Oct 15, 2012, 11:19 AM
The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN)-Gambia executive led by Mamadou Edrisa Njie, GYIN-Gambia Ambassador, had a meeting with the Country Programme Manager of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Moses Abukari, on the operations of GYIN-Gambia as well as to introduce the interim executive members of the chapter network.
Held at the Roc Height Lodge in Cape Point, Bakau, on 22 February 2012, the meeting aimed at briefing the IFAD Country Programme Manager about the activities and programmes GYIN-Gambia intends to carry out in the country.
At the meeting, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, national coordinator of GYIN-Gambia, spoke at length about GYIN, saying it was in October 2011 that he (Njie) was selected among a good number of young people from Africa, America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe to attend the global launching of the network in Cotonou, Benin.
According to Njie, GYIN-Gambia is here to support the aims and objectives of GYIN, adding that the network aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty among poor rural youths in the country.
This will be done through exposure to opportunities and business prospects, innovation, and knowledge on replicable youth successful models in small-scale agri-business and entrepreneurship, to enable them to create and engage in sustainable small-scale agri-businesses, Mr Njie explained.
“GYIN-Gambia,” he added, “will create and support rural youth in agri-business, entrepreneurship and self-employment under which young people can act on their own behalf and on their own terms and to facilitate exchange of experiences, learning and networking for young entrepreneurs.
In his remarks, Moses Abukari, Country Programme Manager of IFAD, told the proposed executive that GYIN is a youth-led initiative, facilitated and managed entirely by young people, and supported by IFAD, Phelps Stokes, among other international partners.
According to Abukari, youths are the future entrepreneurs and business leaders of any developing nations; therefore, the youth need to be supported in developing and implementing their own activities and programmes.
He also said: “The youth have lots of potentials which need be harnessed by providing them with the right mix of support in order to become the change agents in their communities.”
He advised the interim executive to work in line with their mission and vision statements with which they will reach higher targets and large numbers of the youth in the rural areas by making use of existing communication tools, including the social media.
“Your focus should remain providing opportunities to young women and men in rural areas,” he said, while exhorting the executive to be innovative in their development stride.
Recalling the GYIN workshop-fair in Benin, Mr Abukari said the workshop brought together 66 young people from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and America to learn, discuss and share experiences and ideas as well connect with businesses and networks.
For his part, Abdou Rahman Sallah, Project Manager of the network, dilated on some of the activities GYIN-Gambia intends to carry out some of which are registration and setting up of a secretariat, launching the network as an NGO, capacity building, identification, and setting and training of GYIN community-based ambassadors countywide.
He added that the target groups would be rural young women and men who can be engaged in agric-business, entrepreneurship, self-employment and innovation by supporting Community-Based Organisations in their own communities.
“The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty among poor rural youth in Africa and the Americas through exposure to opportunities and business prospects, innovation, and knowledge on replicable youth successful models in small-scale agri-business, to enable them to create and engage in sustainable small scale agri-businesses,” he added.
The general objective of GYIN is to use the network as agents of change by creating an enabling environment under which young people can act on their own behalf as well as to facilitate exchange of experiences, learning and networking among young entrepreneurs.
GYIN is also out to identify and engage with youth entrepreneurs and organizational partners and communities in ensuring that experiences, good practices and learnt lessons are exchanged and reinforced by and for the benefit of young people and young entrepreneurs.
The network will use a launching event as a springboard to establish a youth network in the region that can be nurtured by the expansion of youth-led level initiatives to improve entrepreneurship and facilitate a social networking platform that is owned and self-managed by youths and that functions as a resource centre on youth and entrepreneurship,” Sallah said.
Modou S. Joof and Meita Touray, GYIN-Gambia Public Relations Officer and Secretary General, also spoke at the meeting.