The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia, YJAG, on Saturday elected a new Executive Committee led by Nfamara Jawneh – to run the affairs of the association until 2016.
Various positions were elected unopposed. Nfamara Jawneh, a founding president of YJAG, was elected YJAG President following the withdrawal of Bekai Njie, the outgoing YJAG 1st Vice President. Mr Jawneh, a Deputy Editor of The Point was President of YJAG from 2007-2009.
Following his election, Mr Jawneh promise to lead an “all-inclusive executive”- which will in a sense involve all YJAG Members in its dealings and activities. He also pledges D2000 to start what he called “ground work” bearing in mind the financial constraints facing the association.
However, observers described as a “shock return” Mr Jawneh’s election for a second time in four years as YJAG President.
Nyima Jadama, outgoing Public Relations Officer, PRO, of YJAG is re-elected 1st Vice President. She works at Star FM radio; Ms Amie Faye of News & Report Magazine is elected 2nd Vice President; The Voice Newspaper’s Sulayman Ceesay, a former Treasurer of YJAG is now the new Secretary General.
Hally Omar Mendy, a teacher and freelance journalist was elected Assistant Secretary General; Musa Fatty, formerly of MarketPlace Business newspaper is the new Treasurer; Yaya B. Baldeh of Today newspaper is now PRO; and Momodou S. Jallow, a YJAG member is elected Auditor.
The new executive has a mandate to nominate two (2) co-opted members – one of whom must be a female according to the YJAG Constitution.
The election was presided over by Baboucarr Ceesay, 1st Vice President of GPU – assisted by Dawda Bayo, President of the Photographers Association of The Gambia, and Alagie Jinkang, a student of the GPU School of Journalism.
Held at the Secretariat of the GPU on September 21, 2013, the theme for the 6th anniversary and 3rd congress of YJAG was “Towards greater press freedom and job security for young journalists in The Gambia”.
At the opening, the said “YJAG is seriously concerned about the closure of media houses, the job losses it caused to the young journalists and the threat it poses to the future of journalism in The Gambia” Modou S. Joof
Both Joof and the YJAG Board Chairperson, Njundu Drammeh, called on the authorities to re-open media houses like Taranga FM, The and The Standard which were closed in August and September 2012.
The Activity and Financial reports of YJAG were adopted by the members at the congress following direct and frank contributions.
The Constitution was also reviewed to extend the term of office of the executive from two years to three years. Members also amended a section of the constitution to raise the age limit of YJAG members from 18-30 to 35.
YJAG has contributed tremendously to the development of the media in Gambia, especially news reportage and capacity building of its members.