After five years of unlocking employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for thousands of young Gambians, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Tekki Fii (Make it in The Gambia) Project comes to an end.

At its closing ceremony on 18 November 2022 in Banjul, ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo said: “The Tekki Fii Programme is a formidable example of collaboration. The results were possible thanks to 40 partnerships with national implementing partners. They range from training institutions to business support organizations, regulators, private sector associations and businesses, all working together for the same objective under the leadership and support of our government counterparts.”

Under ITC’s Youth Empowerment Project (2017-2022), Tekki Fii created business and skill-building opportunities for young Gambians in a variety of sectors, especially in rural areas. It was an initiative of the Government of The Gambia supported by the European Union (EU).

With the goal to leave no one behind and prevent irregular migration by creating quality jobs at home, the project helped create over 9,500 jobs, trained almost 7,500 youth and gave almost 1,000 youth access to finance, disbursing over GMD 100 million ($1,600,000), among other achievements.

These results were achieved with the help of implementing partners GIZ (the German Agency for International Cooperation), Instituto Marquês de Valle Flôr from Portugal, and the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel.

At the closing ceremony, the President of the Republic of The Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow, said: “We have made important gains since 2017, and the results achieved under the Tekki Fii Project are a clear manifestation of this. I am inspired by the stories and results we have heard today. It gives us renewed hope and perspective and strengthens our belief in the potential of our youth – and in our country, The Gambia.”

Launching a new National Employment Policy

At the event, President Barrow used the opportunity to launch the country’s New National Employment Policy and Action Plan 2022-2026. The policy will pursue various strategies to tackle the country’s youth unemployment challenges, using the private sector as the engine of growth. It will:

  • Enhance employable skills and competencies by linking education and skills development to labour market needs.
  • Promote entrepreneurship and access to finance for youth, women and persons with disabilities.
  • Accelerate the growth of small businesses and support formalization.
  • Integrate employment issues in macroeconomic policies and investment strategies.
  • Improve data and coordination among sectors and institutions, including the Labour Market and Migration Information System.

The Policy targets the creation of 150,000 jobs by 2026.

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