President International Award

President International Award (PIA)


The President’s International Award started operations in The Gambia in 1979 through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then the Ministry of Education. Until the separation of education and youth and sports it came under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. It is also a member of the International Award Association within the framework of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the UK.


Since its inception, it has challenged young people aged 14 -25 years to discover hidden potentials and transform them into productive life and livelihood skills. It provides a balanced progressive programme of extracurricular activities for young people throughout the world. It has four mandatory sections namely; Service, Skills and interest, physical recreation and adventurous journeys divided into three different levels of Awards namely; Bronze, Silver and Gold.


In The Gambia, the Award programme has an added value by providing livelihood skills training to young people as a means for employment creation, one of The Gambia’s challenges to young people, particularly those who cannot take advantage of higher educational opportunities. This programme provides livelihood skills in carpentry, welding, electrical installation, home management, secretariat duties, and computer technology and business studies; including basic maths and english to enhance their writing skills. The other component is the apprentice training programme for none schooled young people, which run for three years.


However, the Award is still not able to cover the length and breathe of The Gambia. It has started its decentralisation programme by establishing a regional and skills training centre in Kerewan North Bank Region. It is hoped that similar programmes will be established in other regions within The Gambia.



The Award’s mission is “To Provide Opportunities for Young People through Knowledge and Skills Development for Employment and Responsible Leadership”.


The President’s International Award shall challenge young people to:


  1. Develop a positive and realistic self-image of young people, the will to know and accept their own strengths and weaknesses and be more aware of one’s potentials and talents.
  2. Develop self-motivating attitudes and an independent mind.
  3. Build the capacity of young people through life skills and livelihood skills for creating greater employment opportunities for young people living in The Gambia.
  4. Develop a sense of community responsibility and connect to the broader society.
  5. Develop a sustainable global partnership for the promotion of the fundamental principles of democracy, accountability and participation of young people in both local and international initiatives.