The Honorable Habsana Jallow, the youngest Gambian Member of Parliament, was recently endowed with the African Young Achievers of the Year Award 2016 for her notable role as the youngest lawmaker in the Gambia’s national assembly, according to the Observer.
The 28-year-old female legislator received the international award at a star-studded event in Abuja, Nigeria, on July 8th.
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Organizers of the annual event recognized her efforts to represent the young population of the Gambia in the country’s national assembly.
“We are convinced that your drive and determination has empowered other youths to aim at achieving their goals and attaining success,” the organizers wrote.
Africa Achievers Awards
Established in 2011, the African Achievers Awards is an international annual event produced, managed, and maintained by the Institute of Leadership and Management (a West African leadership institute) in conjunction withAchievers Media.
The event was established on the basis of recognizing excellent individuals and organizations that have contributed immensely to the advancement of the development sector of the African continent.
“Our focus is to motivate all African leaders, including the future leaders, through recognizing the persons and organizations that have contributed remarkably to the development of Africa,” the organizers claim.
‘I Dedicate It to My President’
In an interview, the lawmaker said she is dedicating the award to Gambian President Yahya Jammeh who endorsed her to vie for the parliamentary seat of Nianija constituency on an Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), Gambia’s ruling party, ticket in 2012.
Habsana, who won the elections overwhelmingly despite her young age, said she owes it to the President for encouraging her and giving her a chance to venture in to politics.
“This was a big thing to me and to the Gambia,” she said.
Hon. Habsana was elected to parliament at the age of 24 and is the only female candidate in the Central River Region.
Her victory came at a time when the region, especially her constituency Nainija, was embroiled in a major political stalemate between Chief Alasana David Cham and APRC’s Constituency Chairman Faraba Jallow.
She has been a strong supporter of gender equality in a parliament that has previously been dominated by conservative male representatives, the majority of whom still don’t endorse women’s participation in political leadership positions.