By Samsideen Ceesay
The 3rd edition of Entrepreneurs, Leadership and Information &Technology (ELIT) 2018 summer camp which is spearheaded by the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) is designed to broaden the mindsets of young entrepreneurs on value addition under the theme: Broadening Young Entrepreneurs’ Mindset on Value Addition.
The event which is currently underway at Fass Njaga Choi, Lower Nuimi in the North Bank Region is supported by the P2RS, NYC and Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is designed with special emphasis in the agricultural value chain, focusing on processing and marketing of crops and vegetable produce by young people especially those in rural areas as a model in the fight against poverty and unemployment.
Speaking at the event, Dr Amina Sillah, chief executive officer, GYIN International based in Washington said Global youth network is nine years old and they have about eight thousand young members.
She pointed out that at global level, “we try to allow local chapters to do their work independently. We need to actually change the mindset of young people about agriculture.”
She added: “If you are in a process of starting a business talk to one of us you can have your business look at, if you are in a space that you want to have scale up your businesses talk to one of us we can actually help you scale up that business”.
“If you talk about value addition it is a game changer as far as agriculture is concern. Don’t be afraid to fail it is through failure that you will learn”, she said.
Also speaking at the event, Banki Njie, business development officer, Nema Project, said their activities are aligned to make sure that youths are engaged in sustainable and viable ventures.
“We want to do everything with time to make sure young people’s mindsets are developed; develop their leadership skills, as well as their entrepreneurial skills to able to take on whatever venture they want to take on to live for themselves and the community and the country at large,” he said.
Raymond Musa, Project manager, Youth Empowerment Project, said YEP is a project that is funded by the European Union under the ministry of trade and the ministry of youth and sports.
“It is implemented by the International Trade and we are focusing on market led approaches to create income and create opportunities for young Gambians,” he added.
In his welcoming remarks, the executive director, GYIN Gambia Mamadou Edrissa Njie, said: “We will make sure that after the ELIT we will develop a system whereby we will be tracking the performance of the ELIT participants for a period of two years. After tracking them for two years, the results will be shared with the donors.”