Union funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and the National Association of
Co- Operative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG), Friday launched a project
called “Tekki Fii,” Make it in The Gambia; a grant to scale up youth
entrepreneurship in The Gambia.
Held at the National Association of Co- Operative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG) in Bakau, Tekki Fii is an EU funded project, aimed at supporting youth from ages 18-35 with new existing business struggling with finance in The Gambia. The project is a three-year programme to improve the economic development and future prospects for young Gambians.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to The Gambia, Attila Lajos said some months ago, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and its partners launched the mini grant scheme to allow young Gambians who acquired relevant knowledge to get startups and get their ideas off the ground.
“The mini grant quickly became a popular support measure for young Gambian grass root entrepreneurs. Most importantly, it has also proven to be an effective development tool.”
Lamin Jobe, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment said the key objectives of Gambia government’s National Development Plan is the creation of jobs, in particular, quality jobs for young Gambians.
He revealed the 2018 labour force shows that youth employment is 41.5%. “Moreover, we have also established that 54% of our youth in the urban areas and 45.9% in the rural areas are Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET).”
Minister Jobe said there is need to invest in young people to acquire market- oriented skills, saying the investment should be focused on relevant, quality and accessible technical and vocational skills training to ensure that young Gambians are ready for the job market.
Foday Sanyang, General Manager of National Association of Co- Operative Credit Unions of the Gambia (NACCUG) said young peoples’ embarking on a perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek greener pasture in Europe have caused serious setbacks in the past.
He said the journey has cost Africa huge losses as too many of the youths have tragically drowned at sea.
Hadrammeh Sidibeh, Minister of Youth and Sports said the frustrations and lack of opportunities for young people is the most urgent priority for the government.
“It has driven thousands of young people to undertake the risky journey across the Mediterranean Sea in search for a better future.”
He said the back way journey –irregular migration- has brought loss of lives and great suffering for youths and society as a whole.