The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is committed to equipping youths with the necessary skills to improve their businesses and the tools to put in practice this drive. In collaboration with The Gambia Telecommunications and Multi Media Institute (GTMI) and Sterling Consortium, 168 young people benefitted from intensive trainings in areas such as solar installation, CCTV installation and programming, satellite installation and programming, and mobile and laptop repairs. The trainings which were fully-funded by YEP aim at complementing the national effort in reducing the youth unemployment gap. YEP acknowledges the crucial role young people play in the socio-economic advancement of the country. Hence investing in their growth to improve their lives and livelihood is paramount to attaining the set out National Development Plan by the government. It is in this vein, that equipment worth D1.5 Million financed by YEP was on 30th January 2019 handed over to the 168 trained youth to support their entrepreneurial journey. In a colourful ceremony held at the GTMI grounds in kanifing, the minister of Youth and Sports, the EU delegation to The Gambia Head of Coorporation, the YEP Project Manager, the acting Director of GTMI and trainees were present amongst others.

The acting director of GTMI and CEO of Sterling Consortium both commended YEP for funding the training highlighting the importance of skills development and on the job training in creating start-ups and increasing the employability of the trainees. ‘’We are committed to unlocking the potentials of young people by creating job opportunities throughout the country’’ said Raimund Moser, YEP Project Manager. ‘’This is why we have these trainings and other opportunities available for youth in different parts of the country.

The Head of Cooperation at the EU delegation in The Gambia Stephane Meert highlighted the importance of the partnership between the government of The Gambia and the EU. ‘’The EU in Collaboration with the government of The Gambia is rolling out a new programme called Tekki Fii – Make it Here which seeks to create economic opportunities for young people to make it in The Gambia’’ he said.

The honourable Minister of Youth and Sports in his keynote statement urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the amazing opportunity and grow their businesses. ‘’The handing over of these equipment will avail you the trainees, the opportunity to start your entrepreneurial journey with no hassle. The Youth Empowerment Project has made this journey easy for you by funding your training and providing equipment so make good use of it’’ he said.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was a testimony from one of the trainees, Kekuta Manneh who spoke about the impact the training had on his life. ‘’Prior to the training, I had no skill and no source of income. Through the intervention of YEP, I have a skill and a means to earn an income of no less than D1500 per day. I have employed 2 young people and have 5 more on training with me’’. The Handing over of equipment is part of YEP’s efforts in supporting viable and sustainable job opportunities to young people through skills development. This is envisaged to create more jobs for the young men and women in the country to effectively contribute to national development.

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