As part of their cooperate social responsibility, the Social Development Fund (SDF)/EPMDP signed a D5.9m contract agreement with the Gambia Technical Training Institute for the institutionalisation of Enterpreneurship and Micro-Finance Programmes at the GTTI.
The contract is geared towards providing entrepreneurship and macro-finance development skills training in a well-institutionalised manner for sustainability.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the SDF Board Room in Kanifing last Wednesday, the SDF Fund Manager Mr. Sonko Fofana said the initiative is a component under the Entrepreneurship Promotion and Macro Finance Development Project (EPMDP) which is being implemented by the Social Development Fund. He said the reason for the contract is to institutionalize entrepreneurship training in the Gambia, and by so doing, they have selected MDI and GTTI to do this.
"Today's ceremony marks the signing of the contract with GTTI for a total sum of D5.9 million to be implemented over a period of three months and also the initial payment of about a million dalasi to GTTI to enable them to be able conduct this training," he said, adding that the idea is to enable them to run three months diploma programmes on entrepreneurship and small micro finance promotion training.
He added that the funds are meant to strengthen GTTI's internal capacity to run the programme.
According to the SDF boss, his institution is conscious of the fact that projects comes and go, but the availability of these training programmes at both the MDI and GTTI will provide a unique opportunity for Gambians to take up Enterpreneurship and Micro-Finance as a means of employment generation.
For GTTI and MDI, he said, the introduction of these programmes will provide an opportunity for these institutions for generation of income for sustainability. Mr. Fofana stated that these programmes are being run at both GTTI and MDI and interested applicants can contact them for details of admission requirements. This, he added, is an opportunity for the young people to capitalize and make best use of it and create employment for themselves.
"The beauty of this particular programme is to go out and get yourself fully equipped with the skills to be able to engage on your own business without waiting for government to give you the job," he added.
Mrs. Fatoumata Mbye Director General of GTTI, said the GTTI is going to be one of the partners to be involved in the project.
According to her, it is common knowledge that some people especially those managing their own businesses, lacks the basic entrepreneurship skills.
This, she stated is what is required to make the business grow, to be successful, to add value and also to ensure that businesses sell properly. "So if you don't have the skills you cannot possibly make your business work," she said.
She thanked the SDF for coming in to help people especially those who are doing their own businesses to make sure that they get these skills for their businesses to strive.
"It is very important that this is happening at this time. In fact it should have happened earlier but God's time is the best," she added.
A cheque for 20% payment of contractual sum excluding equipments that has already been bought for the GTTI amounting to D999, 000 was presented at the ceremony.
Fund Manager Sonko Fofana, Financial Controller Lamin Fofana and Board member Mr. Thomas represented the SDF, while Mr. Ebrahim Dondeh board member also represented the GTTI.