Pakalinding, Jarra West District, LRR – The 4th edition of the National Youth Summer Camp on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Information Technology (ELIT) officially opened in Pakalinding, Jarra West District, Lower River Region on Wednesday.
The 10-day youth camp, which is taking place from 1 –10 September, 2019, provides youths with relevant knowledge and skills to start and successfully manage their enterprises or business ventures, the organiser, GYIN Gambia said in a statement on Thursday.
It is being held under the theme: ‘Transforming Youth Into Agents of Change in Agribusiness Ventures.’ Sixty young men and women are participating in this year’s summer camp, an annual event set in motion by GYIN Gambia in July 2016.
“The ELIT summer camp is built on a culture of creating equal opportunities for young men and women in The Gambia,” GYIN Gambia Executive Director, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, said. “Previous events have impacted greatly by changing the livelihoods of young people especially those in the rural areas. It has enabled some of them to become job creators.”
Ebrima B. Darboe, youth representative, Lower River Region, said this ELIT summer camp is significant in the development of youth entrepreneurs in The Gambia. “I will celebrate you wherever we meet because you have chosen a path of change by being participants at ELIT 2019,” he said.
Darboe also said it was important for young people who do not have formal education to be given a chance to benefit from trainings like the ELIT.
Fatou Mbenga Jallow, coordinator and senior technical adviser, The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), said GYIN Gambia is at the forefront in promoting youth development in The Gambia.
The YEP, which is funding ELIT 2019, supports demand-driven skills development relevant for the agribusiness, tourism, creative industries job markets; and access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
She told participants to engage in networking and sharing of experiences and become role models in their communities. She also supported the idea of providing training opportunities for young Gambians who are without formal education.
Kebba B. Darboe, deputy governor of Lower River Region, said “ELIT summer camp creates equal opportunities for young men and women to participate in meaningful activities to enhance income and educational careers.” He said he welcomes such an initiative aimed at supporting rural youths.
Landing B. Sanneh, chairperson of the Mansakonko Area Council, Lower River Region, hailed GYIN Gambia for initiating and implementing “practical activities” that are supporting youth development in The Gambia.
Sanneh made reference to GYIN Gambia’s annual Rural Youth Award, the Youth Mentorship Programme, and the ELIT summer camp as important programmes for youth development. He also encourages GYIN to involve more youths who are disadvantaged - to develop and maintain gains made in entrepreneurship in The Gambia.
GYIN Gambia primarily focuses on the development of rural youths, but it allows for youths from across the country including those in urban areas to participate in the annual ELIT summer camp.
Ebrima Bah, chairperson of the ELIT summer camp, said this year’s event focuses on the production of small ruminants, poultry, horticulture, rice value chain, and agro-marketing, and participants are exposed to knowledge and skills on four thematic areas: