The National Enterprise Development Initiatives (NEDI) in collaboration with the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GiEPA) has trained 50 youth and women entrepreneurs in Central River Region north on entrepreneurship development.
The training held at Wassu village was funded by the UNDP with a view to supporting youth and women in production through business development services training and sensitizations. The forum also sought to promote business synergies, internal trading and the expansion of local businesses.
Mustapha Badjie, the Enterprise Development officer of NEDI, said the training will help in unveiling the various available opportunities; encourage more production and value addition on local products, which he described as a key contributor to sustainable livelihood. He said participants are expected to have the requisite skills to better manage their groups and businesses at the end of the training programme.
For his part, Edally Kejira, the councillor of Banni Ward, said the training was a unique opportunity for the youths and women of the area, saying business is a very important component for human development."If the business people are empowered in the region, the income generation will also increase. This can contribute to poverty reduction," he said.
Alhagie Sarge, the representative of the chief of Nianija, said such training would help the youth of the region to be self-employed and by extension will help to reduce migration amongst them. He said training alone would not be enough; they will need some incentives to be able to develop and implement the knowledge gained.
Speaking earlier, Suwaibou Cham, the manager, Research and Survey of the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GiEPA), said his office's help to business entrepreneurs is not limited to youth and women. He said participants should network amongst themselves and share the knowledge gained.
Saikou Darboe, a Community Development assistant, stated that most of the entrepreneurs in the area are not registered, have no business plan and no proper record keeping as well as other business needs. "This training will help to expose participants to these areas which will further help them to develop and expand their businesses," he added.