The Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) Gambia chapter is to hold its 3rd Edition of the Rural Youth Award (RYA) in Wuli West, Upper River Region on 27th April, 2019.
The award recognises and celebrates the achievements of rural youths in entrepreneurship and agribusiness. This year’s theme is “Discovering rural value chain by putting young people in agricultural value addition.”
The award provides financial support to deserving agribusiness players to not only grow their business, but serves as an encouragement for them and others to stay in agriculture and contribute to increasing food security, and at the same time enjoy the benefits of running their own businesses.
The 2019 award winners are to receive each a cash prize of D35, 000 plus a six-month mentorship.
Gambian youths between the ages of 15 and 35 are eligible to apply for 10 categories of the awards: Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019; Young Business Idea of the Year 2019; Young Emerging Business of the Year 2019; Young Commercial Farmer of the Year 2019; Young Agribusiness of the Year 2019; Young Agro-Tech of the Year 2019; Young Business Innovation of the Year 2019; Young Business Partner of the Year 2019; Young Service Provider of the Year 2019; and Best Packing Products and Labelling of the Year 2019.
Some 300 guests and patrons are expected to attend this year’s award which will include a series of events, including an Entrepreneurship Career Fair; Spotlight on Young Entrepreneurs; and the GYIN Gambia Alumni Exchange Lunch to be held from 25th April, 2019 at the Wuli and Sandu Development Agency (WASDA).
The #GYINGambiaRYA2019 is meant to create rural enterprises, promote and elevate successful young entrepreneurs to adopt innovative thinking and to channel their creativities, energies and passion to solve existing problems in their communities, and are ready to serve as role models for other rural youths.
The award is also intended to promote gender equality and inclusiveness, to encourage more rural participation in the production, processing and marketing of agro-products, to instil coaching and mentorship in young entrepreneurs, and to encourage sound financial management practices.
As part of the GYIN Gambia RYA 2019 initiative, ten rural youth enterprises are to be created; 25 rural youth are to be supported with business ideas/plans; a six-month mentorship on enterprise management programme; incomes to be raised for 25 rural youth; regional exchange visits for 10 award winners; and a training on livelihood skills for 25 rural youth.
GYIN Gambia Executive Director Mamadou Edrisa Njie said rural youth are generally known to be low income earners, however, recognition of successful youth in agribusiness and entrepreneurship could serve as a model for the majority of others who are yet to enter into start-up ventures and open up doors for access to finance.
“The results achieved by the rural youth award winners in 2017 and 2018 have again given GYIN Gambia the confidence to organize the 3rd Edition of the Rural Youth Awards,” Mr. Njie said. “The winners of the first and second editions have now created jobs for themselves through their own ventures while others have scaled up their businesses.”
The first and second editions of the RYA were supported by the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema), the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), and the National Youth Council (NYC).