Speaking at the Youth Entrepreneurship Week organised by AmCham Gambia in collaboration with the US Embassy and Voluntary Services Overseas at Relax Sahel on Thursday, Richard Yoneoka, US charge d’affaires said: “The US Embassy has received 150,000 dollars to launch a start-up incubator programme to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to become established and grow in The Gambia. The programme is designed to support the successful development of young Gambian entrepreneurs. We selected AmCham to carry out this programme and help empower Gambian youths to reach their full business potentials. Through this programme, AmCham will train youths across all five regions and deliver specialised support in technical, mentorship, business development and access to finance to the top 15 entrepreneurs. I would like to congratulate AmCham president [Abdoulie Touray], chief executive officer [Kebba Njie] and Alieu Jallow for your hard and dedication to seeing this programme through. Through the partnership of the United State government and stakeholders, I believe we can greatly alleviate poverty in The Gambia.
“One of the main themes at the US-African leaders summit was the African Growth and Opportunity Act. It continues to be the primary vehicle for African countries to take advantage of US markets and preferential trade provisions. If you are looking to take advantage of AGOA’s opportunities, you need a solid business plan and a proven model of business at home. We are pleased that the West African trade hub in Dakar is now back up and running with funding from USAID. Our embassy is inviting consultants from the trade hub to hold sector-specific workshops here to focus on key industries for export, such as seafood and fisheries. The embassy will be closely working with AmCham and the Government of The Gambia to make this happen.”
Kebba Njie, chief executive officer, said Gambian youths need mindset development to embrace entrepreneurship practice. He stated that the business environment in the country is viable and offers opportunities galore for young people.
“We have seen the need to empower young people to develop business mindsets because we believe that entrepreneurship should not be viewed as second option in career development. Young people in this country have been lucky to have the opportunities and options in a business environment that is promising. This is also an environment that is driven by private sector initiatives and supported by policy frameworks conducive to a business friendly set-up. We have so many success stories in business to be proud of and share in this country and we at AmCham will continue to support the youth to enable them become successful. We would like to thank our partners especially the United States Embassy for its tireless efforts to empower young people in The Gambia.”]]>