By Olimatou Coker
The National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) recently wrapped up a 20-day training for 85 women and youth entrepreneurs on agro-entrepreneurship.
The training was courtesy of a funding from the EU/TEKKIFII Project implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), held at the Rural Development Institute (RDI) in Mansakonko, LRR.
The training was meant to enhance the skills of 85 women and youths within the LRR on food processing and entrepreneurship. It also strengthened the participants’ skills in processing pepper sauce, mango juice and complementary food.
On his view about the training, the General Manager of NEDI, Mr. Abass Bah, stated that the training was in line with his institution’s mandate to provide young people with entrepreneurial skills and opportunities needed to create business enterprises for employment creation.
He thanked GIZ for supporting the Gambia Government’s economic and social development agenda.
Mr. Bah said: “This training has the potential to transform not only the lives of the beneficiaries, but also has great potentials to transform the entire agricultural landscape for food security and employment creation for young people.”
The Gambia is experiencing wastage of produce and influx of similar products from neighboring countries, Mr. Bah stated.
He also challenged the trainees to make the best use of the skills and knowledge gained, adding that this will not only help the trainees bridge the unemployment gap in the country, but will reposition the country significantly in the global economy.
“We are indeed glad to state that the concluded training was a huge success simply because four cohorts were trained within 20 days. Each of the cohorts spent five days intensively. The training modules were on entrepreneurship and food processing. Additionally, modules on business concept, marketing and general entrepreneurship were taught,” Mr. Bah stated.
For his part, the deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sutay Jawo also challenged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the knowledge gained in the course of the training. He accentuated that the government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports is committed to fostering the development of youth businesses.
He also reminded the beneficiaries that they are privilege to be chosen among many youths in their communities, noting that they should always endeavor to live by example.
Also speaking at the training, the representative of GIZ, Mr. Yaya Touray, who doubles as a monitoring and evaluation officer, challenged the participants to translate that they were taught during the training into practice.
He disclosed that GIZ is committed to supporting trainees, saying that the training will be followed by six month business advisory services mentoring for each of the trainees to guide them through for the sustainability of their business.
He also said that micro-processing centres will be established and equipped across the four districts of LRR for the trainees to use, stating that this will immensely help to create more jobs for women and youth trained.