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Empowering youth through entrepreneurial skills

Aug 24, 2015, 9:41 AM

A five-day business plan development clinic targeting forty youths of this country has just been concluded at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

It was facilitated by the National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) in collaboration with the Gambia Commercial Value Chain Management (GCAV) who singlehandedly funded the project.

As we applaud NEDI and GCAV for this wonderful initiative, we would like to emphasise that entrepreneurship is the heartbeat of any nation, as it is only through entrepreneurship - those who possess the skills and risk their resources and time to invest and establish enterprises - that nations the world over are able to grow their economies systematically and attain economic development and better standard of living.

At the end of five-day business plan clinic, thirty business plans to be drafted by the participants will be chosen to receive funding by the Ministry of Agriculture, which will enable the youth to not only be job seekers but also job creators. In this vein therefore, it can safely be said that entrepreneurial skills serve as a source of employment creation, directly and indirectly. It must therefore be encouraged and nurtured.

“When we talk about employment, we also talk about employability and make sure that young people are not only able to acquire jobs but are also able to create jobs for others through their various businesses. The main purpose therefore of this five-day training is to help transform your business ideas into tangible business projects that stand the potential to be marketed with various stakeholders and gain funding from the donors,” said the Executive Director of the National Youth Council.

And as the youth continue to acquire such skills they grow to be self-reliant and start to command decent income and salaries that would have been very difficult to earn from unskillful sources.

They would also begin to consider worthless undertaking the perilous journey of going to Europe via the back-way, which has become a sore source of death for our youth in this day and age.

Furthermore, the business plan development scheme by NEDI and GCAV has a unique bias that makes the whole initiative one of a kind. It has particularly picked on agriculture as its specific focus of business line.

Once empowered with entrepreneurial skills, the beneficiaries of the training are expected to focus their investment ideals on agriculture and its produce.

“For a long time, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been preoccupied and concerned with the situation of our youth, namely their lack of skills and un-employability which has prompted them to undertake the dangerous and perilous journey to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea,” said the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

This initiative, therefore, should be upheld and vigorously boosted to give our youth – the cream of our national development – a job to do and at the same time discourage them in desperately seeking greener pastures by any means necessary including the fatal back-way.

Thank you NEDI and GCAV. Keep it up!

“The youth need to be enabled to become jobgenerators from job seekers.”

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam