Gambian youth entrepreneurship project wraps after creating 10,000 jobs

Gambian youth entrepreneurship project wraps after creating 10,000 jobs

Gambian youth entrepreneurship project wraps after creating 10,000 jobs

Gambian youth entrepreneurship project wraps after creating 10,000 jobs

ITC’s Tekki Fii Project in The Gambia – targeting job creation for young people – comes to a close; focus now shifts to promoting sustainable tourism and creative industries.

After five years of unlocking employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for thousands of young Gambians, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Tekki Fii (Make it in The Gambia) Project comes to an end.

At its closing ceremony on 18 November 2022 in Banjul, ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo said: “The Tekki Fii Programme is a formidable example of collaboration. The results were possible thanks to 40 partnerships with national implementing partners. They range from training institutions to business support organizations, regulators, private sector associations and businesses, all working together for the same objective under the leadership and support of our government counterparts.”

Under ITC’s Youth Empowerment Project (2017-2022), Tekki Fii created business and skill-building opportunities for young Gambians in a variety of sectors, especially in rural areas. It was an initiative of the Government of The Gambia supported by the European Union (EU).

With the goal to leave no one behind and prevent irregular migration by creating quality jobs at home, the project helped create over 9,500 jobs, trained almost 7,500 youth and gave almost 1,000 youth access to finance, disbursing over GMD 100 million ($1,600,000), among other achievements.

These results were achieved with the help of implementing partners GIZ (the German Agency for International Cooperation), Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr from Portugal, and the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel.

At the closing ceremony, the President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow, said: “We have made important gains since 2017, and the results achieved under the Tekki Fii Project are a clear manifestation of this. I am inspired by the stories and results we have heard today. It gives us renewed hope and perspective and strengthens our belief in the potential of our youth – and in our country, The Gambia.”

Launching a new National Employment Policy

At the event, President Barrow used the opportunity to launch the country’s New National Employment Policy and Action Plan 2022-2026. The policy will pursue various strategies to tackle the country’s youth unemployment challenges, using the private sector as the engine of growth. It will:

  • Enhance employable skills and competencies by linking education and skills development to labour market needs.
  • Promote entrepreneurship and access to finance for youth, women and persons with disabilities.
  • Accelerate the growth of small businesses and support formalization.
  • Integrate employment issues in macroeconomic policies and investment strategies.
  • Improve data and coordination among sectors and institutions, including the Labour Market and Migration Information System.

The Policy targets the creation of 150,000 jobs by 2026.

Focusing on tourism, creative industries

The Youth Empowerment Project, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, is set to continue supporting Gambian youth.

Under the new EU Multi-Annual Indicative Programme, the EU, Gambian government and ITC are working on a successor programme.

The goal is to generate green growth and sustainable jobs in The Gambia’s tourism sector and creative industries, with a focus on small business competitiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability.

Activities will contribute to diversifying tourism offerings and focusing on sustainable and inclusive products, such as nature-based, river-based, adventure, cultural or community-based tourism.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTC) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) will work with ITC to create jobs in these sectors, particularly for women and youth, and continue to address the root causes of irregular migration and offer support to returning migrants.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Trade Centre.