Issued: Tuesday 26 March
Empowerment (YEP) Africa, The Gambia Saturday launched the “Yepafrica
Investment Fund Project” and strengthening of the Young Social Entrepreneurs
Network Group (YSENG) at their office in Brikama
YEP programmes officer Lamin F. Cessay highlighted on the significance of the investment fund, saying they have been involved in series of fact findings to know the actual need of the young people in order to encourage them to meaningfully engage in social and economic development of the country. “We have been involved in series of projects proposals development and building partnership connections. We don’t have much capacity but through cooperation and connections, we are able to make it easy towards the realisation of common objectives.”
Mr. Cessay explained that they were able to secure the investment fund project with the help of their collaborations. “The project is designed to create opportunities for aspiring young entrepreneurs to move forward in the realisation of their dreams.”
He said providing financial aid is not the only means to help young people to realise their dreams, saying they are using their internal strength and competency to give proper guidance and counseling, consultation and proper advice to the beneficiaries to ensure that they are well guided towards the realisation of their dreams.
Mr. Ceesay emphasised that it is a great opportunity for all of them. He urged the beneficiaries to remember that opportunities require responsibility on how to access and maintain them. “The investment fund project is now available on our desk and operation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project will be the primary role of the operational staff to ensure security and sustainability of the project.
He said said the loan scope is a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 1000 Euro with a duration of a minimum of three and a maximum of five years based on the complexity of the proposed business. “The interest to each loan package is three percent on annual basis.”
The project’s operation manager Serreh Darboe said Yepafrica was established in 2007 to empower youth to become change agents and serve the world, saying they are creating and supporting the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf and on their own terms rather than at the direction of others.
Ms. Darboe explained that Yepafrica is a foreign idea as it was created in the Netherlands to help young people to achieve their dreams. “We are here to empower the youth in order to make them achieve their aims and objectives. 73 young people have benefitted from our projects.” She divulged.
She highlighted that young people need to be employed and that was the reason why Yepafrica came with the initiative to help develop the young committed people in the country in order to achieve their dreams. “We help young people to take the opportunities available and to work in the market because no business is small,” he said.
Secretary General of Young Social Entrepreneurs Network Group (YSENG) Zakaria Sanyang said YSENG is an arm under Yepafrica, comprising all the trainees or beneficiaries of the organisation.
He explained the concept or motive of initiating such a vibrant network by the management of Yepafrica, saying it targets to strengthen the bond of relationship, build strong connection and love, inspire, guide and support members since they are at different levels in terms of education, empowerment, experience, skills, finance and opportunities. “Aside from the interpersonal support and guidance towards our individual goals and dreams, the network is created to put our hands together as agents of positive change towards the socio- economic advancement of the country.”
Chief executive officer of Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce –GYCC- Baboucarr Kebbeh encouraged the management of Yepafrica to keep the good work and to hold tight to their duties, saying not everyone can read and write and some may have the stuff and ideas in their heads but could not demonstrate them but once they are given the support, they will be able do better than some people who are occupying offices. “There is a proper monitoring mechanism in place to ensure that the funds given to them are put into use,” he stated.