A young Gambian banker and accountant has branded personal finance as a life skill which everyone needs to understand. “This is because everyone earns or plans to earn some income. You need to understand savings, investment, budgeting, retirement and even estate management,” he told the Daily Observer in a recent interview.
Ebrima B Sawaneh uses the world’s growing technological advancement to inspire young Gambians to be entrepreneurial. He uses his blog called Business-in-Gambia, to educate his targeted young people and small and medium enterprises on personal finance or small business management.
Born in Saruja village in the Central River Region, Sawaneh is currently working for Africa, through a Lagos-based infrastructure financial institution and publishes weekly articles on his blog: www.businessingambia.com with a target to increase financial literacy to support young entrepreneurs in The Gambia.
He said he is passionate about knowledge sharing, particularly with young people. He said currently, he does not know of any formal institution that educates our future leaders about personal finance. He also observed that most young entrepreneurs cannot afford business related courses.
A Fellow of ACCA and graduate of MBA Finance from the Herriot Watt University and BSc. (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, Sawaneh said if there is a simpler way to increase employment in any country, his candid advice would be to increase financial awareness and entrepreneurship mindset of the citizens. “This will improve economic growth and individual wellbeing,” he added.
In April 2015, the young Gambian banker delivered a presentation on personal finance to a group of students at The University of The Gambia and following the event, he started thinking about a special knowledge sharing platform that will allow him to reach more Gambians. “This was how Gambia’s first business and finance website was registered in May 2015 and went live in June of the same year,” he said.
The blog site can be visited and subscribed by anyone interested free of charge, with a welcome gift in a form of eBook. “The book explained the seven key steps to start a successful business. We have over 1,800 email subscribers.”
Sawaneh said he does not face any major issues but he will be happy if other Gambians can share their knowledge with his readers, saying this year, he intends to reach 11,000 site visitors compared to 5,000 in 2015.
by Amadou Jallow