoods. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and African Union Commission’s Joint Summit on Youth Employment

Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation and African Union Commission’s Joint Summit on Youth Employment

WE, YOUNG PEOPLE attending the African Youth Forum under the theme “What Africa can do now to Accelerate Youth Employment?” organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the United Nations Population Fund, the Islamic Bank for Development, the World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

On the sidelines of the 22nd Ordinary Assembly of the African Union Head of States and Government, held at the UNECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 29th January, 2014; Recognising the centrality of Youth Employment and Empowerment to our holistic development as individuals and to the development of Africa; Noting that young people aged 15-35 make up over 40 per cent of the continent’s population and that the right investments in our education, health and employment will position Africa to reap the demographic dividend Taking cognizance of regional and international frameworks such as the African Youth Charter and its decade Plan of Action; the Ouagadougou Declaration and its Plan of Action for the Promotion of Employment and Poverty Alleviation; the Malabo Declaration on Acceleration Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development; the African Union Youth and Women Employment Pact; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development Beyond 2014 in Africa; the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the youth consultations for Agenda 2063, as well as national policies, which address youth employment and empowerment.

 Acknowledging progress made in implementing these frameworks and aware of ongoing review of implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and work on the post 2015 development agenda; Mindful of our roles and responsibilities in our own development and in the development of our respective countries and the continent; Hereby adopt the following outcome statement:

The fifth global meeting of the Farmers' Forum

What is the Farmers’ Forum?
It is an on-going, bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between small farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations (FOs), IFAD and governments, focused on agricultural and rural development and poverty reduction. The Forum is rooted in concrete partnerships and collaborations at the country and regional levels. The Farmers’ Forum was born in 2005 and it meets every two years for a global consultation, in conjunction with the Governing Council of IFAD.
Who will be attending?
 Farmers’ representatives attending the global meeting of the Forum are nominated by its Steering Committee. On 17 - 18 February 2014, over 90 farmers’ leaders, representing millions of smallholders and rural producers from all over the world, will come together to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming, to interact with IFAD staff and selected partners, including FAO, AgriCord, the European Commission (EC), Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation (BMGF),  research institutes and NGOs. The Forum will be opened by the President of IFAD, Kanayo Nwanze.  Its closing session, in the afternoon of Tuesday, 18 February, will be open to the representatives of IFAD's Governing Bodies.  

Fishers in the spotlight
During the global meeting of the Farmers' Forum in 2012, a working group was organized to discuss how fishers’ organizations and collective actions can contribute to sustainable management of marine resources. One of the recommendations that came out of this working group was to "hold a special session on small-scale fisheries during the next global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum to promote understanding of their role in food security and increase the recognition and visibility of their sector before policy makers." Therefore, a special session was held on 8 February 2014 to better define the process for the development of more structured operational partnerships between IFAD and fishers’ organizations on small-scale fishery development and support to the implementation of the Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines. 

Nigeria need regulatory framework on GMOs to protect biodiversity - Akinbo Dr Olalekan Akinbo

Akinbo Dr Olalekan Akinbo Geneticist and a Breeder
In an this interview with, Etta Michael Bisong Nigeria Country Co-ordinator for AU NEPAD African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), Akinbo Dr. Olalekan Akinbo geneticist and a Breeder, urged the government of Nigeria on the need to fast track the accent to the bill to address the challenges and superintend over the adoption of biotechnology in Nigeria. 

Follow our question and answer… What is Biotechnology? Ans: Biotechnology in simple term is applied biology. Applied biology is using what you know to improve what you do not know. Nelson Mandela said “It always seems impossible until it is done”. Biotechnology is a tool used in plant (in this content) to insert gene that is not heritable from the wild relatives into preferred cultivated crop for crop improvement. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

GYIN Chairperson & CEO to deliver speeches at two International events, Spain and USA

Pape Samb Chairman and CEO GYIN International
Mr. Pape Samb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), has been invited as a honorable speaker at the 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED 2014 organised by The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED) will take place in Valencia (Spain) from the 10th to 12th of March, 2014.

Mr.  Samb will present a keynote speech at this honoured event and will be speaking on the topic: Linking Education with Entrepreneurship: Transforming Traditional Schools into Entrepreneurship Innovation-Based Experimental Learning Labs.

The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED) is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of international education and university cooperation in the field of Technology and Science.

Mr. Samb focused on executive leadership, management, and entrepreneurship training and coaching. 

BAJ-Gambia Social Secretary Among 2014 Earth Hour Champions

Mamadou Edrisa Njie Social Secretary BAJ-Gambia

If a civilisation is judged by the wisdom of its ways, the 21stcentury owes considerable gratitude to one journalist cum social justice activist in The Gambia Mr Mamadou Edrisa Njie’s of using  the social media-digital journalism- in the past few years which has revolutionized the way Gambian people understand their relationship with the social media. 
“Congratulations on your successful selection to join WalktoMali! We received a record 77 number of applications from 20 countries and the quality of these was truly unparalleled. So you have every reason to feel proud for being selected as a WalktoMali participant.Bravo again!” writes Mr. Oludotun Babayemi, country director, WWF-Earth Hour Nigeria. 
On January 18, 2014 twelve Earth Hour Champions, including our own Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Biodiversity Action Journalists- The Gambia (BAJ-Gambia) social secretary set out to empower 14 local communities in the West Africa region. 

TheWalktoMali campaign engaged 12 Earth Hour Champions who embark on a 3,404km round road trip, from Nigeria to Mali, between Saturday January 18and Saturday, March 15, 2014.
The campaign is an annual affair and the Earth Hour team in Nigeria launched WalktoMali to promote the culture of peace and environmental sustainability across seven West African countries. The 3,404km round road trip WalktoMalitakes the 12 champions through Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.  

Njie, a participant in the two-month project says “Earth Hour is the single largest mass participation event of its kind in the world. But it only works if you're in. Because Earth Hour is about you and me – the beautiful, bold idea that all of us together can inspire climate action. And in 2014, we're launching something new. Are you in?” 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

International push to tackle illegal wildlife trade risks missing potential of sustainable use

Cartoon: Acknowledging the elephant in the room: sustainable use and trade in the illegal wildlife trade debate
As UK Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to host an international conference to tackle the booming illegal transnational trade in wildlife, experts welcome the new push to address this enduring problem but warn that efforts could fail without appropriate incentives for local people’s involvement.

On 11-12 February international conservation agencies — backed by the Royal Foundation – will agree a set of joint activities to address illegal wildlife trade, while heads of state and government ministers at the conference in London on 13 February will issue a declaration that is set to guide policymaking for years to come.

But a paper published today by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) reminds these, and other international initiatives, that a potentially valuable tool that generates incentives for local people to engage in conservation is in danger of being overlooked.


Still time to register for the travel industry event in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 2014
The Africa Travel Association announced today that Ambassador Bisa Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of African Affairs of the US Department of State, and Mark Preston, Northeast Sales Manager of Destination Marketing at Trip Advisor, will headline the travel trade organization’s Seventh Annual U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar. The stand-alone travel industry event will take place on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the Washington Convention Center, a day prior to the Washington DC Travel & Adventure Show, a two-day consumer expo.
Co-hosted once again by the African Union Mission to the USA and with premier sponsor, the Washington Travel & Adventure Show, the event offers tourism industry leaders and professionals from both Africa and the USA the opportunity to network with fellow professionals interested in Africa and to meet the industry’s top decision-makers. It also offers participants the opportunity to learn about Africa’s destinations and their diverse services and products. In 2013, 150 participants attended the event, including representatives from more than twenty African countries.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wind Energy Summit to be held in South Africa

Cape Town- South Africa: With almost 2,000MW of onshore wind South Africa is under the global spotlight as the industry’s most exciting market.The Wind Energy Summit South Africa will be held in Cape Town, April 9-10, 2014. 

In the most recent round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) an entirely international line-up was revealed. With the likes of Enel Green Power, China Longyuan Power and Mainstream Renewable Power allocated projects, many of the local players were priced out of the market when unable to match the incredibly competitive pricing that comes with a booming market.


Ms. Bisa Williams
U.S. Embassy Press Release: Bisa Williams, a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs of the United States Department of State will be in The Gambia February 1st – 4th to meet with government officials, businesspeople, and members of civil society. Her visit is to support the long-standing bilateral relationship and continued close ties between the United States of America and the Republic of The Gambia.

Ms. Bisa Williams is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister Counselor, and is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for West Africa and African economic policy issues. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Niger from 2010 to 2013. She was the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs in the Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the Department from 2007 to 2010 and also served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs covering Central America, the Caribbean and Cuba in 2010.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

NATC praises SDF, GTTI for building youth capacity on horticulture

NATC Youth on the farm practical work 
The Director of Njawara Agricultural Training Centre NATC in the North Bank Region, NBR has underscored the important the centre attaches to capacity development of farmers and youths on horticulture and adoption best agricultural practices. 

Mr. Mama Manneh was speaking to visiting Gambian journalists on the farm on Sunday in Njawara, to gauge the opinion of trainees that are undergoing two (2) years training on horticulture with support from Social Development Fund, SDF. 
The training was designed by Gambia Technical Training Institute, GTTI and coordinated by Njawara Agricultural training Centre. He noted that the partnership agreement between the three institutions would contribute immensely to enhance the capacity of youths and promote government quest of back to land. 
The director said the course is in line with National Training Authority NTA approved modules to ensure that they are certified in line with standardization.  He lauded National Certified Assessment, SDF and GTTI for their regular visit to assess compliances and standard of student. He said student spent 75 percent of their time on practical works, noting that it provide them the opportunity to showcase their potential and learn from one and another.