By Omar Bah
The chief executive officer of the Mansakonko Area Council, Pa Ceesay has acknowledged the National Enterprise Development Initiative’s commitment towards addressing the needs and aspirations of the country’s youth.
Speaking at the opening of a five-day business plan development clinic organised by NEDI at the Rural Development Institute in Mansakonko, Lower River Region recently, CEO Ceesay said NEDI is not only building the capacity of young people but also enabling them to become self-reliant through entrepreneurship.
“I must admit that NEDI is on course and on a very firm footing in empowering youth since its establishment in 2004,” he said.
He said NEDI has organized series of similar convergence since 2015 and trained more than 200 youth in similar disciplines.
“All geared towards helping youth to develop their business plans as well as establish their various investments,” he said.
He challenged participants to take the opportunity and come up with winning business plans as principal output of the clinic with the help of their mentors and trainers.
The NEDI general manager, Landing B Sanneh said the business plan clinic for 20 youth is meant to equip them with bankable business planning skills for their various businesses.
He said the clinic is funded by Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), a European Union funded project to curb youth irregular migration in The Gambia.
“This is the first batch of 40 young entrepreneurs who will be benefiting from this clinic in the coming days. The idea of organizing such training came in 2015 when we realized that despite having a lot of young people trained on entrepreneurship, we still lack the capacity to develop business plans,” he said.
He added that the clinic is not just a training program, “but as they are trained they are also introduced to doing it themselves practically.”
As stakeholders, he said their main role is to create the enabling environment for young people, but to capitalize on those opportunities created lies in the hands of the youth.
Meanwhile, the lead trainer Ousman Sonko said the success of young people totally lies on capacity building.
He added that there are lots of gains that have been registered since the training started in 2015.