GYIN Gambia Chapter awards 9 young rural entrepreneurs
By Sulayman Waan
Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia Chapter) in partnership with German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH last Friday presented a sum of sixty thousand dalasis to nine young rural entrepreneurs for being best entrepreneurs of the year.
The presentation ceremony held at GCCI International Trade Fair was done under the GYIN Gambia Chapter project titled ‘Foster Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Returnees and Host Communities in Rural Areas’.
The project funded by the BMZ and implemented by GIZ, was designed to recognize best performing returnees, women and youth start-up businesses.
In the course of the project, 30 young entrepreneurs were nominated for the Rural Youth Award (RYA). Each nominee was certificated for participating but only nine were awarded. The tenth applicant category failed to meet the required criteria.
However, the idea of the RYA came as part of the recommendations from the National Youth Summer Camp held in Jenoi, Lower River Region and was aimed at recognising rural youths hard work.
At the event, Momodou Edrissa Njie, executive director of GYIN Gambia Chapter, said the move was aimed at recognising and celebrating the best performing returnees, women and youth start-up businesses.
He added each winner will be provided with an in-kind support of 1,000 Euros to enhance their businesses.
“The Rural Youth Awards 2023 is part of GYIN Gambia’s eight month-long project “Foster Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for returnees and host communities in rural areas funded by BMZ and implemented by GIZ. ” he said.
Moving forward, he said, several Gambian farmers want to expand their businesses and employ more youth, but they hardly access funds from public institutions.
He thus noted that through this award, GYIN Gambia Chapter would be able to address such challenges by empowering agri-businesses.
“Organizing an award for rural young people will significantly contribute to job creation.” he stated.
Representing Gambian-German Advisory Centre for Jobs, Training and Reintegration (GGAC), Kawsu Sillah, who is also national coordinator for GIZ, said the eight-month project seeks to provide entrepreneurial and soft skills, reorientation and support services for returnees and their host communities.
“We [GIZ and GGAC], believe that prioritizing the vulnerable groups through supporting their dreams and aspirations- is how we can create a sustainable future for our communities.” he said.
Sillah also urged beneficiaries to serve as role models for others as well as practicalise the knowledge gained, while assuring of GGAC continuous collaboration with young entrepreneurs.
Representing Executive Director of the National Youth Council (NYC), Ismaila Badjie, programme manager for NYC commended GYIN Gambia Chapter and their partners for empowering the young entrepreneurs.
He reminded that youth are crucial in any development initiative, saying they are the driving force for development.
On behalf of the winners, Habbie Abigail Jallow, best dry cereal value addition of the year 2023, thanked GYIN Gambia Chapter and its partners for empowering them.
The Gambia Chamber Commerce and Industry (GCCI), and GIZ were given certificates of appreciation, while Sainabou NGack, and Fatoumatta Sidibeh were given certificates for being best business advisors in the project.
The winners of the RYA 2023 include: Mariama Njie, best agro-food processor of the year; Adama Saidy, best nut cashew and groundnut value addition of the year; Karamo Ceesay, best micro-enterprise of the year; Habbie Abigail Jallow, best dry cereal value addition of the year; Bubacar Singhateh, best Vegetable value addition of the year; Ebrima Minteh, best poultry value addition of the year; Ebrima Ceesay, best agro-tech of the year; Mariama Jobarteh, best agro beauty product of the year and Isatou Drammeh, best natural juice processor of the year.