By Landing Ceesay
The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) Tekkii Fii- make it in the Gambia project, concluded with thousands of youth beneficiaries.
Speaking at the occasion, Ulrike Ebeling, GIZ Regional Director said despite the constraints they faced, nothing could stop what she described as a “formidable” alliance of government, development and implementing partners.
“Together, we have not only proved that the Gambia’s youths can make it in their country. We also proved that through coordination, complementarity and cooperation, it’s also possible to create a conducive environment for the economic integration of youths, with greater impacts and greater chances for sustainability. Thanks to all of you, we proved that opportunities can be provided to the youths in this country to be successful: we proved that Gambian partners can use standards and approaches made in The Gambia, to help young Gambians to become successful in life and contribute to the socio-economic development of their country,” GIZ Regional Director Ebeling said.
Mod Secka, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education Research Sciences and Technology (MoHERST) said GIZ has been a very intense period that has seen a nationwide revival of the TVET sector.
“Our youths have greatly benefited from this Tekkii Fii project. We have seen how the acquisition of technical skills, combined with entrepreneurship training and provision of much-needed toolkits constitutes a precious formula that not only raises the level of employability of the youths but also accelerates their entry into the labour market,” MoHERST PS Secka said.
He said for the Gambia government, the Tekkii Fii project represents a particular strategic sector that has yielded and continues to yield significant responses to the burning issue of youth unemployment.
Meanwhile, some of the beneficiaries of the EU-GIZ Tekkii Fii project explained how the project transformed their lives.
“Before joining the EU-GIZ training programme, I was unemployed and had no current or savings account. Before finishing the training course, I started getting job opportunities and saving money. I started my own company and I have employed a total number of 12 people. Six people are currently on industrial attachment,” Omar Fatty, one of the beneficiaries of the project shared.
Hassan Khadra, also a beneficiary is preparing to attend International trade fairs, thanks to the tekkii fii project.
“Presently, I am to attend International trade fairs and I have been exporting my products to Italy, the USA, Senegal and England. All of these was made possible due to the EU-GIZ Tekkii Fii training I attended,” Hassan Khadra said.
Another beneficiary of the project, Christiana Jatta narrated how the project impacted her life.
“Before I was unemployed, I was just sitting at home with my two kids. It was difficult to pay for their school fees. But now I can feed my children,” she said.
The Tekki Fii programme aims to improve the economic development and prospects of the Gambia’s youth, including returnee migrants, by promoting attractive employment and income opportunities; with the objective to support the Government to boost economic development with a focus on generating training, entrepreneurship, employment and access to finance opportunities for Gambians.
The European Union funded project was implemented by the GIZ International service.
Since its inception in the Gambia in 2018, 1268 youths have undergone a 6-9 months skills training programme with 3 months industrial attachment.
310 youths from rural areas have completed practical agro-based apprenticeship training; more than 1000 young entrepreneurs have received a grant or a start-up kit, and 410 secondary school students have undergone career guidance and counselling, among others.
The EU-GIZ project formally ended on Tuesday 12th October 2021 at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre.