Mar 24, 2009, 7:01 AM
The training session was done in collaboration with the Gambia Commercial Value Chain Management (GCAV), which funded the project.
Speaking to the participants at the opening ceremony held at the IPA House in Bakau, Landing Sanneh, general manager of NEDI, said: “NEDI is charged with the responsibility of empowering youth and women in entrepreneurship and we cannot do that without agriculture. With that in mind, it is important to see how we can involve the youth in the agricultural value chain process.”
At the end of the five-day business plan clinic, thirty business plans to be drafted by the participants will be chosen, to receive funding by Ministry of Agriculture.
This will enable the youth to be not only job seekers, but to endeavour to be job creators, said the Executive Director of the National Youth Council, Lamin Darboe.
“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,” he stated.
The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mariama Njie, stated in her keynote address that “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.
“As a result, the ministry developed a five-year strategic plan which aims to provide youth with entrepreneurship skills and guarantee their employability.
“And this training aims to fulfill one of the objectives of this plan,” Mrs Njie said.
She concluded by thanking all the stakeholders involved for undertaking such a project, and urged the participants to take the training activity seriously.
“It is aimed at enabling you to contribute your own quota to national development,” she added.EndFragment