By Arfang M.S. Camara
Winners of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) Mayor’s “Tekki Fii Andandorr Challenge” were on Tuesday awarded D1 million at a presentation held at the KMC Hall.
The one-million-dalasi fund for young entrepreneurs was launched to tackle issues relating to covid -19 in The Gambia.
The EU funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), in partnership with the Lord Mayor of KMC, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, and the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) set up a million-dalasi fund to sponsor solutions to help overcome difficulties posed by Covid-19.
The fund will support innovative young entrepreneurs who have developed smart and effective business solutions that tackle socio-economic challenges caused by covid-19 and help The Gambia’s economy to adapt and recover.
The three winners were: Gisqo; Outboost Media and Analytics; and Le Jumbo. They each received D313, 000, 429, 000 and 257, 500 respectively.
Speaking during the presentation, the EU ambassador to The Gambia, Attila Lajos stated that the KMC mayor’s challenge is a great initiative to tackle some of the challenges by developing concrete solutions and providing seed capital to implement them.
“More than ever, partnership is essential in this time of crisis,” he said. Stating further,“the more we work together, the better we will weather the crisis”.
He added that the EU supported the initiative based on the objective to identify very concrete issues that could hamper the socio-economic development in the municipality, whether they are related to the closure of markets or schools. The proposals provided a good glimpse into the issues encountered by KMC residents and visitors alike.
Ambasador Lajos stated that “the initiative supports and empowers the local private sector to be first responders in this crisis. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers by trade. They are uniquely positioned to develop solutions that are not just efficient and effective, but also sustainable.
He added that “we need a thriving private sector to achieve the objectives of socioeconomic development as envisage in the NDP,”
He concluded by expressing confidence that the solutions that have been selected will be instrumental in addressing the issues identified in Kanifing Municipality.
For his part, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council, said his council is committed to stopping the spread of the coronavirus and mitigating the impacts of the global pandemic on the livelihood of residents.
“I encourage all those who applied for the fund to continue working on their ideas and business plans to take a step toward overcoming the hurdles placed before you and continue to strive for your goals. Our municipality needs your ideas and leadership to solve the problems of today and tomorrow”, he told applicants.
Mayor Bensouda thanked those who made the project possible, including EU Ambassador to The Gambia, International Trade Centre and The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as members of the selection committee.
“Together, we can stop the spread of covid-19 and mitigate its impact on the economy of KM’’, he concluded.