Women & Youth Empowerment

Beakanyang trains women to contest elections

“Our ultimate objective is to have the number of women contestants increased in all our elections. To facilitate the participation of local women leaders in the local government and constituency elections across URR and beyond,” said Nfamara Jawneh, Beakanyang Secretary General.

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Beakanyang Kafo on April 30th 2011 held a one-day workshop aimed at encouraging more women participation in politics at the community level.

The workshop held at the Barrow Kunda Lower Basic School in Wuli West District Upper River Region attracted over 60 participants from across URR.

The workshop also sought to increase the number of elected females in decision-making positions in the forthcoming local and National Assembly elections.

“Our ultimate objective is to have the number of women contestants increased in all our elections. To facilitate the participation of local women leaders in the local government and constituency elections across URR and beyond,” said Nfamara Jawneh, Beakanyang Secretary General.

He added: “We know it will not be easy to achieve this alone and, as a result, we are building strategic alliances with the political parties, local councillors, traditional leaders, the media and women themselves.”

According to Jawneh, promoting democracy at the grass-roots level is essential for our democratisation process.

In officially declaring the workshop open, the acting Head Chief of Wuli West, Alhagie Kemo Jatta, applauded Beakanyang for sensitizing the women on their political rights.

He assured them of his continued support and collaboration while expressing his interest in joining Beakanyang as honorary member.

“As from today I would like to join you in your efforts to develop this area,” he said.

A veteran female politician in the area, Aja Jawaro Jawneh from Sare Ngai, said: “It has been a long time for us to have this kind of forum in this area, and we are grateful to the organizers.”

She encouraged the women in the area to support each other, and to remain united for their common good.

The councillor of Sare Ngai Ward, Alkally Kebbeh, said that Gambian women have been benefitting from an enabling environment created by the Jammeh administration, and cited the Vice President Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy as the longest serving female vice president in Africa.

He urged women to be educated to enable them attain key positions in government.

“Low level of education has been a major obstacle for many women to take leadership posts, especially in this part of the country,” he lamented.

Tumani Danjo, president of Beakanyang, reiterated the resolve of the community-based organisation to complement the government’s efforts in nation-building.

“We are very much grateful to the US Embassy in The Gambia for sponsoring this and many other events for us through its Human Rights and Democracy Fund,” he said.

Other speakers included officials from the National Council for Civil Education, Alkalo Foday Barrow, and Mariama Barrow Beakanyang’s first vice president.

Presentations at the workshop focused on the forthcoming general voter registration, women participation in politics, duties of a citizen as well as an overview of Beakanyang.

Town Hall Meetings on Hate Speech and Social Bullying

On the 28th September 2021, a nation-wide town hall meeting on hate speech was launched. The aim of the activity was to engage communities on the dangers of hate speech to our development and also to ensure that there is a peaceful election in The Gambia


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The activity was mainly conducted in the administrative capitals of various regions of the country and draw participants from various districts and wards. In the seven (7) town hall meetings, a total of two hundred and ten direct beneficiaries were reached. This included: youth wings of political parties, regional youth leaders, artists, traditional communicators, and local authorities.

It is irrefutable that, there is proliferation of hate speech due to polarization of political parties, and this has a negative effect to the country’s peace and security. During the townhall meetings, resource persons expound on the dangers of hate speech, identify what constitute a hate speech, difference between hate speech, dangerous speech, and freedom of expression; mechanisms to counter hate speech through different means of communication; and procedures to imbibe in order to combat the menace.
At the launched of the town hall meetings in the Kanifing Municipality the Executive Director of Beakanyang called on the young people to be change makers and ambassadors of peace. He added that: “hate speech undermines our democratic gains and therefore, as politicians, youth activist, artist etc. We must use our platforms to sensitize people to refrain from the use of hate speech but equally to accept diversity.”

Fanta Sonko, a youth leader and activist in Kanifing, emphasized the need for politicians to have a paradigm shift from politics of sentiment and violence to development-oriented politics. She concluded saying that ‘It is right time we take a break and speak truth to politicians and supporters to understand that hate speech will not take us anywhere; it only undermines the peace and security of the country.”
Furthermore, super star and icon, Nyancho was in attendance at the West Coast Region town hall meeting. In his contribution, he said, “everyone has a role to play in order to counter hate speech. As a musician with a larger followership, you can be assured that I will add my voice to advocate against hate speech and social bullying through my music. Also, to enlighten people about the dangers of hate speech.”
From the town hall meetings, the following recommendations were advanced to help combat hate speech in The Gambia. They are: (i) strenthening the capacity of media personnel on medai eithics and professionalism. (ii) develop legal framework on the basis non-descrimination and supression of right to freedom of speech. (iii) more house to house sensitization and dialogue be conducted in houses, TVs, Radios and schools.
As part of the success stories of these twonhall meetings, series of Whatsapp fora are created in all the regions across the country to futher desiminate our anti-hate speech messages and help promote positive messaging in the communities. Also, our particpnats who appeared on radios, especially, in Upper River Region have use their time to raise awareness about the dangers hate speech poise to our nauscent democracy.

National Dialogue on Hate Speech

On 30th October, 2021, at Paradise Suits Hotel, Kololi, a national dialogue aimed at building a consensus as to what constitute hate speech in the Gambian context and what actions could be taken by various stakeholders was convened by Beakanyang.


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The Minister of Youths and Sports was ably represented by the Program Officer for Peace, Security and Justice as the National Youth Council, Mr. Omar Bah. In his statement, he tasked the participants to give their best to the forum “as this forms part of the most important engagements that young people of this country are doing to ensure that we continue to enjoy peace and security. Furthermore, he tasked the participants to make a commitment: “When there will be violence, I will not be a party to it and my immediate circle.” The NGO Affairs Director was also represented by Mr Famara Jarju, who delivered a solidarity statement.

After the official opening ceremony, the resource persons made experts presentations on the following: Hate Speech and its constituents, freedom of expression, good governance, genesis of democracy, women political participation, peaceful elections and civic education (roles and responsibilities of citizens). These were to set a parameter and basis for the consensus building and way forward in combating hate speech in The Gambia.

Mr Ensa Njie, a political science lecturer at the University of The Gambia and Mr Saikou
Jammeh, former secretary General, Gambia Press Union, presented on an overview of the
political context in The Gambia (in the context of election) and research findings on hate speech in The Gambia, respectively. Also, Mr Amat Jeng, and Tabu Njie presented on democracy, civil liberties and freedoms and women political participation and peace building, respectively.

Beakanyang Female Wing

Speaking on the occasion, Alkally Kebbeh, the Sare Ngai Ward Councillor, said women empowerment remains a priority for the Gambia government.


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The newly created female wing of Beakanyang was inaugurated on 18 December this year at a ceremony held at the organisation’s office in Barrow Kunda, Upper River Region.

Speaking on the occasion, Alkally Kebbeh, the Sare Ngai Ward Councillor, said women empowerment remains a priority for the Gambia government.

He cited the vice president, cabinet ministers and national assembly members as women, calling on the women and girls in the area to remain committed to national development.

For his part, Nfamara Jawneh, the secretary general and programme officer of Beakanyang, congratulated the women and girls of the organisation for the new development, which forms part of the organisation’s women empowerment drives.

Over the years, numerous successes have been registered by the organisation and these were largely attributed to the commitment and hard work of its female members, Mr Jawneh said: “Your hard work and unity has earned us recognition and many achievements.” 

Jawneh told the women of Beakanyang that solving their plights and wellbeing would remain a key priority for the organisation.

He urged the female wing to work closely with other structures of the organisation for them to achieve their goals.

“The contribution of women and girls in the socio-economic development of The Gambia is well noticed and therefore putting them of the forefront of our development agenda is highly welcome,” Jawneh remarked.

He said as from 2009 women will continue to occupy key positions in Beakanyang both in the executive  and in the advisory boards.

The President of the Beakanyang Female Wing, Meta Jaineh, thanked the leadership of the oragnisation for the initiative.

She assured the members of her readiness to work with relevant structures of the group to bring rapid development to women and girls in the country.

She also thanked the members for the trust and confidence they have in her to lead the Female Wing for the next two years, while calling for the support of all members.

Other speakers on the occasion included the 2nd Vice President, Foday M.K. Touray and Kawunding Danjo, youth coordinator.

Present at the event was Mariama Barrow 1st Vice President of Beakanyang.

Meanwhile, Fofana Kebbeh, secretary of the female wing; Dusu Jolley, the vice president, and Dusu Sisawo, treasure all attended the inauguration.

The following members were also appointed as field coordinators: Tida Kebbeh, Sira Jallow, Duta Jolley, Jonkunda Camara and Sanneh Camara.


Beakanyang Donates Fertilizer and cash to its Sutukonding Chapter


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Beakanyang Kafoo in a bid to support its members in their farming activities, recently donated farm inputs such as fertilizer and cash to Beakanyang Sutukonding chapter in Wuli West.

The items were presented at a ceremony held in Sutukonding in Wuli West District of URR.

Speaking on the occasion, Kemo Jatta, Head Chief of Wuli West, commended Beakanyang Kafoo for the timely donation.

He applauded members of Sutukonding Chapter for their hard work and urged them to put the items into good use.

For his part, Nfamara Jawneh, Beakanyang programme officer, in presenting the items on behalf of the organization, said they were motivated by the level of hard work of the chapter members.

“It is exactly about two weeks today since we last visited this chapter and today, thank God, we have the pleasure to present to you at least five bags of fertilizer and D1,000 to support your efforts,” he said.

He disclosed that a similar quantity of fertilizer and amount of money will also be presented to Barrow Kunda Chapter in the coming days.

Mr Jawneh further disclosed that their total budget for this year’ farming activities in Sutukonding, Barrow Kunda and Medina Koto is D23,600.00 and so far they have raised D9,200.00 courtesy of the Taiwanese Embassy.

“We know that the lands you have in these areas are no more fertile and thus need fertilizer to boost the production yield and that is why we are also intervening,” he said.

He appealed for more support for the women and youth in the upcountry, especially those involved in farming.

He also used the opportunity to urge the chief to stand firm on cattle encroachment on the farmlands in the area to maintain peace among the residents.

In receiving the donation, Mrs Manneh Kijera, chairperson of Beakanyang Sutukonding Chapter, expressed their happiness over the donation and thanked Beakanyang for the assistance.

Also among the speakers was Alhagie Moro Gaku, a prominent businessman and community elder who lamented the problem of cattle encroachment in the area as a major setback for agricultural development.

Speakers Mambalo Kajakeh and Nyaling Sisawo, who were all unanimous in their words of praises for Beakanyang Kafoo, also appealed for farming tools and equipment from Beakanyang Kafoo to boost their production into large-scale farming.

Open Day on National Budget in URR

Beakanyang on 27th December 2020 convened a daylong forum on the 2021 National Budget Open Day session at the Regional Education Office Hall in Basse, Upper River Region.
The open day budget conversation was supported by the International Republican institute, IRI.
It was attended by National Assembly Members from URR, Basse Area Councilors, Alkalolu, CSO and media partners as well as LGA, citizens of URR (selected).


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It activity has also help participants to know the link between human rights and the national budget.

In his welcome remarks, Executive Director of Beakanyang said, that the national budget is the second most important national document for any country after the constitution.

However, during the past authoritarian rule, there existed little or no public discourse around the budget and once tabled at the National Assembly, it gets approved by NAMs who were dubbed ‘rubberstamped’. From 2017 to date, since the new government took office, support from IRI to actors in the Executive, National Assembly, Civil society and media in building capacity and encouraging stakeholder dialogues has seen significant increase in understanding as well as participation of these actors in the budget process, especially the NAMs who now have capacity to thoroughly review and change the executive budget as they deem necessary,” he added.


The objective of the activity, he added, was to allow for open dialogue amongst the relevant stakeholders on the national budget, with the aim of establishing increased dialogue on the budget among Gambian stakeholders around improvements achieved by the actors, gaps and challenges and recommendations for improvement, including how to encourage citizens participation in the budget process.

He added that civil society organisations including Beakanyang also continues to play its part in sensitizing and carrying out advocacy around the budget but due to reason relating to financial resources and access to remote areas of rural Gambia as well as the limited constituency outreaches by NAMs, Gambians in the remote areas have very limited opportunities to discuss the budget with these different actors, and how the budget affects their lives.

Gambians since independent has suffer so many violations of their basic rights such as proper health care system, proper electricity supply, quality and safe drinking water and road connections especially for the rural communities. In addressing those challenges, the public especially, the young people need to have the required capacity to know the important of the budget and having a basic understand of the budget process especially at this crucial stage when the National Assemble recently passed the national budget for 2021,” he added.

He noted that the Open Day formed parts of their efforts to increase the understanding and interest of the people in URR on the national budget.

For his part, Mr Foday Danjo, Chairman of Basse Area Council thanked Beakanyang and IRI for orgsnaing such an important activity in the region.

He urged participants to take the forum seriously noting that such forums could help the citizens to know why it is important for citizens to build interest and participate actively in the budget processes, including how they can participate in the process.

Speaking earlier, Hon. Seedia Jatta, the NAM for Wuli West shared the role of NA in the budget process and key highlights from the 2021 budget including oversight role of the NAMs in reaching the approved budget.

Deputising the Governor of URR, Mr. Lamin Ceesay called on the residents of URR to build more interest in the national budget formulation and execution.

According to him such forums will avail participants the opportunity shares their priority needs and aspirations with National Assembly members.

The open floor discussion also accorded citizens of URR LGA the opportunity to share how they put input in the budget process for the development of their LGA.

Beakanyang donates garden seeds to women of Barrow Kunda

Beakanyang on Saturday August 4th 2012 donated garden seeds to the women of Barrow Kunda in Wuli West District, Upper River Region.

The items presented included onions, okra, lettuce, tomatoes, garden egg and paper, all worth ten thousand dalasi.


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Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the Beakanyang office in Wuli, Nfamara Jawneh, secretary general and programme officer of the organization, reaffirmed his group’s commitment to empowering women and youth in the area.

According to him, the organisation was given the opportunity to participate in the Africell’s kick and win promotion and won the cash for the cause.

He urged the women to put the items into good use, adding that the seeds presented are very expensive.

“We know well that the women of this community and Gambian women in general are very hard- working but lacks the necessary support,” he said.

Mr Jawneh said that apart from advocating for the human rights of women and youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in decision-making processes, the organisation also sponsors small community projects to achieve their goal.

“I am happy to say that these seeds are of a very good quality and do hope that it would help you in your work,” he said.

For his part, Alkally Kebbeh, Sare Ngai Ward Councillor, commended Beakanyang Kafo for the donation, which he said would go a long way in boosting the women.

He urged the women in the community to remain united and continue their hard work to live a better life.

In receiving the seeds on behalf of the women, Mata Fatty, lady president of the village who also heads the women garden, thanked Beakanyang and Africell for the gesture.

According to her, there are about four hundred registered members working in the village garden but their main problems include unavailability of seeds, inadequate water supply and an unsecured perimeter fence.

She assured Beakanyang that the seeds donated would be put into good use, while appealing for more support in digging more wells for them to address their water shortage constraints, especially during the dry season.

Other speakers included Fatoumata Kebbeh, a woman gardener, who said they were very happy about the donation.


The 3rd activity of Sutukonding Women’s Livelihoods Improvement Project was on detergent production and was held from March 15- 17, 2015. It was held under a mango tree in the community of Sutukonding during which 50 women all members of the group were trained on Omo and soap making skills.


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The training began with introduction of Omo and Soap by the trainers and their importance to women in particular.
Trainers also took the participants to the steps in Omo and Soap making as well as their raw materials. Lead trainer Ismaila Sambou said soap that would be produce by the participants is very good especially for taking shower.
“This soap is also scared in the market due to its quality even though its produce locally in the Greater Banjul Area,” he said.
At the start of the training, Maneh Kijera, president of Beakanyang Sutukonding thanked the British Embassy for supporting the group members acquire new skills. The new skills she added, will boost the livelihoods of the participants and their respective families.
For his part, Nfamara Jawneh, executive director of Beakanyang affirmed that the training formed part of a month long training package being supported by the British embassy.
The project, he explained, aims to provide group members with soap, Omo, tie and dye and batiks making skills as well as on other entrepreneurship development skills.

Jawneh maintained that the goal of the project is to reduce poverty among women of Sutukonding village particularly members of the group. He thus reaffirmed his office’s resolve to support women at the grassroots level in enhancing their livelihoods.
He used the forum to call on other development partners to emulate the British embassy’s move in improving the economic status of rural women.

Business management training for women ends

90 women were trained within two days (13 and 14 March, 2015) on entrepreneurship at Sutukonding village, Wuli West District of the Upper River Region.

The training formed part of the British Embassy funded livelihood improvement project, and took participants through topics such as numeracy, records keeping and entrepreneurship.



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Nfamara Jawneh, executive director of Beakanyang, said the training formed part of the series of activities being carried out by Sutukonding Beakanyang and his office in the village to help build the capacity of its grassroots members and provide them with new livelihoods improvement skills.
“This is an economic empowerment initiative that seeks to boost the morale of vulnerable women and their mediate families,” he said.

Further commenting,  Jawneh said: “It’s our hope that this training would help market the products you will be dealing with after completing your training sessions on Omo and soap making.”

He commended the UK Embassy in Banjul for their support and partnership which he said would undoubtedly significantly change livelihoods in rural Gambia.
Musa Keita, vice president of Sutukonding Beakanyang, said women in rural areas including those in Sutukonding  are very much vulnerable to poverty thus the need to empowerment them to become economically independent.
He stressed that the training was vital to the enhancement of the livelihood of the beneficiaries and their families.


In February 2015, Sutukonding Beakanyang one of the12 local chapters of Beakanyang Kafo  received a grant from the British Embassy in The Gambia to train 90 of its members on livelihood skills. The project was implemented in collaboration with Beakanyang Kafo. 



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The project aimed to provide group members with basic skills in making detergents such as soap, Omo and tye and dye making skills as well as business management skills in the village of Sutukonding.

Due to the proximity from the city (about 400kilo meters from Banjul) women in this community like many other women in rural Gambia are faced with many challenges especially access to financial and other valuable resources to remove themselves from the cycle of poverty.

According to Beakanyang Director,  the main aim of the project was to reduce poverty among women in Sutukonding village between the ages of 30 and 45 years old. It further seeks to improve the economic status of the beneficiary women and their families.

 Mr Nfamara Jawneh disclosed in Sutukonding on March 8th 2015 while presiding over its launching,

the main activities of the project will includes:

  • Formal Project Launching in the village & marking International Women’s Day
  • Training of 90 women on basic business management and records keeping skills.
  • Training of 50 women on Omo and Soap Making.
  • Training of  40 women on Tye and Dye and Batik making .

Mrs Kijera also thanked Beakanyang Kafo parent body of Sutukonding Beakanyang for providing the required technical support towards the realization of the project for the group.

According to her, the official kick start of the project was a dream come true for them and promised to take full ownership of it.
In his formal launching statement on behalf of the URR Governor to kick start the project, Head Chief of Wuli West, Alhagie Kemo Jatta, congratulated the members of Sutukonding Beakanyang for the development. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the empowerment of women while applauding them for their hard work and meaningful contribution to socio-economic development of the country.

Chief Jatta appealed for more such important projects for women in other communities in his district.
He hailed the British Embassy for the support and assured the women of his continue support to women empowerment.

URR Governor Applauds Beakanyang

The governor of URR has described Beakanyang organization as very credible and hailed the civil society organization for empowering communities in the region.



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Governor Samba Bah made the remarks recently at his office in Basse during a courtesy meeting with officials of the youth-led NGO.

We are fully aware of the activities of Beakanyang in the region and I’ can confidently say that your organization is indeed credible. In fact, the credibility of Beakanyang is unquestionable and I encourage the leadership to keep up the momentum,” he said.

He further commended the organization for complementing government’s efforts in the areas of human rights education, good governance and peace building.

I’m also very much excited with the recent opening of Beakanyang office here in Basse. Even though you have being around for a while, the opening of the new office will provide people the opportunity to visit your office to access your services,” he noted.

According to him, CSOs are critical partners of the government as they help provide essential services and necessary civic awareness among populace.

He finally assured the organization of his office’s continue support at all times for the betterment of the livelihoods of the people of URR.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, the Executive Director of Beakanyang said they were at the seat of power in the region to briefed the governor about their activities and to thank him for his support.

Jawneh also disclosed plans to empower out of school youth and disable girls in the region with livelihood skills.

The team also used the opportunity to present to the governor their 2020 annual activity report.

We have being following and participating in your activities and we are very much impressed,” said Deputy Governor Essa Conteh.

Meanwhile, the delegation was led to the governor’s office by a board member of Beakanyang Mr. Fanding Barrow.