One Muhammad Lamin Saidykhan, Human Rights activist who also spearheaded the widespread protests to have longtime Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh step down has been awarded as the 2018 Africa Advocate of the Year by the Africa Youth Awards (AYA).
He was also nominated for the African Youth of the Year (Male) but lost to Ato Ulzen- Appiah, Director, Ghana Think Foundation and Mr.Saidykhan is one of the Co-Movement Coordinators of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity.
Speaking to reporters recently about his award, Saidykhan described the award as critical and important for him as a young person, stating that he dedicated it to young people of the Gambia.
“The award will serve as a motivation and encouragement for me and with my dedication I can make Africa a better continent that our children will be proud of and Gambia as a sovereignty state can do big things as well as pave the way in championing human rights and democracy in the country and across the continent,” Saidykhan said.
He called on Gambians despite their political and geographical locations to be proactive as well as put the interest of the country first and do away with dividing elements.
Who is Saidykhan?
He is a Gambian with a background on youth and women development, campaigns for social change, policy advocacy and movement building and prior for him to join Africans Rising; he coordinated an Alliance of 11 member farmer based organisations called National Alliance for Food Security (NAFS).
He served as trainer for First Aid, Disaster Management, and Humanitarian Law in the Red Cross and also served as co-chair of Action Aid International Youth Working Group and was lead coordinator of the Youth-led Activista Initiative, where he was leading and coordinating Action Aid work with young people in 47 countries around the world.
Meanwhile, the Africa Youth Awards is a prestigious award scheme with the primary aim of appreciating the works of young Africans in Africa and the Diaspora.
According to Saidykhan, the African Youth Award was launched in 2014 and the award scheme was inspired by the lack of recognition for young Africans who have selflessly dedicated their lives to making sure the future of Africa is optimistic.