Monday, June 17, 2024

Ousman Touray Wins Heroes Award Exemplary Youth Award

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By: Fatou Kebbeh

Ousman Touray, a young Gambian Pan-Africanist has won the Exemplary Youth Award of 2022/2023 Heroes Awards organized by The Fatu Network at a ceremony attended by prominent personalities across the country and beyond.

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Speaking exclusively to The Fatu Network, Touray expressed gratitude to the organizers of the award and all those who supported him in the voting process.

Mr. Touray is among those young Africans who are gaining recognition in Pan-Africanism for their active advocacy on issues affecting the African continent.

He completed his bachelor’s degree program in Development Studies in 2019, from the University of The Gambia (UTG).

While waiting for his graduation, he went to Rwanda for a post-graduation program. Ousman is currently pursuing a master’s degree in international development.

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“Winning this award is a big plus for me because I felt like we’re being recognized home, and also our work and engagement matters to the people of The Gambia,” said Ousman.

He added that whatever a person does is inspired by a story in one way or the other.

“I grew up in the remotest place of this country where having access to basic needs was a big challenge.

“But seeing people striving to make things better despite the conditions in which they live in has help shape my activities whether in academia or engagements socially,” he added.

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The young Pan-Africanist mentioned that he is motivated daily, adding that sometimes he travels around the continent to attend different events with little or no support for his travel expenses.

Narrating his inspirational journey to TFN’s reporter, Mr. Touray revealed his interest and passion in serving young people and how to take part in eradicating some of the challenges faced by young people so they could realize their possibilities.

“The youth need people to look up to as mentors who have been there before them, so they could show them the way because it’s important,” Ousman told the Fatu Network.

He added that, his father, and individual scholars both in Gambia and outside, have really helped in shaping the person he is today.

When asked for his opinion on the award he won out of hundreds of others who are doing the same or similar advocacy, Ousman responded that he had the opportunity to represent Gambia in different national and international forums, helped support young entrepreneurs, took part in giving back to community and has been part of high-level dialogues.

He emphasized that he has been in the spotlight in African discussions, especially in areas of development, worked under logistics in The Gambia where they do distribution of goods across the country and in the sub region.

Despite all these achievements, Ousman outlined challenges he faced while growing up.

“I remember it was a struggle to get to a good high school not [to] talk of moving to the University, [I] also encountered [a] lot of challenges especially securing scholarships.”

According to him, these were not the only challenges because in his entrepreneurial journey, he tried lot of businesses but failed.

He added that he was also deported in some countries, but he never stopped because challenges are what motivate people.

The young Pan-Africanist urged for young people to be supported, noting that it is the responsibility of everyone to take part in making things better.

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