May 8, 2012, 2:27 PM
Two lecturers of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) have just returned home after attending a two-month professional diploma training programme on micro-finance and entrepreneurship at the Birmingham College in the United Kingdom.
Lamin Jatta, head of department of the West African Rural Development (WARD), and Marie Anna Gomez, assistant lecturer of the Business Studies Department, said the training was a life mapping-out programme aimed at widening their understanding on pertinent finance and economic issues such as micro-finance, marketing, and financial accounting.
Speaking to our reporter shortly after their return, Mr Jatta said their trip was sponsored by the Social Development Fund (SDF) under their joint project with GTTI, which is aimed at training youths in micro-finance and small business enterprises.
He described their training as a life mapping-out training programme, adding that during the training sessions they learnt a lots of interesting things in micro-finance entrepreneurship.
They also visited many places in Birmingham that are renowned for micro-finance businesses, such as chocolate factories, restaurants, and ceramics, were they make cups, plates and kitchen utensils.
"This is all geared towards inculcating into us the idea of creativity and innovation, and we did both theory and practical exercises during our training programme," he said.
Mr Jatta said the training was centred on six thematic issues, such as micro-finance, marketing, financial accounting, project plan and preparation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and business communication and computer skills. "We were also trained on business research," he added.
Ms Anna Gomez also shared her experience about the training in the UK, saying they were exposed to different marketing knowledge, skills and techniques. The lecturers did not confine the lectures in the four corners of the classroom; they also conducted field trips and visits and had sessions with various subject matter specialists, she said.
"We are fully prepared to implement the new ideas we have gathered from the training," Ms Gomez said, adding: "It is just going to be a continuation because we were lecturing here at GTTI before this training."
She said they have already had a micro-finance diploma course at the GTTI; so their trip to the UK was to do professional training programme on micro-finance. "We will implement the knowledge gained from the training," she said.
The two lecturers thanked the GTTI management for giving them the opportunity to attend such an important overseas training.