Kemo Fatty

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: The Gambia Farmers CongressGambia

Kemo is a passionate conservationist who is dedicated to realizing the pan-African vision: The Great Green Wall Initiative. Currently serving as Head of Community Engagement at CIVIC, he is also the founder and director of Green-Up Gambia, an organization that works to protect natural resources in The Gambia.

As the spokesman for The Great Green Wall Frontline program, Kemo believes that communities on the ground must take ownership for the initiative to be delivered and sustained. The program is an open-source movement of communities working towards a bold response to climate change. Kemo is committed to unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of frontline communities and unlocking the Wall's full potential.

Kemo's work with Green-Up Gambia serves as a watchdog on the government and holds them accountable for protecting natural resources. His interventions have saved one of the country's ecotourism parks, and he has also helped to track timber logging activities. Kemo is playing an essential role in driving meaningful change towards a more sustainable future.

IVLP Impact Award Project: The Gambia Farmers Congress

The Gambia Farmers Congress is a platform for empowering farmers and revitalizing the agricultural sector in the face of challenges such as limited resources, poor infrastructure, and climate change. This project brought together farmers, policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices. Prior to a final Congress event, Kemo led capacity building sessions for farmers in four regions of The Gambia, where he also identified the communities' greatest needs and priorities.

The main Congress event included 30 community leaders, agricultural extension workers, policy makers and CSOs as well as 20 farmers, among other guests.  The Congress addressed various challenges and opportunities, including climate-smart agriculture, sustainable land management, access to finance, and value chain development. It provided farmers with opportunities to showcase their products and services, engage with policymakers and researchers, and network with industry professionals. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, the Congress enhanced farmers' skills, encouraged innovation, and developed policy recommendations to support the development of the agriculture sector in The Gambia. Kemo's capacity building sessions were attended by 200 farmers, fishers and hunters, and the main Congress event was attended by the US Ambassador to The Gambia, the honorable Sharon L. Cromer, who served on a panel of speakers.

Kemo’s main Congress event was covered in the media here: Farmers prexy appeals for assistance - The Point as well as being featured in a News Bulletin on the 10pm Daily News for the Gambia radio and television services (GRTS) on the 16th of September 2023.

Kemo was also a panelist for the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Involving Community in Environmental Action” which you can read more about here.

"From the congress, I learned that the roots of progress are watered with shared experiences and nurtured by collaboration." - Congress Attendee

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Kemo was a participant in the IVLP Project U.S. Approaches to Climate Change Challenges III, organized by the U.S. Department of State and American Councils for International Education.

Kemo's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "This program has been an incredible journey, providing me with valuable insights into various strategies and best practices for addressing climate change issues. I had the privilege to meet with experts from different sectors and learn about innovative solutions that can be applied in various contexts...With the support and guidance from the IVLP program, I am confident that I can make a meaningful impact in my community and contribute to the global efforts in addressing climate change challenges."

U.S. Communities Visited

Los Angeles, CA; Monterey, CA; Sacramento, CA; Washington, DC; Des Moines, IA

"One particular aspect [of the IVLP] that stood out to me was the inspiring efforts of organizations and individuals in promoting sustainable agriculture and empowering farmers to adapt to changing climate conditions. This experience has fueled my passion to make a positive impact in my home country." - Kemo Fatty

Country: The Gambia 

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