May 19, 2020, 1:53 PM
Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) in partnership with the European Union funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), have recently launched a one million dalasi fund to support young innovative entrepreneurs in the country.
The fund is specifically designed to support young entrepreneurs to better their living conditions.
Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda said youth have always been at the core of innovation in society, saying the Andandorr-Tekki Fii initiative in partnership with YEP and GCCI seeks to leverage for youths.
‘‘The European Union stands in solidarity and unity with The Gambia and its people and is pleased to support home-made solutions that can make a difference,” he said.
He said with this challenge, they want to give young Gambian entrepreneurs the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions.
“We believe that digitization can make a difference and we strongly promote it,” Mayor Bensouda said.
The fund is supported by Gambian business development service providers through the Andandorr programme with GCCI as the lead partner.
“With this challenge, KMC, YEP and all partners, will give opportunity to stimulate youth to prove that they can also be forward looking in finding solutions,” said Alieu Secka, CEO of GCCI.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the implementing agency of the Youth Empowerment Project.
Fatou Mbenga Jallow, YEP Project Coordinator stressed that communities are facing unprecedented challenges which also provide opportunity to accelerate and leapfrog in development process.
She said the ITC remained committed in supporting Gambian young people.
Subject to the outcome of this pilot focusing on challenges in KMC, the EU, ITC and partners may scale the challenge fund in other regions.
Mrs Mbenga-Jallow said the fund is open to young Gambian entrepreneurs aged between 15-35 years with a registered business or in partnership with a registered business.
To bring youth voices to the forefront of action and policy responses, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and partners of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth (DJY) are conducting a survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth and the world of work.
Research has shown that majority of African youths are either migrants or potential migrants, largely due to lack of employment or quality educational opportunities or simply out of despair.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has implemented the project “Employment Creation for Youth to Build Sustainable Peace in The Gambia” financed by the Government of Japan, and completed its two major components.