By Aisha Tamba
A regional skills training programme for 933 youths in the Greater Banjul Area was last week launched.
It was launched at the National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions (NAccug) offices in Bakau.
It was launched by GIZ International Services, a German agency for development cooperation, within the framework of the EU-funded Tekki Fii project.
The programme seeks to help young Gambians see the benefits of choosing to ‘Make It Here’ – or Tekki Fii in Wolof – by tapping into economic opportunities in the country rather than embarking on perilous sea journeys to reach Europe in search of “so-called greener pastures”.
GIZ International Services Executive Director of Operations, Christian Kushnl, said that the ‘Tekki Fii’ project is committed to addressing the challenges of youth unemployment in The Gambia.
“With over 5,000 young people to be trained in just three years, our common task is not an easy one. We do not want to limit ourselves to the training alone, we want to ensure that each one of them finds access to the labour market or becomes self-employed,” he stated.
The executive director of the National Youth Council, Lamin Darboe, expressed delight and said the programme is “perfectly aligned” with National Development Plan (NDP), and that it “has come with fresh hopes for youths of The Gambia”.
“Tekki Fii project translates our vision of a better future for youths of this country into concrete actions such as skills training in a variety of market-relevant trades, and supporting the youths to create and even expand their businesses,” the executive director noted.
Stephane Meert, first councillor, head of cooperation, Delegation of the EU to The Gambia, highlighted the overall objective of Tekkiv Fii, whicch is to contribute to the socio-economic development and nurture positive prospects for youths and returning migrants.
“We have mandated GIZ International Services to implement this project as a direct contribution to the employment of youths in the Greater Banjul Area as well as those in the lower and upper regions.”
The project hopes to train Gambian youths on skills and business development and is currently working with Ida’s Fashion Design Training Institution, GTMI, Insight Training Centre, Sterling Consortium, Presidents’ International Award, Chamer Training Institute, Vicky’s Skills Training Centre, Nova Scotia Association, GCCI, GIEPA, Start-up Incubator, Global Youth Innovation Network, and others.