GYIN-Gambia Receives Thumb-up
Friday, July 20, 2012
The Gambia chapter of the Global Youth Innovation Network received a tab on the back from the youth advocacy group’s ambassador in neighbouring Senegal.
IssatouTadane, who doubles as coordinator for the global youth advocacy group in Africa, said GYIN-Gambia had been the most vibrant chapter in West Africa.
“It is the first to have almost everything intact,” she said. “It has an active membership, opened a bank account, and partnered with IFAD. Now, other countries are emulating The Gambia.”
IssatouTadane is in the country for a week-long visit, which availed her the opportunity to assess GYIN-Gambia’s programmes. She was also meeting with partners and collaborators of the youth group.
One such partner identified was The Daily News. “I am delighted to visit The Daily News to discuss issues with the editorial team and to thank you for your support,” Issatou said.
“The objective of both GYIN-Gambia and that of Senegal is to create and support an enabling environment in order for the young people to act on their own behalf and on their own terms, as well as to facilitate and exchange experiences, learning and networking for young entrepreneurs,” she stated.
Issatou lamented that political leaders across Africa had been calling on youth in Africa to take up agriculture whiles governments failed to add value to agricultural products, neither had they opened up markets to attract youths.
She promised that advocacy in this area would be heightened, although different approaches would be used in different countries, given the different political environments.
Issatou was accompanied to the offices of The Daily News on Monday July 16, byMamadouEdrissa Njie, GYIN-Gambia coordinator.
She was received by Saikou Jammeh, Editor-in Chief, and Alieu Darboe, the anchor of the weekly youth news column, Youth Platform.
In his remarks, Saikou Jammeh assured the visiting top GYIN official of the paper’s continued support, and expressed delight for her visit.
Editor Jammeh, who is a nominated member of GYIN-Gambia board, pointed out to her that GYIN-Gambia, by virtue of it being the only national agriculture-related youth group, had great potentials and opportunities.
In his intervention, Alieu Darboe, who doubles as senior reporter and editorial assistant, thanked the visiting Senegalese GYIN ambassador and her host, Coordinator Njie, for their visit.
He said: “We are very delighted to have you in our midst today and to discuss issues concerning young people across Africa.”
Darboe assured the visitors his department’s readiness to build a cordial relationship in order to promote the activities of the young Africans.
MamadouEdrissa Njie, GYIN Gambia coordinator, stated that they also sought to create an enabling space where young women and men in The Gambia could channel their creativities, potentials and vibrancies in transforming their communities through self-sustaining socio-economic and cultural opportunities that provided the next generation with a decent life.
“GYIN- Gambia is committed to capitalise on the global and national entrepreneurial spirit of young women and men to overcome poverty and build healthy society for the Gambian community,” he said.
Speaking further, Njie noted that supporting women and youth in the areas of innovation, agribusiness, leadership and entrepreneurship through capacity enhancement, networking, coaching, mentoring, volunteering and service learning as well as fostering partnership with businesses, development organizations, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and other youth-liked minded institutions in order to contribute to the overall mission of goal and the national development plan of the country was another key component.
A Brief HISTORY ABOUT GYIN INTERNATIONAL
• It was during a global youth workshop in Cartagena, Colombia in November 2010, a representative of Phelps Stokes and International Fund for Agricultural Development discussed the idea of how best to create opportunities to connect rural poor young women and men in African and Afro-descendants in Latin American to learn, share and exchange experiences, innovation, ideas, etc in a more spontaneous and frequent manner.
• Young people, irrespective of where they are, are always looking at possibilities or opportunities that they can unleash their potentialities which are sometimes driven by their quests to independently overcome socio-economic barriers or inspired by important personalities who have distinguished themselves exceptionally in a specific field.
• Recognizing the need to strengthen rural youth South-South Cooperation, IFAD provided substantial financial contributions to support the joint organization with Phelps Stokes a regional youth innovation event in Africa focusing on youth entrepreneurship to complement and consolidate the youth initiative started in Cartagena and amplified in Rome in February 2011.
• By capitalizing on this innovative idea and taking into account the wishes and desires of many rural young women and men, the two institutions recognized the need to provide a continuous “space” by establishing this platform called Global Youth Innovation Network-GYIN in April 2011.
• The Government and the people of Benin under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency Dr. YayiBoni hosted a good number of youth around the world to attend the Global Youth Innovation Workshop- Fair from 10-13 October, 2011 at the Palais Des Congress in Cotonou, Benin
• The Global Youth Innovation Workshop -Fair is organized by Phelps Stokes and the International Fund for Agricultural Development to honor and celebrate young entrepreneurs’ achievements. The specific objectives of this event are:
• To bring together youth to share their perspectives and ideas in relation to their business models,
• To work toward solutions to common problems, and
• To enable the participants to showcase their products and services and share best practices.
• Phelps Stokes and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in collaboration with the Government of Benin, ActivosCulturales Afro (ACUA), PalmaresFundacao, Songhai Center and Give1Project organized this event and cordially invited sixty youth from fifty countries globally to attend.
• The entire workshop – Fair was entirely managed by 66 young people’s from different background, all as Participants, some as Facilitators, and other as Youth Advisory members.
• We believe that with the spirit of entrepreneurship sweeping across the globe, this platform could possibly be a more convenient and better way for young entrepreneurs particularly in rural areas to share, learn, exchange experiences, innovation, ideas and to network and mentor among and between themselves in space and time without considering physical barriers.
• GYIN is therefore, a youth inspired and led platform open to youth entrepreneurs and rural micro-enterprising who are driven by its mission, vision and underlying core values (ANTERS) and have the passion to see generational transformations and changes from the grassroots to the global level.
Author: Musa Badjie