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The EU, ITC, and Gambia Government have launched an $11.8 million Youth Empowerment Program

by Milicent Atieno
The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project’

The European Union, International Trade Centre, and Gambia Government have partnered in a youth empowerment initiative. That will pump $11.8 funding into the Gambia economy with the aim of creating jobs and supporting entrepreneurship hustle across the country.

The funds are being channeled through ‘The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project’ is a four years program that will be targeting promising sectors of the economy. That have the capacity for long-term competitiveness and viability.

This program’s approach will be market-driven. Thus, it will focus on building specific skills in the Gambian youths. Skills that are currently in demand, especially in traditionally competitive sectors of the economy such as tourism and agriculture.

The program will liaise with partners such as trade-support institutions, entrepreneurs incubation centers, and industry associations in both the urban and rural setups to reach the youths. The program will also give support to existing technical and vocational skills training centers around the country. A move meant to better match skills being nurtured in the youths with the business markets.

Today’s launch of the Youth Empowerment Project marks another building block to the construction of the New Gambia. One that will have youth, job creation, and trade as its core element,” said Arancha Gonzalez, the Executive Director at ITC.

Trade will play a crucial role in achieving this and ITC is looking forward to working with the Gambian government, businesses, trade, and investment support institutions to ensure that more jobs and opportunities are created for youth and entrepreneurs; and especially companies run by women.”

The program is targeting to have at least 7,000 youths take technical and vocational training courses or apprenticeship, and at least another cohort of 8,000 youth receive entrepreneurship services. Services such as business advisory support from experienced and skilled entrepreneurs or professionals. They will also have access to funds.

The program is also looking to diversify Gambia’s economy, moving it away from heavy reliance on tourism and agriculture. By opening up new unexploited sectors of the economy and hopefully boost the country’s GDP.

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