Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) in partnership with GIZ; a European
Union trust fund project recently concluded ten days food processing training
for forty youth, drawn from across the country.
Held at Rural Development Institute in Mansakonko, Lower River Region, the project aimed to train youth on agro-food processing and entrepreneurship. Participants were divided into two badges of twenty, for five days per group.
The training is also meant to encourage young people to venture into agriculture and business to reduce unemployment in The Gambia. It was conducted by food technology service unit of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Abass Bah, General Manager of NEDI said the training is in line with his institution’s mandate to provide young people with entrepreneurship skills and opportunities.
“Training youth and women in agro-food processing will also contribute to agricultural development and economic growth,” he said.
Pa Sait Ceesay, Chief Executive Officer of Mansakonko Area Council advised the young people to make the best use of the conducive environment and institutions created for their empowerment. “Institutions such as NEDI and GIZ are collaborating to empower the young people of the country through enterprise development as well as mentorship programs and create access to financial support,” he explained.
Momodou Lamin Fofana, senior youth coordinator in LRR, deputizing the governor of the region said such trainings are in line with government objectives on youth empowerment and national development.
He urged youth to take ownership of the training and take advantage of the opportunities provided to them by government. “Youth empowerment and development is a key priority of the government and we are very much committed to that at all times,” he assured.
Mariam Drammeh, representative of GIZ, assured the youth of the project’s commitment to their empowerment through skills and enterprise development.
She called on participants to use their new skills to improve their entrepreneurship development within their communities and beyond.
Mustapha Badjie, program manager of NEDI and representative of the regional youth office Nyanya Mbye both acknowledged the importance of such trainings to youth empowerment.
They advised participants to take the training seriously and to make the best use of their new skills at the end of the program to improve their economic status.
Omar Sanneh, a participant, thanked the organizers for the initiative. He said their new skills on agro-food processing will enable them to become entrepreneurs and contribute to national development through the creation of jobs while improving their lives and livelihoods with their families.
Vice Principal of RDI Ousman Sonko spoke on the importance of skills training in enhancing socio-economic growth.
Participants were awarded certificates at the end of the training to acknowledge their participation and the success of the NEDI-GIZ partnership training on agro food processing and entrepreneurship.