Edrisa Njie, executive director of Global Youth Innovation Network- Gambia
(GYIN) has said that rural transformation is an effective way to overcome
poverty and food insecurity through the provision of job opportunities through
the value chain.
Mr. Njie was speaking at a press conference at their head office in Churchill’s Town as part of preparations for the 2nd edition of Rural Youth Award 2018 scheduled to take place on 27 and 28 April 2018 at The Gambia Songhai Initiative (GSI) in Chamen, North Bank Region.
The rural award is meant to encourage rural youth entrepreneurs to venture into agribusiness (production, processing and marketing) of home grown products. This year’s award is expected to gather more than 300 delegates, under the theme: Linking stakeholders in the agricultural value chain from fields to mouths: Increase food production, processing and marketing to provide decent jobs for rural youths.
Mr. Njie said this year’s rural award is supported by the Youth Empowerment Project, NEMA-CHOSSO and the National Youth Council.
GYIN is a national youth network that focuses on entrepreneurship programme, agri business, information technology and community outreach programmes. “As a youth network, we only specialize in rural development that’s why our programme focuses on improving the livelihood of rural youths,” Mr. Njie said.
He said the rural youth award started last year where ten young people were awarded and all of them presently are into business. “This year we are looking into ten categories. At GYIN, we don’t only stop at awarding these young people. However, this year he will have 25 of them and 10 will be awarded and the other 10 will be nominees, thus after the award we will start a three months mentorship programme for them which is supported by YEP.”
He said applicants who are not lucky to win an award this year will have the opportunity to be enrolled in a three-month mentorship programme on enterprise management. “So basically you have nothing to lose.”
Chairman of the national organizing committee of the award Muhammed Lamin F. Kinteh spoke at length on the significance of the award, saying they just concluded a caravan tour of meeting local authorities in the regions with a view to informing them about the importance of the rural award as well as to sound their opinions and recommendation in the subsequent awards.