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NEDI poised to empower more youths with juice processing plant

Oct 24, 2013, 10:09 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) under the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) in collaboration with other satellite institutions on Tuesday validated the draft report of a consultancy study on the assessment of the feasibility and viability of MoYS juice processing plant and incubation centre that will be established in West Coast Region (WCR).

In his welcoming remarks at President’s International Awards Scheme (PIA) in Bakau, Landing Sanneh, NEDI coordinator, said we should not lose sight of the fact that this is to add value to products made in The Gambia.

According to him, if established it would create employment for youth, calling on the need for the people to grow what they eat and also process what they drink.

The document belongs to the people of this country, and would go a long way in national youth development, he stated.

He seized the opportunity to thank all stakeholders involved in the process from the beginning to the end.

Ndey Marie-Njie, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, said coming up with such a document was not an easy job and thanked the consultants for a job well done.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has been playing the role of facilitator in the whole study process, she noted, adding that she hopes stakeholders will do justice to the document.

Ousainou Jobe, engineering expert, Tefa Global Solution, speaking on behalf of the team of consultants, said coming up with the documents was not an easy task and they had so many challenges with sleepless nights but thank God they have reached this level.

Mr Jobe remarked that we have a lot of mangos, tomatoes, oranges and other products that get spoilt which we can be producing and even exporting in the future.

Musa Mbye, director of planning, Department of Youth and Sports, said the Ministry of Youth and Sports is a key component of government with a fundamental role to lessen poverty and the ultimate attainment of Vision 2020.

The Ministry is bestowed with the responsibility to coordinate, facilitate and ensure the development of youth and sports in the country, he noted, adding: “It provides the policy direction for the smooth implementation of youth and sports programmes and activities all over the country.”

“The establishment of the juice processing plant will not just be important in developing the skills of youth in juice processing but will also create potential opportunities for young people,” he remarked.

Director Mbye acknowledged the support of UNDP, saying the initiative falls under their interest of support.

He disclosed that the idea was conceived in 2010 when the UNDP urged for feasibility studies to be carried out.

He said the Gambian youth constitute over 50% of the population, adding that the development of this sector of the nation must be the bedrock of sustainable growth.

The proposed UNDP and The Gambia government funded project, when established, is expected to create job opportunities for many young Gambians.

According to the report, the feasibility of this proposed plant was assessed in four core areas; such as marketing and financial; resource and environmental; social and institutional as well as technical feasibility.