Bureau, in partnership with the Turkish Embassy yesterday commenced a seven-day
training on entrepreneurship and management of small business for women in The
Gambia, Senegal and Sierra Leone, in a project entitled: “COMCEC.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang, Vice President and Minister for Women Affairs, expressed appreciation to COMCEC for recognising the need to improve the quality of lives of its member states, particularly women through economic empowerment programs for sustained growth.
This, she said, was strongly believed that women entrepreneurs could drive economic growth provided that the enabling environment was created coupled with factors such as access to finance, ownership and control over production resources such as landed property, and access to capacity-building program.
“In an attempt to address some of the major challenges they face, The Gambia has developed several policy instruments to create opportunities for small scale or micro investment, as a sector to which most of the Gambian poor including women belong,” she said.
According to VP Tambajang, the government of The Gambia recognises the need to step up efforts in the formal and non-formal education of girls and women as education is a very effective tool against gender based norms and behaviors that maintain the unequal division of responsibility between women and men, hence the mission to strengthen the non-formal education sector through education and skills development training to further enhance women’s economic empowerment for sustained growth.
For her part, Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh, executive director of Women’s Bureau, described the training as timely as it brings together actors in the business of entrepreneurship development as a means of fighting poverty in Africa.
She added that events such as this one is particularly valuable because they allow them to draw on a broad a range of experiences and evidence through the sharing of best practices.
Ismail Seta Yuceer Turkist, Turkey Ambassador to The Gambia expressed gratitude, saying that if any society gives support to women, it means it supported a nation.
Juldeh Ceesay, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, said the training aimed at ensuring active and direct involvement of the member country policymakers and experts in the cooperation areas namely trade, transport and communication, tourism, agriculture, poverty alleviation and finance.
She explained that the COMCEC focal point have a crucial role to play in mobilising resources for the member countries/ institutions and their human resources to implement the COMCEC strategy through the working groups and COMCEC project fundings.