Youth entrepreneurship, self-employment forum ends in Senegal

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
A three-day entrepreneurship and self-employment (YES) forum has recently ended in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Executive Director of the National Youth Council (NYC ) Lamin Darboe, Program Associate’s Kawsu Fatoumatta Ceesay Sillah, Abdoulie Singhateh, Enterprise Development trainer at the National Enterprise Development Initiative and Lamin Ceesay, Assistant Youth coordinator for North Bank Region at Ministry of Youth and Sports represented The Gambia at the three-day forum. The event was co-organised by partners of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth through the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Government of Senegal, Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes (ANPEJ), Agence Sénégalaise de Promotion des Exportations (ASEPEX), the Government of Spain, the Government of Luxembourg, (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency, Nestlé and Jokkolabs, host of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Senegal as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. The event aimed at providing platform for stakeholders involve in decent jobs for youth and particularly in the area of entrepreneurship and self-employment to engage, share experiences, innovations, and opportunities for scaled action. Executive Director Darboe spoke on a panel “making policy work for youth entrepreneurship,” where he said the panel aimed to promote youth entrepreneurship and self-employment calls for actions at policy and institutional levels. He revealed that evidence shows that effective reforms in business environments lead to the emergence of new firms and job creation. Mr. Darboe further revealed that the session focuses on understanding what works and what does not in promoting an enabling policy and regulatory environment for young entrepreneurs and self-employed youth.
According to him, challenges in supporting youth entrepreneurship and self-employment encountered by policymakers and institutions, particularly in West Africa were also explored. He lamented that lessons learnt from the forum were aimed at integrating youth into national entrepreneurship and industrial strategies, in coherence with relevant national strategies, including on employment and education, in line with regional development objectives. The following were the topics covered during the three days: 1. Promoting an enabling policy and regulatory environment for youth entrepreneurship and self-employment. 2. Facilitating access to markets, networks, knowledge and skills for young entrepreneurs and youth in businesses. 3. Facilitating access to finance for young entrepreneurs and youth in businesses.