The Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Bakary Y Badjie has today inaugurated the new Board of Directors of the President’s International Awards Scheme at its head office in Bakau.

The inauguration came following the approval of the appointment of Mr Nfamara Dabo as the board chairman by the President of The Republic of The Gambia, Mr Adama Barrow. The 7-member board will be serving a three-year term. Other members include Baboucarr Kebbeh, Gold Holders Association, Essaha Sowe, National Youth Council, Lamin Camara, Deputy Permanent, MoYS, Sainey Drammeh, Executive Director, PIA, Malick Mendy, Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representative of Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology. 

Hon. Badjie tasked the board to work with the Executive Director and management to draw a roadmap in expanding the Award Scheme Program, and the Ministry will support its implementation. “At the Ministry level, we are yearning to maintain in a more disciplined, well trained and professional staff – this is part of the broader civil service reform. We will want to expand the same initiative to cover all the satellite institutions under my ministry. I wish to see the board conduct an exercise to review staffing as well as institute a training policy and calendar for all staff,” he said.  

He added: “Voluntarism, community service, and skill acquisition are cornerstones for a community and national development. This is why I attach so much interest in the PIA and would want to see it continue to build on its current successes under this new board.”

Hon. Badjie wants to see the Board place much emphasis on making the AWARD Program more vibrant, all-inclusive, and reaches more schools in the country.

Nfarama Dabo, the newly appointed Board Chairman of President International Award (PIA) said he is fully prepared to take up the challenge, saying his experience, coupled with that of his colleagues on the board will certainly make a difference.

He said over the years, the award has provided valuable opportunities to young people of the Gambia through its excellent programs geared towards improving the skills and knowledge of participants while challenging them to discover new potentials and talents. “I want to assure you all that, as we take up this responsibility, we will surely build on the gains and do our part in moving the award program to another level.” He is looking forward to working with all the different stakeholders to share learning and best practices. 

This, he added will certainly help towards the realization of our mission of creating an enabling environment where young people are mentored through the award program to acquire hands-on relevant skills, entrepreneurship; and culturally endowed with the required attitudes and knowledge ready to engage in national development. 

“I can confirm to you that the youth of this country are willing, committed, and ready to explore their dreams. A Gambian youth is well determined to achieve results and bring enduring change in his/her family and the nation,” he noted. 

He assured the people of their readiness to provide effective leadership that will enhance the award program. 

“We are ready to listen and engage for the attainment of the strategic priorities and objectives of the ministry and the government in general, and for the betterment of the lives of young people in this country,” he promised.


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