Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gambia Should Reduce Import Bills, Use the Dalasi to Import Cars- Banky Njie

Banky Njie Nema Business Dev Officer
“We have the land – about 60 percent of our land is underutilized, we have the people resources. Now, with the number of different projects – we also have the investments, whether its Nema’a asset financing scheme, or FASDEP’s version, or Reliance standalone “Farming as a Business”.

“So the opportunities are here to transform our activities to increase production, not only to feed ourselves, but also feed the world. We should have a vision to emulate our president and heed to his clarion call – ‘eat what we grow and grow what we eat’. We should then be able to reduce our import bills and use the hard currency to import that which we cannot produce – like cars…yet!! We cannot talk about our dignity if we don’t have the ability to feed ourselves.

“Let us all believe and have a sense of pride in what we produce and get out of our mindsets that anything imported, especially from the West, is better,” said Banky Njie Business Development Officer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD financed project in The Gambia the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema)

Nema Business Development Officer was delivering a statement on the closing of the 4 day Entrepreneurship training to smallholder producers & actors in the rice & vegetable value chains at Jenoi, Thursday 13th March 2014.

Media practitioners exposed to environmental protection

Group picture of the participants
No fewer than 30 media practitioners mainly editors, web-designers, radio presenters and online reporters from the print and electronic media 15th March, 2014 hold a day long capacity enhancement on environmental editing, reporting and broadcasting, at the Wellingara Horticulture Model Centre.
                                                 Organised by the Biodiversity Action Journalists-The Gambia (BAJ-Gambia), through funding  from UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programme (UNDEP/GEF-SGP), the grant is meant to implement a twelve-month project on public awareness on ‘Environmental Protection and Mitigation’ nationwide. 

The objective of the project is designed to promote public participation in Protected Area Management of environmental and biodiversity resources for posterity.

BAJ-The Gambia is an environmental and natural resources journalists’ organisation, with a membership of 70 practising journalists from both print and electronic (social) media community radios and youth activists across the country, aimed at advocating  sustainable use of biological and natural resources for generations yet unborn.  

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, BAJ-Gambia social-secretary said the project is meant to protect and mitigate the environment, working in collaboration with Gambia Press Union, National Environmental Agency (NEA), Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG), MOBSE and other relevant stakeholders across the country.

Community Forest Committees, others expose to entrepreneurial skill development

Rural Community forest committee, forest staff and producer groups recently conclude a four day capacity enhancement on entrepreneurial skill development, a program held at Janjanbureh regional forestry bantaba in Central River Region south.

At the opening ceremony Kanimang Camara representing the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and also doubles as the coordinator of Forest and Farm Facility better known as triple F for Gambia and Liberia said the program was supported by FAO Banjul office.

FAO’s Banjul Office technical department is supporting the government of The Gambia with natural resources management and food security alongside agricultural development.

Mr. Camara said for the past years FAO has been supporting the forestry department in a program called national forest program facility implemented from 2009 to 2012; which registered remarkable successes.

He further pointed out that, among the key achievements include conduct of inventory of forest resources, the reviewing of the forest act of 1998 and the supported in the implementation of certain priority areas based on the national forestry action plans.

UK couple built modern toilet facility to Bijilo School.

PTA Faal with the UK couples
By Abou Rahman Sallah

Jim Bell and Collette Senior a UK based couple on Friday 21st March witness the inauguration of a newly constructed modern toilet facility for Bijilo Lower Basic School financed by the couple, a ceremony held at the school ground.

The facility is eight in one with flush toilets, water and washing basins for students to wash their hands with running water after every used according to Mr Baboucarr Tambedou contractor for the toilet facility.

Tambedou pointed out that, the contract was awarded to him by Mr Almamy Fadera retired head master, whom he said had a good working relation for years. Adding that, the toilet facility must be kept clean and tidy to ensure convenience in using the toilet, thus for durability purposes.

For her part, Madam Isatou Joof deputy head mistress of Bijilo Lower Basic School said it all began when Jim Bell visited the school on the 10th January 2011. After he had (Jim) had a fruitful discussion with the school authorities and was later taken round to see the school premises for any possible intervention.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is social media the next gold mine for Gambian youth? The story of Mamadou Edrisa Njie

Mansa Banko: Mamadou Edrisa Njie

If someone had told me that a few years ago that using the social media will one day land me in a job, I would have totally disagreed with that person, be it an expert, a researcher or a fortuneteller. In fact, this wasn’t because I didn’t know what social media was all about but mainly because I was ONLY passionately on Facebook to chart with friends with some that I don’t know.

Here I am, have signed a six month-contract with one of the best IT Service Providers in The Gambia to be its “Social Media Administrator”. A post I only knew existed during the signing of the contract.

Being born and brought up in the rural community of The Gambia where young people trek several kilometers to access internet to use the social media-Facebook and Skype, today, I count myself a one of the luckiest to have had the opportunity to access the social media anytime, anywhere with thanks to an IPAD provided by Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) International.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Women’s Day 2014: Combating violence against women in Brazil through better access to information


Lack of reliable and comprehensive information about violence against women seriously hampers good policy-making, restricts research, and compromises the work of women's rights organizations.

ARTICLE 19 seeks to fight violence against women by improving access to information that will allow better monitoring of domestic violence statistics and participation by women’s rights groups in the planning and evaluation of State-led initiatives. Women need information to take advantage of opportunities to design public policy, practice and expenditure so that their interests may be recognised and addressed.

Improving access to information and freedom of expression is one of the most effective means to strengthen democratic governance. Freedom of information encourages a democratic culture that goes far beyond the checks and balances that formally constitute a functioning democracy. A commitment to access to information demonstrates that a government holds itself accountable to its people, and creates an arena for constructive political dialogue.

“Women’s economic empowerment is a mirage if we ignore unpaid work done at home”

On International Women’s Day, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, calls on States to ensure that unpaid care is better valued, supported and shared – by men and by States:

“Women’s economic empowerment is a mirage if we don’t also take into account the unpaid work they are doing in the home. In most countries, women – especially those living in poverty - work longer hours than men when unpaid work is taken into account, yet they receive lower earnings and less recognition.

Heavy and unequal care responsibilities are a norm that is taken for granted and stand as a major barrier to gender equality, taking up women’s time and denying their equal enjoyment of the rights to education, decent work, health and participation in government, among others.

Unpaid care work such as cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly entrenches women’s poverty and social exclusion when it is not socially recognized and shared. Care should be a social and collective responsibility for men and women and supported by the State, rather than falling entirely on women’s shoulders.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gambia: Governor Sanneh says IFAD financed project Nema to transform agriculture and improve economic empowerment

WCR Governor Alhagie Lamin Sanneh

The Governor of West Coast Region-The Gambia, Alhagie Lamin Sanneh has said that the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) –International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed project in The Gambia has a potential to transform agriculture and improve economic empowerment for beneficiaries-Gambian women and youths.

Governor Sanneh was delivering his keynote statement at the second ‘Dialogue Forum’ organized by the Nema project from 4th to 6th March, 2014 at the Wellengara Agricultural Garden Training Centre in his own region West Coast Region (WCR).

The forum was meant for stakeholders to look at the recommendations of the last ‘Dialogue Forum’ 28th to 29th November, 2013 at the same centre in WCR; harmonizing the training manual developed by implementing partners- Department of Agriculture (DOA), Plant Protection Services (PPS), Concern Universal (CU), Gambia Horticultural Enterprises (GHE), University of The Gambia (UTG), National Women Farmers’ Association (NAWFA), and Department of Community Development.

Another area of the forum also look at the way forward for the step down trainings especially adopting an integrated approach to the past trainings conducted by implementing partner  contracted by Nema project.

According to him, the project-Nema is in direct responses to the government of The Gambia’s formal request to IFAD to lead in the implementation of the Gambia National Agriculture Investment Plan (GINAP) 2011-2015.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Endeavour to share information, ensure transparency amongst project team, implementing agencies and beneficiaries- Jammeh

Ousman Jammeh with his IPAD shortly after delivering his speech

At a colourful and well attended second ‘Dialogue Forum’ organized by the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project, Nema, Agricultural Regional Director, West Coast Region, Mr. Ousman Jammeh on behalf of his department, expressed his personal and joyous greetings from the Regional Agricultural Directorate of the West Coast Region.

The Nema is a seven-year (2013 to 2019) project designed to build on the achievements and experience of earlier International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD financed projects in The Gambia-Rural Finance Project (RFP), the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Development Project (PIWAMP) and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP) in the agricultural sector under the Ministry of Agriculture. 

The March 4th- 6th second ‘Dialogue Forum’ is underway at the Wellengara Agricultural Garden Training Centre in West Coast Region.

Monday, March 3, 2014

‘Saving forest is extremely important to mitigate climate change’

“Using groundnutshell briquettes in fuel efficient stoves for your daily cooking, instead of fuelwood in an inefficient fire place, you are saving the forest and saving the forest is extremely important to mitigate climate change and also for environmental sanitation and soil retention,” says Lenja Guenther, Chairperson, GreenTech Vision.

She observed that Gambia has threatening environmental challenges ranging from soil degradation to desertification and loss of biodiversity.

“So if we can protect our forest with less use of firewood and charcoal then we can have a generally healthier environment,” she stated during a daylong training of coregroup members in Tanji on Sales and Micro-credit opportunities for the introduced fuel briquettes and fuel efficient stoves.   
Funded by the UNDP Global Environmental Facility (GEF) -Small Grants Programme (SGP), the project, which is implemented by the charity GreenTechVision, is aimed at tackling environmental challenges like deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change and improving livelihoods.