Wednesday, December 30, 2015

REVCEL Training for 50 Youth Opens in LRR

REVCEL LRR Rural Youth session
A 12 days (Dec. 11-22, 2015) training on entrepreneurship dubbed the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL) for 50 rural youth kicks-off at Pakalinding, Lower River Region (LRR) on Friday.

Organized by the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) Gambia project, it is being implemented by the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) - Gambia chapter.
The training, which is meant to equip young men and women with entrepreneurship skills, focusing on project and enterprise development, is underway at the Trans-Gambia Lodge in Pakalinding.

It is jointly funded by CORY Project The Gambia and the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) and officially opened on December 14, 2015.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Evaluation of IFAD's programme in The Gambia points to good project design but pitfalls in targeting

Participants at IFAD Evaluation Workshop
Development projects carried out in The Gambia by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – the UN agency specializing in rural development – have been well designed, but faced challenges during their implementation, an evaluation report produced by IFAD’s Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) revealed today at a national workshop in Banjul.
The evaluation assessed five IFAD-financed projects carried out between 2004 and 2014. According to the report, the projects had an overall positive impact on the rural population. For example, they enabled families to purchase items that gradually covered the households’ needs and made them more self-sufficient. Village savings and credit associations encouraged families to invest more time in income-generating activities, such as producing groundnut paste, tie and dye fabrics, and soap,  resulting in an increase in basic household assets. Through the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP), food-crop production grew from 4,503 to 50,481 metric tons (MT) from 2006 to 2012, a 41-fold increase.

African Youth Charter comes to place of birth as Gambia hosts Banjul+10

NYC Executive Director, Mr. Lamin Darboe
The year 2016 marks ten years of the adoption of the Africa Youth Charter (AYC). Launched in Banjul, in July 2006, by the Seventh Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Charter eventually entered into force on August 8, 2009.

The AYC is the first legal framework of the AU in favour of the empowerment and development of the youth on the continent. Thirty-five Member States of the AU have so far ratified the instrument, committing their nations to the fulfillment of the rights and obligations of young people, as enshrined and guaranteed in the Charter.

Ten years on next year, it is essential to take stock of the progress made, share good practices, renew commitments and map out a concrete way forward for realising the ideals of the AYC for youth, while also contributing to the attainment of the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

CORY Gambia project completes 2nd badge of REVCEL in CRR

By Madi S. Njie

Group picture of the REVCEL participants, dignitaries and Facilitators at the opening
On 3rd  December 2015, 27 participants drawn from various parts of the Central River Region North and South completed an entrepreneurship training organized under the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) Gambia project, coordinated by the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia.

The twelve days training meant to equip young men and women with entrepreneurship skills, focusing on project and enterprise development was held at the Forestry Camp Bantaba hall in Janjanbureh, the administrative capital of CRR.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Paris climate conference - failure is not an option

 Global Greens call for unity and resolve

The Global Greens call upon the governments of the world, assembled at Paris next week, to fulfil their collective responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change.
Unity and resolve are vital, not least as a counter to the fear and disunity that horrific terrorist attacks, like those recently in Mali, Paris and Beirut, aim to inspire. Failure is not an option.

We call on all the peoples of the world, marching this weekend, to demand this of their governments and hold them electorally to account.

Specifically, the Global Greens call on governments in Paris to negotiate a legally binding agreement that demonstrates

CORY- Gambia Project REVCEL training for CRR North and South youth kicks off

23 November 2015, 27 youth from various parts of Central River Region (CRR), serving as second badge of REVCEL training, converged at the Forestry camp in Janjanbureh for an 12 days entrepreneurships training organized by Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) Gambia Project. 

The CORY project is coordinated Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) in collaboration with partners was preceded by an orientation meeting on the eve of 22 November, shortly after the arrival of participant at the Forestry Camp for the training.

Welcoming participants, project coordinator - Mamadou Edrisa Njie presented on the bylaws governing the training, before proceeding to Basse to facilitate similar training simultaneously held for young people in Upper River Region (URR). 

Governor urges rural youth to utilise opportunities as CORY Gambia project REVCEL training starts

Participants at the CORY REVCEL Training in Basse
The governor of the Upper River Region has called on youth of the region to tap the opportunities provided by The Gambia government for personal growth and development.

Governor Omar Ceesay said almost all the entire projects that the government has implemented have youth component which if utilised by the youth would help them to contribute meaningfully towards personal and national development.

He made this remark during the official opening of 12-day training for 27 young people under the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL) underway at the regional education conference hall in Basse Mansajang, 

BAJ Gambia Director of Programmes off to Paris

BAJ Gambia Director of Programmes
Mamadou Edrisa Njie, director of programmes, Biodiversity Action Journalists The Gambia (BAJ Gambia), has left Banjul for Paris, France, where he is invited to attend a three-day annual youth conference on climate change. The conference, 11th Conference of Youth (COY11), is scheduled for 26 - 28 November 2015 at the Parc des Expositions of Villepinte, in Paris. 

COY11, organisers said is to present the youth voice just before the Conference of Parties (COP21) and it is expected to gather more than 5,000 young people across the world.

Speaking to Mansa Banko shortly before departure, Mr Njie thanked the management of BAJ Gambia for giving him the opportunity to participate in the conference, saying this is the first time BAJ Gambia is participating in COY.

He said he would serve as a rapporteur in one of the COY11 Working Groups, noting that his eight years of experience in journalism and blogging will make the work easy.

He said COY11 will be a “decisive step” for youth climate mobilisation ahead of COP21.
Mr Njie explained that the conference aims to help young people understand climate negotiation process and also enhances their capacity for action on the field.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

SENEGAL: FAYE M Mansour appointed vice president of the Global Panel on Water and Peace

M FAYE Mansour VP Global Panel on Water and Peace.
Africa is now the head of the International Water diplomacy with the appointment of M FAYE Mansour, Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal, as the vice president of the Global Panel on Water and Peace. The appointment of FAYE also comes in recognition of the success of the OMVS. The report by Strategic Foresight Group, "Water Cooperation Quotient," published earlier this year, had said OMVS as the best organization of river basins in the world. 
On November 16, 2015, Didier Burkhalter, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, led the meeting of 15 governments in Geneva to launch the Global Panel on Water and Peace, whose mandate is to provide a comprehensive architecture to be able to transform water from a source of the crisis to an instrument of cooperation and peace. The new global initiative to prevent water wars will generate an annual peace dividend of $ 200 billion in shared river basins in the developing world. The high-level panel chaired by Mr. Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Government of The Gambia and United Nations agency IFAD to review findings of evaluation of their country programme

Moses Abukari IFAD
Rome, 20 November 2015 – On 3 December 2015, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN agency specializing in rural development, will present the conclusions and recommendations of an independent evaluation of IFAD’s country strategy and programme in The Gambia.
During the national workshop, which will take place at Kairaba Hotel in Banjul, the Government of The Gambia and IFAD will discuss key evaluation findings and how issues such as targeting, value chain development and sustainability contribute to transforming rural areas and reducing poverty. The findings of the evaluation and the exchange between and among partners taking part will inform the development of IFAD’s new strategy in the country.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Climate change poses major threat to food security, warns UN expert

GENEVA (3 November 2015) – “Climate change poses severe and distinct threats to food security, and could subject an additional 600 million people to malnutrition by 2080,” warned today the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver.

“Increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather, rising temperatures and sea levels, as well as floods and droughts have a significant impact on the right to food,” said the expert. “All these climate incidents will negatively impact on crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and on people’s livelihoods,” she added.

New GYINers oriented on GYIN concept

By Mariam Saine-Sanyang

Gambia GYINers
The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN)-Gambia Chapter on Monday 26 October, 2015 held a daylong presentation on the networks programmes and activities as well as its scope of operation in the country and beyond at its secretariat in Churchill’s Town to orient its new members called 
GYINers on the concept of GYIN.

Presented by the GYIN Gambia coordinator, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, the gathering brought together GYINers from West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipality who are interested in the daily affairs of the organization.

“GYIN-Gambia Chapter has launched a massive campaign to be organizing a biweekly orientation ‘I am a GYINer’ to orientation our new members,” says the GYIN Gambia coordinator, while delivering his keynote remarks during the opening ceremony of the occasion.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

African Development Bank to triple Annual Climate Financing to nearly $5 billion by 2020

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, announced on Friday, October 9 that the AfDB would nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 billion a year by 2020. AfDB’s climate spending will increase to 40% of its total new investments by 2020.

“Climate change is both an urgent threat and a unique opportunity,” Adesina said. “The Bank is significantly stepping up its support for African countries, not only to meet that threat but also to seize the opportunity to drive low-carbon, climate-resilient growth.”

Half of the $5 billion will be dedicated to reducing Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions by unlocking Africa’s enormous potential for renewable energy, especially solar, hydro, wind and geothermal power. The AfDB will also work with its clients to improve energy efficiency and build sustainable transport systems.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

AAPI remains cognizant of the on-going conflicts within Africa

In November 1981, the United Nations passed resolution 36/67 and declared that the third Tuesday of September shall be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to commemorating and reaffirming the principles of peace globally. The adoption of resolution 55/282 in 2001 declared September 21st as a Day of non-violence and ceasefire.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stakeholders validate 2nd generation NBSAP, launch CHM web portal


The Department of Parks and Wildlife Management in conjunction with other stakeholder institutions on Wednesday 16 September, 2015 converged at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo to review and validate the 2nd generation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

The validation workshop also coincided with the launching of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) Web Portal, an ICT tool that has the potential to provide fast information on the state of affairs of the country’s biodiversity.

The occasion brought together participants from the Biodiversity Action Journalists (BAJ Gambia), National Research Institute, Forestry Department, University of the Gambia, National Assembly, Gambia Beekeepers Association, and UNDP among a host of other institutions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Youths need to be empowered with livelihood skills… says KMYC Chairperson

Youth Campers

The Chairperson of the Kanifing Municipal Youth Committee (KMYC), Mr Lamin Marong has said that young people in the Gambia like other young people in most developing countries needs to be informed, trained, and empowered with Live and Livelihood Skills to be able to vanquish problems affecting them in their day-to-day development endeavors.
Marong, who was speaking on Sunday, 13 September, 2015 at the opening ceremony of the first ever edition youth camp at St John School for the Deaf.

The youth camp was organised by the municipality, added that in the Gambia, young people consist of about 63.7% of the population and in the nearest future, this is expected to increase.

‘Listening is very difficult for managers with authority’ ---Says GYIN-Gambia Coordinator

GYIN Gambia Ambassador Njie

The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia Chapter national coordinator, Mamadou Edrisa Njie has observed that listening is very difficult, especially for managers with authority and a ready audience within their departments or companies.

In a recent presentation on leadership skills and qualities during the GYIN Senegal coordinator, Aisha Padane’s visit to the country on the 24 August 2015 at the GYIN office in Churchill’s Town, he called on the masses to listen four times as they speak because the surface area of the two ears is four times as much as the lip.

“The mammalian ear is a master of detecting very quite sounds,” he noted, while saying: “Yet we humans do not listen too well. Husbands do not listen well to wives, bosses do not listen too well to employees and parents do not listen too well to their next-generation children.”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Forum to Harmonize Limitation of Presidential Terms in West Africa

Dakar, Senegal – September 8th, 2015 – The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) seeks to push the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take the step of adopting term limits at Community level. WACSOF wants such a provision to be included in the texts governing the organization. The major Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in West Africa will be meeting in Dakar to discuss and develop a strategy for this objective.

Supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), WACSOF acts in consideration of its mandate and capacity as the civil society coordination hub in West Africa and in connection to its supportive role to ECOWAS agenda.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

GYIN-Gambia Members To Attend Six-Months Training on Carpentry and Agriculture in Ghana and Nigeria

GYINers: Mr. Sanyang and Miss. Manjang

Two GYINers, Jainaba Manjang and Modou Lamin Sanyang left The Gambia on August 26, 2015 for Ghana and Nigeria respectively to train on Carpentry and Horticulture.

Ms. Manjang is the Administrative Secretary of the GYIN-Gambia Secretariat in Churchill’s Town and Mr. Sanyang is a member of the GYIN-partner-organisation, Kapongha Youth Development Association at Bullock village, Foni Berefet District of the West Coast Region.

The two made the programme following a rigorous selection process by Ace Communications Executive,which is commencing this regional programme to provide opportunity for youths in the ECOWAS countries of Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia to undergo exchange training programmes in each of the three countries.

The initiative, called The Youth Traineeship Exchange Program (YTEP),seeks to build the capacity of youths for self-sufficiency and socio-economic development, according to Ace Communications Executive – the organisers of the programme.

GYIN-Senegal coordinator visits sister GYIN-Gambia to share experience

Senegambia GYINers

The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Senegal Coordinator, Aisha Padane, on Monday 24 August, 2015 visited GYINers in the Gambia to learn and share experiences.

The Senegambia interface, which was accompanied by presentation on leadership skills and qualities, was meant to develop the leadership potentials of GYINers to be able to compete in a global economy of a political world.

The GYINers were drawn from West Coast Region, Kanifing Municipality, Central River Region and the Lower River Region.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Tribute to the Late Honourable Aja Nyimasata Sanneh-Bojang 1941 – 2015 GAMCOTRAP BOARD MEMBER

Adieu! Late Honourable Nyimasata Sanneh
GAMCOTRAP pays tribute and honours the late Honourable Aja Nyimasata Sanneh-Bojang, The Gambia’s first female elected Member of Parliament in the then Jawara regime and continued her stewardship with the second regime.

The late Nyimasata was born to parents from the heart of the Kombos – Brufut and SukutaSabiji.

The late Honourable Nyimasata Sanneh built her career by briefly joining the nursing profession as a
young woman but quickly moved on to the teaching field. She started as an unqualified teacher but with determination she later qualified and taught in different schools in the Kombos and in the North Bank Region and rose to the position of head teacher. 

Ace Communications Executive introduces regional training programme for youth

Fatim Badgie, CEO ACE Communications Executive

Ace Communications Executive is planning to commence a regional programme that will provide opportunity for youths in the ECOWAS countries of Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia to undergo exchange training programmes in each of the three countries.

It plans to do this through an initiative called The Youth Traineeship Exchange Program (YTEP).

YTEP seeks to build the capacity of youths for self-sufficiency and socio-economic development.

The skills training is designed for young people in the rural areas between the ages of 21 – 35 yrs from the three ECOWAS countries of The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria. The purpose is to give youths the opportunity to become self-sufficient by learning practical skills and gain work experience in a country different from their country of origin.

The Youth Traineeship Exchange Program will not only provide a platform for unemployed, low educated and unskilled youths to attain viable skills and work experience, but will also contribute immensely to the emancipation of these youths from the shackles of perpetual unemployment and poverty.

Caravan of Mercy donates 900+ blankets to hospitals


Caravan of Mercy an International NGO operating in the Gambia on Thursday 23rd July, 2015 recorded a history in the health sector by donating 911 blankets covering to all the donated hospital beds. 

The beneficiaries are Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) 510 blankets Bwaim Hospital 200 blankets, Serrekunda General Hospital 130 blankets, Sheikh Zaired Regional Eye Care 50 blankets and Farato Health centre 21 blankets.

The donated blankets are in red and grey colour.

The donation of 510 blanket for 510 beds in the hospital is one of the most rewarding goodwill gesture for the past years that the hospital has received says Mr. Modou Lamin Jammeh, Public Relations Office (PRO) EFSTH in Banjul, while receiving 510 blankets on behalf of the hospital management.

Friday, July 10, 2015

CORY Project: REVCEL Training for 25 Participants Begins in Janjangbureh

On July 1st, the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) project in The Gambia, gathered 25 rural youth across the Central River Region to start the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL) training.

The CORY project is a wonderful initiative that focuses primarily on rural youths - See more at:
The CORY project is a wonderful initiative that focuses primarily on rural youths. - See more at:
The CORY project is a wonderful initiative that focuses primarily on rural youths - See more at:
The training, underway at the Janjangbureh Forestry Department’s Conference Hall, involves participants in the region who are engaged in various business ventures, and farming.

It is being held under the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) Project being coordinated by the Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia)- funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to enable young rural women and men to create sustainable farm and non-farm businesses by building their entrepreneurial capacities for enhanced peer learning.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Madina Sancha VISACA holds AGM, authorities told villagers to do more deposits

AGM delegates

Madina Sancha Village Savings and Credit Association (VISACA) in Medina Sancha village, Kiang West, in the Lower River Region recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the region.

The AGM brought together dignitaries from the Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia chapter (GYIN Gambia chapter), the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG), VISACA Apex as well as the villagers and the satellite villages.

Rural Finance Project (RFP) of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Government of the Gambia (GOTG) foster self-sustaining rural Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) such as VISACAs

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

International Day of Family Remittances to be observed for the first time

A lifeline for 750 million people around the world, remittances offer opportunity for development

Milan, 16 June 2015: More than 400 policymakers, private-sector stakeholders and civil-society representatives observed the first International Day of Family Remittances today at the opening of the fifth Global Forum on Remittances and Development in Milan.
In launching the international day and the forum, keynote speakers emphasized the importance of remittances for families and developing countries and called for global recognition of their impact on development. 
“Today we honour migrant workers, their families and their stories of hope, separation and sacrifice,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)." We also recognise their vital contribution to their families at home and to the development of their nations."

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Now or Never: Acting on Climate Change in Nigeria


(Abuja-Nigeria, 29th of May, 2015): Today Nigerians has been given a new opportunity for change and transformational leadership in the fight against climate change as President Muhammadu Buhari takes over as President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

‘Climate change remain one of the biggest challenge facing the world today, from storms in America to heat waves in India and recalling the 2012 floods in Nigeria that eroded the small gains in development and democracy. We are reminded of need for leadership and the required but urgent and rigorous action on climate change’, Esther Agbarakwe.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

International Education Summit Brings Global Education to Gambia

According to a media dispatch made available to Mansa Banko blog, EDGE Institute in partnership with Side-by-Side Organization will conduct educational conference for teachers and students from across The Gambia between June 5th to 10th, 2015.

Washington, D.C. (EDGE Institute) - For the first stop on its 2015 TARGET trip, EDGE Institute is traveling to Banjul, The Gambia to conduct a six-day International Education Summit in partnership with Side-by-Side Organization The Gambia.

The summit will feature three days of academic and practical skills training with secondary school students followed by three days of intensive teacher training.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The role of biological diversity in sustainable development

22 May 2015 – As the post-2015 development agenda emerges, this year's theme for International Day of Biological Diversity reflects the importance of biodiversity in achieving sustainable development. Smallholder farmers in rural areas of developing countries produce much of the food in the developing world, and given that food availability needs to increase by 60-70 per cent by 2050, in the future we will depend on them to produce even more. Biodiversity plays a vital role in smallholder farmer food production systems and contributes to increased crop yields and incomes, maintaining healthy ecosystems, mitigating climate change, and securing sustainable livelihoods and access to clean and safe water.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beakanyang presents 50k soft loans to 15 youths

GYINer Fanta Kongira

As part of its Youth and Women Revolving Fund Scheme, the Beakanyang Kafoo  on Tuesday 19 May 2015 handed over fifty thousand dalasis (50,000.00) to  15 young people across the country to support their petty trading.

The beneficiaries received the disbursement amounting between D3000.00 and D5000.00 which is due for repayment within 6 months.

“Access to capital is key for any kind of business especially as young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is one of the most important inputs in the economic development of a country,” says the Beakanyang
GYINer Bintou Faye
executive director, Mr Nfamara Jawneh while disbursing the soft loans to the beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Beakanyang head office in Churchill’s town.

He noted that this is not the first time that Beakanyang is providing such opportunities to vulnerable people in the society.

Last year, he said, they supported some 100 women in URR with soft loans amounting to over D300, 000.00 to start or strengthen their existing small scale businesses.

“The capital might look small but to us it's important to have a little than none,” Mr Jawneh noted, adding that this funds are their internally generated resources aimed at empowering the youth especially those badly in need of such support.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

YJAG vs. SJAG: Commemorating World Press Freedom Day

YJAG SG Sulayman Ceesay
As part of events marking the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day in The Gambia, the Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) will be playing a friendly football match with the Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia (SJAG).

“The match is aimed at promoting the cordial relationship that exists between the two journalists bodies in the country,” said Sulayman Ceesay, YJAG Secretary General. “It will also promote the understanding and friendship between media practitioners in the country.” 

The match will be played at the Serekunda East Mini Stadium on Tuesday May 19, 2015 at 4:00pm prompt.

“This is the second year that YJAG is marking the Day in this fashion. Last year, YJAG engaged the The Gambia Police Force in a friendly match to foster better understanding between the police and the journalists,” Ceesay added.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Time for action on land rights; governments, civil society and community leaders come together in Dakar, Senegal

Dakar, Senegal (11 May 2015) -  In order for land laws to serve those living on and from the land, decision makers need to hear the voices of the women, men and communities on how they want to use their land to build their future. From 12-16 May, 2015 in Dakar, 700 officials, community leaders, practitioners, development partners, activists, research centres and journalists from 80 countries will meet at the Global Land Forum to examine the status of land rights, share success stories, identify threats and push towards more effective action.
Organised by the International Land Coalition (ILC), and hosted by Coalition member CICODEV and the National Land Reform Commission of Senegal, the Forum will convene under the theme: Land Governance for Inclusive Development, Justice and Sustainability: Time for Action.

"An event like this gives an opportunity for governments to hear the voices of community members and those who work hand in hand with them, to start a dialogue and understand how their rights can be secured. That is why we are here; to learn from each other, what has been done well in other countries, how Senegal's plans for Land Reform are progressing, and to plan how we can work together better for greater impact", said Mike Taylor, Director of the International Land Coalition.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situation

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information,

Having discussed these issues together with the assistance of ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression and the Centre for Law and Democracy;

Recalling and reaffirming our Joint Declarations of 26 November 1999, 30 November 2000, 20 November 2001, 10 December 2002, 18 December 2003, 6 December 2004, 21 December 2005, 19 December 2006, 12 December 2007, 10 December 2008, 15 May 2009, 3 February 2010, 1 June 2011, 25 June 2012, 4 May 2013 and 6 May 2014;

IFAD Vice-President to visit Senegal to meet with Ministers and development partners

IFAD VP- Michel Mordasini,

Rome, 8 May 2015 – The Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Michel Mordasini, will visit Senegal from 12 to 16 May 2015 to meet Papa Abdoulaye Seck, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure, Amadou Ba, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning and, Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, Minister of Livestock and Animal Production to discuss their continued partnership.
“Our partnership with Senegal is an excellent example of how rural transformation can occur when targeted investments are made within a strong agricultural policy environment,” Mordasini said.
In addition, Mordasini will meet the representatives of other United Nations’ agencies and development partners working in the country, as well as with Samba Guèye, President of the National Framework of Rural Consultation of Senegal. Following these meetings, Mordasini will travel to the Kaolack region in Senegal’s centre-west to see first-hand how the IFAD-financed Agricultural Value Chains Support Project has helped to create more jobs in the community, and increase sales of local farmers’ produce.

Friday, May 8, 2015

IFAD to showcase the importance of investing in rural people at the G20 Agricultural Ministers Meeting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will join the world’s leaders of agriculture today in Istanbul, Turkey at the meeting of the G20 Agriculture Ministers to advocate on behalf of the 76 per cent of the world poorest people who reside in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Josefina Stubbs, Associate Vice-President of IFAD, who will represent the Fund at the meeting, will take critical messages to the ministers about the importance of investing in rural people in developing countries.

“IFAD believes it is essential to bring millions of smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs, women and men, into the financial mainstream, if we want them to become capable investors who can drive sustainable and inclusive agriculture and food systems,” Stubbs said prior to her departure. “IFAD is proud to be on the frontline of this area, through our support to rural finance institutions across the developing world.”

Friday, April 24, 2015

'Global Day of Citizen Action’ seeks to engage citizens around the world

An upcoming global event will seek to engage citizens around the world on a set of human rights we don’t often hear much about: “civic space”. The ‘Global Day of Citizen Action’, to be held on Saturday 16 May 2015, will ask citizens whether they feel free to speak out, organise and take action, a group of rights that collectively may be called “civic space”.

“In many parts of the world, freedom of expression, association and assembly, or more simply - the rights to speak out, organise and take action - are under threat,” said Zubair Sayed, Head of Communication at CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance. “The Global Day of Citizen Action therefore seeks to ask ordinary citizens what they think about their rights in their country and, in so doing, to help create awareness about the idea of `civic space’,” Sayed said.

During the last few years, many countries have passed laws that restrict citizen freedoms or make operations or financing for civil society groups difficult; in some cases they’ve increased the surveillance of ordinary citizens, activists and civil society organisations; and in others there’s been direct repression and arrests. Civil society also faces threats from non-state actors, including powerful corporate entities, extremist right-wing and fundamentalist groups.

Saving migrant lives is imperative but what next? – UN human rights expert ask EU leaders

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mr. WARM and Mr. CLEVER Part 2:

Emil Touray led GPU Executive
Mr. Warm, you need an advice on how to become a good leader. Mr. Warm who is going to tell you how to become a good, is Mr. Clever and he would like to have a session with you together with your lieutenants to tell your team that leadership today is very different from leadership in our parents' generation. The old "top down" style of management just doesn't work anymore. 

Gambian Journalists generally want to be fully engaged, and committed to what they're doing. They want to feel that their work matters in the media-reporting and broadcasting. And they want to believe in the people who are in charge unfortunately, Mr. Warm you fail!

Mr. Warm, you fail to build your career when you were young and now at old age what next!!! Mr. Warm resigns from your position and allows others to continue running the affairs of the union, you served under the past Presidents; Mr. Madi MK Ceesay, Ms. Ndey Tapha Sossesh and your own term- “enough is enough”

What happen to the Board of Advisers of the GPU are they not aware of what is happening at the union for three years not more that five general meetings?  

Mr. Warm, you show signs of impatience with colleagues in the GPU executive as well as the general membership.

Open Letter to President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari to #BringBackOurGirls
Dear President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari,As feminist, women and girl’s rights, gender and social justice institutions and organizations, we wish to congratulate you on your election to the highest office in Nigeria.

Your election is a testament that your vision was shared by much of the electorate and their hope for a new beginning in Nigeria.

We acknowledge that your priorities include ensuring safety and security for your citizens, recalling your words; “I pledge myself and the government to the rule of law, in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall be so below it that they are not availed of its protection.”

We appeal to you today to show your leadership to the world and most importantly to your Nigerian citizens by ensuring that the hundreds of Chibok girls who are still at the mercy of Boko Haram are immediately rescued and reunited with their families. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Teaching Awards Trust - The Gambia launched

Teaching Award Trust- The Gambia was established as a means of appreciating, recognising and celebrating the work of teachers and also excellence in education. The Charity will honour outstanding teachers and teaching and highlight just how vital success in education is to the health and wealth of Gambian society. 

A charitable foundation that seeks to support teachers and recognise teaching as an enterprising profession has recently been established in The Gambia.

The charity known as 'Teaching Award Trust-The Gambia' will annually award extraordinary teachers who have made an indelible mark in the teaching profession in the country and as well establish a trust fund to support teachers financially in times of emergencies and to meet pressing social needs like good housing and improved standard of living.

Are Some Really Qualified To Tell Youths To Stay And Develop The Country? Ask Bakary Badgie

Bakary Badgie Programme Officer CPA and Voice of the Young

Are Some Really Qualified To Tell Youths To Stay And Develop The Country When All Or Most Of Their Children Are In The Diaspora? Or it’s an issue of ‘Do as I Say but Not as I Do’?

So we say ‘Rome was not built in a day’. Very factual as no nation was developed in a short period! Most young people and their parents argue the grass is greener at the other side. To counter that, we are told ‘we should endeavor and make our grass green too’; I agreed for indeed it’s possible!

Then we are told ‘Young people are the backbone of any country and so should stay and work for their country’. We can’t dispute; even the statistics indicates we are the majority everywhere.
AND NELSON MANDELA said “My dear young people: I see the light in your eyes, the energies in your bodies and the hope that is your spirit. I know it is you, not I, who will make the future. It is you, not I, who will fix our wrongs and carry forward all that is right in the world.”

Saturday, April 11, 2015

GPU set congress date for the third time

Author: Madi Njie Human Rights Defender
According to information from the Gambia Press Union (GPU), the journalists' national union will hold congress on the 18 April 2015, at unknown venue. 

However, venue for the triannual congress is not mentioned in an email message sent to 22 members on 19 March. 

This is the second in time congress date is set without venue mentioned on time. GPU first slated congress on 20 December 2014 and was deferred to 21 March, which was postponed again to 18 April. 

Gibairu Janneh, executive director of GPU state in his two paragraph email message, dated 19 March that reasons for postponing the congress is due to limited compliance of members to pay their membership dues. The 20 December congress was called-off because members protested that they were informed about the congress, but the venue was disclosed a day before the congress. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

FEMNET In Solidarity with Victims of Garissa Attack, Kenya

African Women's Development and Communication Network, FEMNET would like to express solidarity with the people of Kenya in the wake of the terror attack at Garissa University College. Like the rest of the world, we are horrified by the events that took place in Garissa and recognize its impact not only on Kenya but also on the global community.
As a pan African women's rights organization with over 400 members across Africa and the Diaspora, we join regional and global voices in condemning this heinous act of terrorism that has left 148 innocent civilians, promising young leaders dead. This act of violence has no justification and like all other forms of violence must be condemned. Even sadder is that this attack comes just days before the world commemorates the one year anniversary of the abduction of hundreds of girls in Chibok, Nigeria, whom we have not forgotten and continue to call for their immediate release and rescue. Both events took place at institutions of learning and were a result of fundamentalisms and extremisms that have no place in our world.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Mr. Warm and Mr. Clever in the GPU 9 Executive picture
I have observed a case of leadership choice closely. I should emphasize that both are top-class professionals. I also had the chance to observe the reputations that they left after the choice was made.

To mask the identity of the persons involved and to make the anecdote meaningful, I use the terms “Warm person” and “Clever person” in the narrative that follows. The terms should be interpreted as a tendency. Both were clever and warm. The only difference was that one was perceived as scoring a sort of 8, 5 and the other, a sort of 5, 8 on the Warmth/Intelligence matrix.

Mr. Clever joined the media as a young trainee after a brilliant academic records; gold medal, first class, distinctions, highly spoken of and all else that goes with highly intelligent people. In the media house he first started practicing journalism; Clever impressed the seniors and rose rapidly. Mr. Clever is well known for standing against injustice, impunity and defend human rights violations thus won the heart of many journalists and human rights defenders locally and internationally.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Side By Side Organisation to celebrate decade of volunteerism in Gambia

Hatab Fadera, SBSO National Coordinator
Side By Side Organisation The Gambia (SBSO) will on Saturday, March 21st celebrate its 10th Anniversary under the theme “A decade of Volunteerism in The Gambia”.

The celebration, expected to draw hundreds of participants from the organisation’s membership, sister voluntary groups and partners, prominent youth activists and other important stakeholders in youth empowerment, will take the form of a procession from Serrekunda (“Bamboo”) to the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) grounds where speakers will deliberate on important issues relating to the significance of volunteerism to sustainable development.

The Organisation is a registered, charitable, non-political and non-profit making national youth group, formed on 4th March 2005 in Bakau Newtown. It was established by a group of visionary youths in The Gambia, whose objectives among other things, have been to contributing to the advancement of the human race.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Int’l Women’s Day 2015: Women farmers key to fighting hunger

IFAD, WFP and FAO celebrate women’s contribution to food and nutrition security

Rome, 06 March 2015 - Marking International Women’s Day 2015, leaders from the United Nations’ three Rome-based food agencies gathered to remind the world that women farmers play a central role in achieving food and nutrition security.

At the Rome event, leaders from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) shared testimonials of their innovative interventions that have empowered rural women, and in doing so have contributed to food security and nutrition. They also highlighted that promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can significantly strengthen efforts to reduce rural poverty.
This year’s event also marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 (Beijing +20).

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze delivered the opening keynote address pointing out that as men in developing countries migrate to urban centers or shift to better-paid work, a “feminization of agriculture” has occurred with approximately half of the agricultural workforce worldwide now made up of women.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Zeid calls on States to go "beyond lip-service Towards gender equality"

For International Women's Day, 8 March 2015

 GENEVA (5 March 2015) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein today highlight highlighted "the pressing Need for women to Participate in all discussions of Strategic responses to extremist violence, to discrimination, and to deprivation of all kinds."

"This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action. Sixteen states can this Opportunity to go beyond lip service and Towards Gender Equality - Genuinely challenging and Dismantling the power structures and dynamics qui perpetuate discrimination Against Women, "he said.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Make ‘rural transformation a reality,’ IFAD President tells Member States at annual meeting

Governing Council also endorses International Day of Family Remittances



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Rome, 17 February 2015 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ended its 38th Governing Council meeting today by renewing its commitment to tackle persistent poverty and continued food insecurity by transforming rural areas in developing countries through better quality investments, ensuring greater equality and IFADinclusive growth that delivers economic benefits for women, youth and other marginalized people.
In his closing address, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said that “aid will work itself out of a job only once we have achieved rural transformation so that rural areas provide employment, services and opportunities for the three billion people who live in them, and particularly for those whose lives depend on smallholder farms.” This echoed Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, who spoke about the future of aid at the inaugural IFAD Lecture Series on the same day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

President of Ghana and King of Tonga call for greater investment to transform rural areas

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze

Rome, 16 February 2015 – Development leaders and heads of state and government representatives gathered for the opening of the 38th Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for AgriculturalDevelopment (IFAD) to call for additional investments towards the transformation of rural areas, which are key to the world’s food supply.
In his opening statement John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, said that his vision for the country is “to transform the rural areas of Ghana in order to create a more diversified, better integrated, and modern rural economy. One that closes the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of access to services, opportunities, living standards, and prosperity.”
In Ghana, progress has been made, Mahama said, but only because benefits of development programmes “are tilted more to my farmers than to the bureaucrats.”
Mahama warned the international community that “neglect of the rural space can have dire consequences” and that “a strong connection between the rural and urban space cannot be taken for granted.”
HRH Tupou VI, the King of Tonga, conveyed his support to this year’s Governing Council theme, ‘Rural Transformation: Key to sustainable development’, and said that to make this transformation a reality there needs to be an increased focus on building the risk management and resilience capacity of rural people to manage a changing environment. Specifically, he called for increased access by rural communities to climate finance.