By Ndey Sowe
Women and Girls Empowerment Initiative under the leadership of Rohey Malick Lowe, the Mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC) has on Thursday 28th February, 2019 handed over the sum of ten million dalasis (10,000,000.00) to the committee overseeing the fund.
In a programme held at the Guaranty Trust Bank, at the Independence Drive Branch in Banjul, Modou Lamin Bah, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Women And Girls Initiative, who also doubles as BBC’S PRO said this initiative was a campaign promise by the mayor, and is meant to empower all women and girls in Banjul.
He made it clear that the D10,000,00.00 is sourced from Rohey Malick Lowe, the Mayor of BCC. He added that the initiative will help women in business in terms of finance, which will be given to them as loans, which will be payable within 3 months of the disbursement, so that others can also benefit from it.
“This initiative is going to be an initiative by example,” he said.
Bah said the mayor of BCC has set up a technical/ management committee that will be responsible for the management of the fund. The committee is tasked to come up with a training programme on entrepreneurship skills for the beneficiaries before disbursing the funds to them.
Groups that have registered under the initiative will fill a form to be reviewed by the committee to know the amount that they will disburse to them.
Bah averred that the mayor has said that the initiative is apolitical, because 90% of the CBOs are not with her political party; that the mayor’s concern is the women and girls of Banjul.
According to Bah, their target is 25 groups for a start, which he believes is a good figure. He added that the women groups have less than 100 members.
He concluded by saying that all applicants will bring along their tin numbers, bank accounts, ID cards, among others for qualification before any disbursement, and the committee will be there to help the groups.
Rohey Malick Lowe stressed that the initiative is apolitical.
“This has nothing to do with politics, it was a campaign trail promised to support women and girls empowerment, which I am fulfilling today”, she said.
Mr. Adesina Adebesin, managing director, Guaranty Trust Bank who spoke at length on the initiative, assured the committee that is overseeing these funds and the mayor, that the bank will provide utmost customer and over sight advisory services for the successful implementation of this scheme.
“Madam Lord Mayor, with our 16 branches nationwide, the beneficiaries to this initiative can work into any branch to carry out their transactions”, he noted.
Other speakers include Makumba Sanneh campaign manager and Awa Njie representative of the women.