Founding of Touba Peche: a brave step for more opportunities
Fact is that industrial-style fishing with huge international trawlers along the coast of Senegal has devastating effects on the fish stocks and fishermen alike. Unemployment and poverty have become a huge problem. This is why many Senegalese, especially the younger ones, decide to seek their fortunes in foreign countries. In 2004, after 15 years as a fisherman, Momo Mbaye seized an opportunity and migrated to Spain.
He settled down in Madrid, where he climbed the ladder from kitchen hand to chef and was able to make a decent living. But the economic crisis destroyed his plans for the future. ‘Many restaurants had to close down. A friend of mine in Germany told me that there was work available in his country. I made my way to Berlin in February of 2012.’
Building on the experience he collected in Spain, Mbaye started to cook again, among other places in the kitchen of a preschool. Once life had settled down a bit, an idea his brother Pape came up with a long time ago popped back up in his mind. Why shouldn’t it be possible to import fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal to Germany, rather than Spain? ‘The idea didn’t sound too bad’, Mbaye remembers, ‘but setting up a real company was quite a challenge.’ Among the necessary preparations was a seminar for company founders, a training course for food safety and handling at the local chamber of trade and commerce. And, last but not least: paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. Permits, registrations, certificates.
Touba Peche, whose first name honours the holy Muslim city of Touba in Senegal and last name resembles the French word for “fish”, started in March 2016.