By Ndey Sowe

The European Union (EU) in collaboration with development partners, on Sunday April 7th 2019, funded a youth empowerment project called “Tekki Fii”, ‘Wollof’ words meaning: ‘Make it Here’.

The Project aims to significantly scale up quality job and entrepreneurial opportunities available for young Gambians, within the country.

This information was disclosed by EU officials in a press conference held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, during the opening of the 13th International Trade Fair (ITF) and launching of the ‘‘Tekki Fii’’ project. The theme for the ceremony was: “Regional Business Networking and Youth Empowerment through Skills Training.”

The opening of the ITF culminated with the launch of the project, which is a new initiative of Government, supported by the EU, and the economic support of the project was complemented by a nation-wide awareness raising effort. The ‘Tekki Fii’ campaign is to assist young people in seeing the opportunities and benefits of choosing to ‘Make it’ on home soil.

According to officials, the project is designed to equip youth with job-ready skills and entrepreneurship opportunities in a variety of sectors, which includes the arts, agriculture, technology and tourism.

The program is led by the Government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, with business and development partners and implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Instituto Marques de Valle Flor (IMVF), Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), and the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel.

EU Ambassador to the Gambia Attila Lajos, said the European Union promised support for Government; that this was what was being delivered on that day. “The EU has always been a credible and reliable partner, and when we said we will support the transition of this country, we meant it,” he said.

He applauded their partners in Government, member agencies as well as YEP, for the support to young people in the country.

Other speakers included Muhammed Jagana, President Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Ada Gaye permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mod Ceesay, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Raimund Moser project manager at ITC and Joana Martins, project coordinator at IMVF.

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