Employment-Intensive Investment in

The Gambia

Activities of the Employment Intensive Investment Programme in the Gambia

Current EIIP Involvement

In 2018, the ILO launched the project “Employment Creation for Youth to Build Sustainable Peace in The Gambia” in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of The Gambia (MOTIE) with financial support from the Government of Japan.

The project gives a specific focus on employment creation for youth in employment-intensive infrastructure construction works, which immediately provides a large number of employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled young people. The project selected infrastructures which directly contribute to the agriculture, tourism, or fishery sector, which are the drivers of national economic growth and sustainable employment creation in the labour market. The project also promotes the use of locally available materials, and almost all the materials for the construction so far (as of October 2018) are Gambian-made. As an exit strategy, the sustainability of the project impact is highlighted through the provision of skills training and entrepreneurship support for all the workers under the project.

The project also reinforces technical knowledge transfer to the country. An International NGO as an implementation partner, the Community Road Empowerment (CORE), brings the Do-nou technology which is newly introduced to The Gambia as an effective employment-intensive approach with the use of local materials, where four young Gambian engineers are recruited in the implementing team and taking a lead of knowledge transfer and the sustainable application of the technology in The Gambia.

The ILO advocates for “decent work” through promoting occupational safety and health (OSH) and decent work conditions. Promoting equal opportunities is underlined, ensuring the direct beneficiaries to be 50% of women and 50% of men, with the integration of returnees and people with disabilities.

The project is part of the Jobs for Peace and Resilience (JPR) flagship programme of the ILO and also contributes to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth. It directly relates to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and especially to goals 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, 5 “Gender Equality”, 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, 10 “Reduced Inequalities” and 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.

Historical Information

The ILO has been supporting the Government of The Gambia on youth employment promotion through EIIP approach. The Decent Work Country Programme 2015-2017 of The Gambia indicates “Youth employment opportunities, especially for young women and youths, increased through labour intensive approaches in public work programmes” as Outcome 1.4 to take measures for the immediate creation of jobs for youth, together with the increase of employability and livelihood opportunities.

In 2007, the ILO and UNDP assisted the Government of The Gambia to launch the GAMBJOBS, a national vehicle to address youth unemployment and poverty and operationalize the National Employment Policy and the National Employment Action plan. It included
  1. mainstreaming employment in national macroeconomic, sector and social policies,
  2. strengthening labour market policies and institutions,
  3. establishing an enterprise and skills development and training Fund for self-employment, and
  4. promoting labour-intensive technologies in public works programmes to create employment and sustainable livelihoods.
The ILO provided technical support on conducting a survey with due attention given to the issue of full employment, underemployment and child labour. The ILO also provided training on Safety at Work organized in collaboration with the ILO International Training Centre in Turin in 2009.

In 2006, the ILO supported a project on “Strengthening the Creative Industries in five selected African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries through Employment and Trade Expansion” implemented by the European Community. The project aimed at contributing to creative industries through economic and social development with an emphasis on employment, trade and cultural diversity. As a part of the project, the ILO worked together with The Gambia through two axes, axle load control on the road network in the country, and supporting the National Roads Authority (NRA) to develop capacity in feeder roads management. The ILO assisted the establishment of a new unit to manage axle loads on the main road network and provided training and mentorship to the staffs of NRA in road network management, materials management, and rehabilitation and maintenance of roads with labour-based methods. Under the project, 141 km of feeder roads were rehabilitated.