By Olimatou Coker
Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce in partnership with MoTIE and UNDP under entrepreneurship and private sector development project, through the National Youth Council, has held 7 days training for 25 young entrepreneurs on packaging.
The theme of the training is “how to improve and enhance business start-ups and create market linkages for supply.”
The training aims to build their capacity in product packaging and branding to enable them to compete in the local and international market.
Speaking, Basiru B. Secka, Ministry of Trade, described the training as very important.
According to him, the key findings of the survey showed that The Gambia has a population of 2.3 million people, of which 59.6% are youth. The national unemployment rate is 41.5%, the youth unemployment rate is 35.2%, whilst youth that are not employed, not in education, and not in training (NEET) is 56.8%.
He added that there are 54% of youth residing in the urban area that is NEET and 45.9% are in the rural area. “These findings are disturbing and alarming”.
Secka also said that entrepreneurship has great potential in addressing unemployment issues in the country.
“GYCC, National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), President’s International Award (PIA) among others with training initiatives have brought a great number of youth enterprises into the country”.
Secka assured GYCC of the ministry’s full support to the attainment of the set goals and objectives, and the doors of the project are open for any support when the need arises.
Baboucarr Kebbeh, the CEO of GYCC, said if entrepreneurs are exporting there is a need for them to understand packaging requirements and the information needed on their products.
He also said these participants will further take part in the upcoming trade fair and coaching program to help sustain their businesses and leverage on existing AFCFTA opportunities.
He added that the training is meant to support youth on packaging training to ensure understanding laws and regulations guiding the principles of packaging and fundamentals around packaging.
“We are training 25 young entrepreneurs which 60% of them are all from the rural Gambia”.
Ismaila Sambou, GYCC board president, advised youths to focus to attain their development goals.
He called on the young entrepreneurs to speed up their works to start exporting big products to the wider world.
Omar Bah, representative of NYC, urged all the participants to take the training seriously, and go home well equipped on how to do packaging to be able to market their products in a very easy way.