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Minister Jammeh: MoYS is proud and personate about Songhai Initiative

Jun 29, 2016, 1:23 PM

Alieu K Jammeh, minister of Youth and Sports, has said the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), and the Gambia government as a whole, is very proud of the Gambia Songhai Initiative (GSI).

“The GSI project is one of the projects that the ministry and government are proud of and everybody is personate about,” the minister said at the induction of a new GSI project coordinator, Ebou Faye-Njie, by MoYS and the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), at the independence stadium in Bakau.

GSI, housed in Chamen village, in the North Bank Region, is an agricultural training centre for youths established in early 2015 by MoYS with funding from UNDP.  It is a replica of the Songhai Centre in Benin.

Apart from the support of UNDP, the minister said the government is putting “other extra efforts” into the project so as to achieve bigger results in the future.

“We cannot put all our eggs in one basket; we cannot rely our funding on UNDP alone. This is why we are making some efforts to raise funds, and we will work with other institutions in this regard.  Already, the government has put aside D5 million for the completion of some of the jobs at the centre,” Minister Jammeh said.

Ebou Faye-Njie, the new GSI project coordinator, said his appointment as project coordinator of a project that is close to the heart of UNDP and MoYS is a big challenge.

“I will try all my best to make sure that the project achieves its desired goals and objectives,” he said.  “I will do all my best to do what is expected of me.”

Momodou Lamin Ceesay, permanent secretary at MoYS, said GSI is a very important project of the ministry, saying all the stakeholders should work together for the success and betterment of the project.

Sainey Drammeh, executive director of President’s International Award (PIA), said the PIA and all the other satellite institutions of MoYS welcome GSI as one of them.

Abdoulie Faye, programme manager at the National Youth Council (NYC), said since GSI provides training to the young people, it is imperative to consider what next to provide the youths after their training,

Mustapha Badjie, programme manager at National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), Marcel Mendy, executive director of National Sports Council, and Musa Mbye, director of the Department of Planning of MoYS, welcomed and reassured Mr Faye-Njie of their support.

Gambia Songhai Initiative

Established in early 2015, GSI is sponsored by the UNDP and it is under the supervision of MoYS.

Farming at GSI is 100 per cent organic and it is currently being managed by instructors, most of whom are foreigners, with the assistance of 30 young Gambian instructor-trainees.

At the centre, students are trained on gardening, soap making, and the production of cake, biscuit, soya beans, milk, palm oil, soya beans oil, among others.

The institution also rears different livestock, including rabbits, goats, sheep and cattle, as well as sells different seedlings of various plants and vegetable crops.