By Aisha Tamba
The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Giepa) in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) on Thursday launched the ‘Andandorr’ ecosystem customer relationship management.
Held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, the event was attended by entrepreneurs, CSOs and government officials.
The goal of the Andandorr system is to create an ecosystem-wide tracking mechanism of entrepreneurs, their needs, support received to date, and progresses made based on the different interventions from business society organisations.
Ousainou Senghore, CEO of Giepa, said the initiative will reduce overlaps, duplication, monitoring, and evaluating entrepreneurs’ development, programmes and guide government policy towards harnessing the potential entrepreneurship skills in The Gambia.
The EU representative, Ridwane Abdul Rahman said the European Union is a strong supporter of the private sector’s development.
“We believe in the power of entrepreneurship to solve problems and create wealth for individuals and for the society at large,” he said.
He added that the EU has supported entrepreneurship and business development through the Youth Empowerment Project, (YEP).
“In 2018, we launched the ‘Tekki Fii’ programme. To date, YEP alone has supported more than 3,500 young Gambians through entrepreneurship support including training, coaching, and business development. In addition, more than 400 young entrepreneurs benefitted from grants and small loans. Together, the grants and loans supported more than 1,500 jobs.”
Trade minister Seedy Keita said the programmes seeks to support government efforts in creating sustainable enterprises to spur employment and wealth creation as enshrined in the National Development Plan.
“The pilot phase of the Andandorr programme targeted support to 100 entrepreneurs in a one-year accelerator programme which includes tailored business support services, industry-specific technical and financial support, market linkages and other customised support coupled with coaching and mentorship from both local and global business leaders,” minister Keita said.