#Article (Archive)

Info. Minister says youth unemployment is a concern to gov’t

Nov 11, 2019, 2:43 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Ebrima Sillah, the minister of Information Communication and Infrastructure said the government of The Gambia is concerned about the issue of youth unemployment in country, saying they are working with partners to address it.

Minister Sillah was speaking yesterday, at the Coco Ocean Hotel during the opening of the “Gambia 2020 - Small Country, Great Potential” summit.

The forum was organised by the Israel Embassy in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, in Dakar. It brought together 30 young and promising Gambian Start-Ups to enhance their entrepreneurial mind-set and provide hands-on training in high impact entrepreneurship.

“The forum is an important event for the government of The Gambia because it is targeting the young people who form the majority in the country. Hence, they need support from the government and partners to harness their potentials in order to work in this country and deliver,” Minister Sillah said.

He said: “One important way to address youth unemployment is giving them the opportunity to harness their potentials and work in this country.”

Minister Sillah said sometimes young people find it difficult to sustain their business because of lack of mentorship and direction. “Therefore, this summit will not only mentor them but also introduce them to best practices so that they understand how to sustain business to inspire other youths.”

Claudiana Cole, the Minister of Education said considering that The Gambia has more than 60% youthful population, providing means to unlock their potentials is of ‘paramount’ significance.

“I have the conviction that the move by Konrad Adenauer Foundation to support young entrepreneurs with such opportunities will have great impact in unlocking their potentials so that they can positively contribute to their own as well as to national development.”

Thomas Volk, resident representative of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, said his foundation has been in the country since 2018, and working with the National Youth Council.

He said they are also working with GCCI on job creation and vocational training on start-up and ecosystem of young entrepreneurs in the Gambia, adding that they are also working with The Gambia Press Union.

“We are in The Gambia to support the new government in its on-going political transition after two decades of authoritarian regime.”

He said what they want is how they can support start-up young entrepreneurs to create their own job opportunity and give job opportunities to other young Gambians. “We want to bring together Gambian start-ups from different fields to get to know their experience so that they can move forward.”

Daniel Aschheim, deputy Israel Ambassador to The Gambia said they have learnt that Gambia is a small country that is resolved to invest its best efforts to take the country forward after many years of stagnation. “We, in Israel are ready to be there for you, as we were therefore for you since independence in 1965. We managed to send, for the first time, eleven Gambian graduate students in agriculture to a prestigious year-long learning by doing program on how to implement the newest technologies and methods in agriculture.”

He said they are happy to partner with Konrad Adenauer Foundation to create the ecosystem that is necessary for start-ups and entrepreneurship.