Honorable Bakary Y. Badjie , Minister of Youth and Sports on Saturday stated that as a Ministry, we want to see more young people who are job creators and not job seekers.
Minister Badjie was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 10th batch of The Gambia Songhai Initiative-GSI students. The mix farming / Agro-forestry training and production project funded by the government, with support from UNDP, today graduated 40 young people, 25 of whom are females and fifteen male after completing the mandatory 12 months residential theory and practical training at the Gambia Songhai Initiative centre in Chamen, North Bank Region.
The Gambia Songhai Initiative aim at training youth, women, migrant returnees and those marginalize on integrated/ farming system, agroforestry , poultry production management, animal husbandry, horticulture/ vegetable garden, cash crop production, food processing bio gas and business planning and entrepreneurship skill training.
Honorable Badjie said that since the UNDP partial funding ended in 2021, the Ministry has been using its development budget to maintain the center and training of young people because youth empowerment, especially in agriculture is a priority for the government.
“We are more motivated by the numbers of youths we meet after they graduate from GSI, and they narrate their stories of how much the GSI benefited them and how it helped changed their lives and that of their families”. Minister Badjie emphasis.
Minister Badjie urges the graduating students to make use of the opportunities that National Enterprise Development Initiatives (NEDI) under his Ministry, Roots project under the Ministry ofAgriculture and Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) under the Ministry of Gender for support on startup capital on their desired program and future endeavour.
The ceremony was grace by Cabinet Ministers; Hon. Fatou Kinteh of Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Welfare and Hon. Lamin Queen Jammeh, Minister of Ministry of Information – The Gambia . Other attendees included Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Regional Service Chiefs, and other important dignitaries.
At the end of the ceremony, the invited guests took a conducted tour of the center, including the bio- gas center, poultry production, and garden, among others.