Jul 1, 2008, 4:18 AM
The Gambia Priority Employment Programme (Gamjobs) yesterday began a two-day workshop for employment networking, dialogue and action (PENDA).
PENDA is a partnership framework of state and non-state actors that will engage in a process of permanent dialogue in building coherent positions on mainstreaming employment.
It comprises two distinct networks including the state actors network for employment (SANE) and the employment network of non-state actors (ENNSA).
In her opening remarks at the Baobab Holiday Resort, Naffie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, informed the participants that a study had been done on issues related to employment and decent work prior to the establishment of PENDA.
According to her, PENDA seeks to establish a structured mechanism for systematic consultation and dialogue between state and non-state actors on issues related to employment and decent work.
“Secondly, the initiative is aimed at influencing macro-economic and sectoral policy making and monitoring with focus on mainstreaming employment,” says Mrs Barry.
Thirdly, she added, PENDA promotes inclusive and active participation on non-state actors in the identification, formulation, implementation and monitoring, impact assessment of national programmes and initiatives to ensure coherence with the country’s employment policy.
For his part, Mamadou Touray, an expert from the UNDP, described the event as timely and relevant. “Today marks another milestone in employment mainstreaming,” he says, adding that despite that some achievements have been registered, more still needs to be done in employment mainstreaming.
“Unemployment should be tackled in all sectors; these will go a long way in preparing the state actors network for employment and the employment network of non-state actors,” he said.
He also highlighted some achievements registered by Gambjobs since its creation, such as the training of young people and creating job opportunities for them.
“Partnerships have been created with municipal authorities to impact skills in youth,” Mr Touray says.