At least 7,000 Gambian youths will receive free technical and vocational training as part of a €11 million project launched on Thursday by Dr. Isatou Touray, Minister of Trade and Employment.
The project will help avert Gambians from illegally migrating to Europe. Proportionally, the Gambia has the third largest arrivals to Europe by sea.
The project funded by the EU and the International Trade Center seeks to reduce poverty, promote equitable, inclusive and sustainable development in The Gambia.
It will provide entrepreneurship services – such as business advisory support and access to finance – for at least 8,000 youths and encourage the return of skilled Gambian migrants by supporting the creation of jobs across the country and supporting their re-integration into the economy and society.
Gambia’s new government said the Jammeh administration’s redundant economic policies were responsible for the mass use of the ‘backway,’ the perilous route that takes migrants who trek the Sahara to Libya where they cross the Mediterranean into Europe.
Jammeh fled the country and a new government led by President Adama Barrow has taken over.
A former Barrow adviser and now Minister of Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty said Jammeh fled with more than US$12 million and left the state coffers empty.
Trade Minister Touray is hopeful that the project will help cut back the exodus of youths.
President Barrow won elections after winning an overwhelming vote of confidence from first-time voters. He campaigned on a promise to create jobs and resolve the migration crisis, which has claim the lives of hundreds of Gambians.