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City of Banjul
Friday, November 27, 2020

Nigerian billionaire exposes Gambians to US$100M grant

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Abdoulie Baks Touray, president of the American Chamber of Commerce, who disclosed this on Monday, said Gambian entrepreneurs stand the chance of raking in 10,000 dollars (over 400,000 dalasi).

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The development economist was speaking during a daylong introductory seminar of the Boss business initiative at the Relax Sahel in Bijilo.

“We thought that this is a unique opportunity because the idea is to give out 10,000 dollars to anyone [Gambian] who comes out with an innovative [business] idea,” he said. The simple mantra is to create more entrepreneurs either at start-up or scale-up level.”

Mr Touray stated that the 100 million dollars pledge is to support Gambian and other African entrepreneurs to enhance competitiveness of the African private sector.

“We have done scoping studies and we have realised that over the last 30 years, governments have brought loads of projects including the Nema project and Fasdep projects but are dying,” he lamented adding: “but we have been able to lobby for 28 million dollars for Fasdep and now the project is running.”

Mr Touray also announced that the World Bank recently committed 70 million dollars to strengthen universities across Africa and The Gambia has been awarded three million dollars.  “We have Mahatma Ghandi University here and what we are trying to do is to train students in the area of entrepreneurship and other specialised areas. We count on each and everyone one of you to take advantage of that because we are trying to use our individual and collective competencies to make a difference.”

He said Amcham has also selected a young Gambian university graduate to become a replica of Mr Alieu Jallow who took part in a US-sponsored business competition and won over 6 million dalasi to start a youth incubator business programme in the country. “We have success stories on the home front an example of which is Mr Alieu Jallow and we want him [David Jeng] to replicate him. We don’t want the students to graduate and start chasing for jobs, rather we want them to come out and be creating jobs.”

Mr further revealed that a new initiative dubbed, ‘the Boss initiative’ has been launched which seeks to support 85 Gambians industrial estate and to add value to their property in the Greater Banjul Area. 

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