The Gambia: EU, ITC Launch US$11.8 Million Entrepreneurship Initiative

 

The European Union (EU), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Government of the Gambia have launched a US$11.8 million job and entrepreneurship initiative for Gambian youths.

Called The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project, it is funded under the European Emergency Trust Fund and will run for four years with the aim of strengthening the long-term competitiveness and viability of the country’s economy.

The initiative will take a market-driven approach, focusing on building specific skills among youth in a number of traditional sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

The skills-building projects will be held in urban and rural areas across the Gambia and will be implemented by partners such as trade-support institutions, industry associations and entrepreneurship incubators.

Also, the initiative will see existing technical and vocational skills programmes strengthened so as to better match the need of business and 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 González, ITC Executive Director.

She added, “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 initiative will see 7,000 youths complete technical or vocational training programme or an apprenticeship while at least 8,000 youths will receive entrepreneurship services – such as business advisory support and access to finance.

Among other things, the initiative will help diversify the Gambian economy by supporting the strengthening of ‘new’ sectors, including the creative and digital services industries.

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