By Aisha Tamba
Stakeholders in the energy sector last week gathered for a day-long dialogue which seeks to bridge the gap between solar energy industry and Tvet institutions in The Gambia.
The dialogue was facilitated by the German agency for international cooperation, GIZ, within the EU-funded ‘Tekki Fii’ – or ‘Make it in The Gambia’ project.
The gathering also attempted to identify what is being invested and implemented in Tvet institutions to meet the needs of the energy sector.
GIZ International Services consultant, Rita Van Ban Berg, explained that the dialogue was aimed to develop an active joint plan between Tvet institutions and the energy sector.
“Solar energy is one of the sectors [in The Gambia] that is up and coming.
We are expecting more jobs to come there [in that sector] in the near future. that is why we need to prepare the students and also the industries for the jobs and the work that is coming ahead.
“At the moment there is a gap between the [energy] industry and the Tvet institutions, because the Tvet centers said the students are prepared and well educated but is difficult for them to get a job at the industries.
On the other hand, the industries sometimes complain that these students don’t learn what they need to know.
So, this is why it is important they speak to each other and get a proper idea of understanding each other’s needs,” she said.
A representative from the EU said the discourse will help young learners see the benefits of choosing to ‘Make It Here’ – or Tekki Fii in Wolof – by tapping economic opportunities in the country rather than going abroad through irregular migration in search of ‘so-called greener pastures’.
He added that the project is funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr (IMVF) and the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel.
“The project builds on existing EU-funded initiatives such as ITC’s Youth Empowerment Project (Yep) and the European Union-International Organisation for Migration (IOM),” he said.