By Tabora Bojang
The newly elected chairman of Mansa Konko Area Council, Landing B Sanneh, has revealed plans to bolster the creative and innovative capacities of young people of the region into ways that are relevant to employability through entrepreneurship and capacity building. Sanneh said this will remedy the alarmingly high youth migration which continues to hamper the area.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Friday Standard, Sanneh said encouraging and harnessing the innovative spirit of young people through entrepreneurship is particularly important in addressing the development challenges of the region notably unemployment and rural-urban migration.
”My plan is to reposition the region by developing the youth sector through entrepreneurship engagement and capacity development as well as supporting and promoting small scale businesses among women and youth, so that we can remedy the ratio of youth migration in the region because this is one region hardest hit by irregular migration,” Sanneh, a certified Commonwealth Youth Entrepreneurship trainer said.
According to the former National Enterprise Development Initiative (Nedi) boss, this would effectively address the poverty level of the people as “LRR is highly underdeveloped and poverty is well rooted in the people”, which contribute to an alarming rural-urban drift.
He continued: ”So many youths have migrated from the region since there is no meaningful economic engagement that will contribute towards improving the livelihood of the people. Therefore, my concentration is to focus on all these areas so that we are repositioned among the regions and move away from being an underdog, to a well-positioned and sound enterprising region.”
Sanneh, 45, said the strategic location of his region offers a huge opportunity for it to be highly placed on the map as one of the potential regions for either cross-border trade or small business cooperation given that it harbours the main international transit centre of the country linking Soma, Guinea Bissau, Casamance and other parts of Senegal.
The Kiang Jataba native who has a wealth of experience in on-the-job training in the spheres of youth development and entrepreneurship further said as highlighted in his election campaign manifesto, he will endeavour to attract big investors through allocating them land to set up industries or housing schemes, which will boost the image of the region.
He also vowed to work with the members of opposing political camps for the development of the region.
”I have worked in four administrative regions of The Gambia and this has given me good experience and knowledge of the country and the people especially the young. We have a very flexible and open-door policy and this is a region that we all own and belong to. So we will not exclude anyone from the process to develop the region. We plan to bring everybody on board to achieve our objectives for the region,” he concluded.