The GCCI in partnership with Gaye Njorro Foundation for the Empowerment of The Youth (GNF) are working together through the EU funded project- “Promoting Investments in Culture, Creative Arts and Sports to Enhance Resilience against Climate Change in Local Communities” to promote the handicraft sector in The Gambia.
Between the 8th and 12th of March 2021, a field assessment took place in The Gambia, with Mr. Pedro Alegria, a handicraft expert from the EU and local handicraft players across the country.
A workshop with owners of handicraft enterprises was held in Basse on the 9th of March and at Kerr Jula, GCCI on the 12th of March. Field visits were also conducted at handicraft production sites in Basse, Janjanbureh and Bakau craft market as part of Mr. Alegria’s mission. These activities helped in better assessing the crafts ecosystem as a step towards developing a project-based training program that will bring together craftsmen and innovators, aiming to create new handicrafts products for the European market.
Amongst the challenges faced by producers of handicraft included but not limited to inadequate financing, poor market access, lack of innovative products, etc. A key component of the project is to develop standards and work with the intellectual property office at the Ministry of Justice to improve the handicraft sector. The project team will also be working with the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) to accredit GNF as a handicraft centre. GNF currently trains youth especially young women in tailoring and garment construction, hairdressing, Arts and Craft, energy efficient skills and catering through its skills training centres in Brusubi, Farafenni and Soma .
The project will help to enhance the capabilities of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the handicraft sector, create job opportunities for young people and women and create access for ‘Made in Gambia’ products to the EU Market and beyond.