3 young Gambians named among 100 most Influential Young Africans

3 young Gambians named among 100 most Influential Young Africans

By Sulayman Waan

Three young Gambians have been named among 100 most influential young Africans by the Pan African Youth Leadership Foundation (PAYLEF).

Alhagie Manka, CEO of State of Mic, David Jeng, Business Consultant, and Ida Faal, a leading female auto mechanic, were awarded at the awards ceremony held at the British Council in Accra, Ghana, for their exceptional leadership and dedication to providing top-notch logistics and supplies, and respected personas that set industry benchmarks.

According to the award organisers, PAYLEF is a dynamic and visionary organization established in May 2017.

The Pan African Youth Leadership Foundation is committed to cultivating a new generation of transformative leaders and entrepreneurs.

Three young leaders are poised to address Africa’s unique challenges and opportunities, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for the continent.

It is an all-inclusive leading African youth organization that represents and safeguards the aspirations of millions of African youth.

Founded on the principles of integrity, innovation, and inclusivity, they strive to ignite a transformative impact that transcends borders and creates a brighter future for Africa.

The 100 Most Influential Young Africans 2024 selection represents the rich diversity and immense talent across all 54 African countries.

The honorees, including entrepreneurs, young activists, and change-makers, have demonstrated outstanding excellence in their respective fields, representing the aspirations and potential of the entire African youth.

Biography: Alhagie Manka

Alhagie Manka, CEO of State of Mic Multimedia, is a seasoned filmmaker with a wealth of experience in video production, project management, branding, communication, and event planning.

Manka is a well-focused gentleman with a dignified character who has made triumphant efforts to transform Gambia’s multimedia industry, an effort that bought him a place among the 100 most influential young leaders in Africa.

The State of Mic CEO is a renowned producer, film director, cinematographer and photographer.

Manka is a self-made successful young entrepreneur whose achievement is inspiring many young people to believe in determination, hard work and commitment as the road to success.

Commenting on his award, Alagie Manka stated that he was honoured and grateful to be named in the most influential young leaders in Africa once again, adding that it’s a humble experience.

He further stated that the award would serve as motivation for him to continue striving for positive impact and growth in his endeavours.

“I am truly humbled by your support and admiration,” he said “My journey as a businessman has been filled with challenges and successes and knowing that I inspire others along the way means the world to me.”

Manka points out that success is not just about achieving goals, but also about the journey and the lessons learned along the way.  “Stay determined, keep believing in yourself, and never hesitate to reach out for support or guidance when needed,” he advises, saying: “Together, we can continue to strive for excellence and make positive contributions to our community and beyond.” 

Biography: Ida Faal

Ida Faal, an auto-mechanic technician and executive director of Fita Faal Autos, a digital market platform connecting the automotive sector to technicians in The Gambia, was honoured for breaking barriers in her respective field.

Reacting to the achievement, Ida Faal expressed appreciation to PAYLEF for awarding her. She said the foundation’s recognition does not only validate the importance of investing in young leaders but also serves as hope for aspiring change-makers everywhere.

“Being recognised as one of the most influential young Africans and  one of the top 20 most influential young African leaders is an extreme feeling of accomplishment and gratitude to me,” she said.

“It’s a testament to the journey I have embarked on, the challenges I have overcome, and the impact I have strived to make in my community and beyond.”

She added: “This achievement fills me with a profound sense of purpose and drives me to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

She thanked the foundation for believing in the potential of young Africans to effect positive change and for providing a platform to amplify voices and actions of young people.

She enjoined young Gambians to be committed to their work and never to relinquish.  

Biography: David Jeng

David Jeng is the Founder of Bliss Executives, a management consultancy company geared towards addressing the business needs and challenges of small businesses in Africa.

He served as the business Support Coordinator for Startup Incubator Gambia from 2015 to 2018.

Jeng is a Certified UNCTAD-Empretec National Master Trainer who has trained more than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 2014 to date.

He is also a certified ILO-SIYB trainer.

Jeng is a licensed SME Loop Business trainer and coach.

He is the Strategy Chair for the Next Einstein Forum Community of Scientist Executive.

Jeng is a founding member of MYAFCFTA, a Pan-African ecosystem supporting the implementation of AFCFTA.

He is also the Managing Director of Chapman Xpress Financial Services and a Member of the National Intellectual Property Council of The Gambia.

Jeng is a Board Director at the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He served as a Board Director representing the Service Sector at the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce.

Jeng is a fellow at the Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership and he has been named Young Leader of the Year by West Africa Leadership and Empowerment Centre.

“Your journey is uniquely yours, and every challenge you face is an opportunity for growth and resilience,” he says. “Remember that success is not defined by the circumstances you were born into but by the determination and perseverance you exhibit in the face of adversity.”

The young leader added: “Anywhere we are and whatever work we do let’s do it to create impact and to create a positive change not only for ourselves but for our people and the continent.

“Let’s take leadership roles, let’s make sure that we are participating as leaders irrespective of what our positions are. Let’s take responsibility for the change we want for Africa.”


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