May 29, 2009, 6:35 AM
Abdoulie Touray was speaking recently in Kerewan, North Bank Region, at a one-day regional EMPRETEC forum for entrepreneurs and business development advisors on business experiences, achievements and challenges.
The forum was held to create awareness about the project as well as to introduce clients that have passed through training session into semi-autonomous associations run by entrepreneurs with assistance from the centre.
Deputy Governor Mustapha Saidy thanked EMPRETEC the Gambia through GIEPA for building the capacity of entrepreneurs in the region.
He said the capacity development would spur socio-economic development and contribute to poverty reduction.
He called on entrepreneurs in the region to be steadfast in upholding best practices to enhance growth and income in their businesses.
Fatou Mbenga Jallow, Chief Executive Officer of GIEPA, in her remarks on the occasion, underscored government’s commitment to growth of business, citing the implementation of EMPRETEC project to accelerate human capacity and behaviourial change towards the realization of a successful business.
She stated that 40% of entrepreneurs are women, saying the training would strengthen their capacity and create employment opportunities and by extension enhance effective business operation.
CEO Jallow thanked the UNDP and Gambia government for funding EMPRETEC, saying the business development advisory services has contributed immensely to the realization of the objective of the project.
The project would support the establishment of a regional EMPRETEC body to facilitate communication and networking among entrepreneurs whilst GIEPA would promote sustainability.
Madam Mbenga Jallow hailed the country’s vice president for her support to the project, saying there is need for all hands to be on deck to improve entrepreneurship.
Chief Fabala Fadia Kinteh of Lower Badibou, in his remarks, assured of the district authorities’ support to the “noble” initiatives.
He seized the opportunity to remind the youth to desist from illegal migration and to make best use of the opportunity provided by government to enhance economic growth.
Thomas Robert of GCCI, in his statement, said the programme would strengthen the capacity of small and medium-scale enterprises. He also called on entrepreneurs to be proactive in transferring skills and knowledge learnt from EMPRETEC programmes.
He noted that the programmes would create employment opportunity and boost economic growth and above all contribute to poverty reduction.
He said as entrepreneurs they should fully utilize the use of information communication technology to connect with other businesses within and outside the country.
Landing B. Sanneh, General Manager of National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), has called on the youth to make best use of the opportunities provided by NEDI and agricultural projects to enhance business growth and food production.
He lauded EMPRETEC through GIEPA for the support in building the capacity of the youth in entrepreneurship.
Momodou Lamin Drammeh, project coordinator of EMPRETEC Gambia at GIEPA, disclosed that through the project 700 entrepreneurs have been trained in entrepreneurial best practices. These, he noted, could bring about huge market and supply opportunities in the business realm.
The EMPRETEC coordinator thanked all stakeholders for their support and cooperation towards the successful implementation of the project.
Suwaibou Cham, business manager at GIEPA, who chaired the meeting, assured of his office’s continued support to ensure better business advisory services are provided to all entrepreneurs within the purview of the project.
Whilst delivering the vote of thanks, Lamin Conteh of Jokadou Darsilami, used the occasion to appeal for support from organizations regarding fencing and water supply to agricultural fields to increase production and productivity.
Other beneficiaries of the training, such as Jainaba Kuyateh of Medina Kanuma and Sisending Ceesay of Kerewan, all thanked GIEPA and the UNDP for their invaluable support to building their capacity on entrepreneurship.
They described the initiative as a worthwhile gesture, saying it has contributed immensely to strengthening them in doing their small businesses such as petty trading and horticulture.