Director of Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN) Momodou Edrissa Njie has
said that the 2019 Youth Summer Camp held in Lower River Region, had provided
youths with relevant knowledge and skills to start and successfully manage
their enterprises or business ventures.
The summer camp was 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 the culture of creating equal opportunities for young men and women in The Gambia,” GYIN Gambia Executive Director, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, said, and added, “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, Lower River Region youth representative said the 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 of the European Union funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), said GYIN Gambia is at the forefront in promoting youth development in The Gambia.
YEP, which funded the 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 to 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 Mansakonko Area Council 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 Mentor-ship 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:
Participants learn how to start a business venture; improve fledgling small businesses, and gain practical skills on business plan designing.
Participants are taught how to become good leaders, learn to lead even from the bottom of your organisational or community structure, and be inspired by success stories and experiences.
This theme bridges the digital divide, allows for digital inclusion, practical experiences using digital devices, useful internet and digital security tips, and how to build and maintain a good social media market presence.
This theme exposes participants to successful and inspiring business firms, agriculture and agribusiness initiatives.
The 2019 ELIT is supported by Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), the Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development Project (EPSD), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, and the National Youth Council (NYC).