Japan to support youth employment to build stability and peace in The Gambia

New project will support jobs for youth through infrastructure works with local resources, skills training and entrepreneurship promotion, with a strong focus on returnees and women.

Press release | 23 March 2018
Back row, from left: H.E. Junichi Ihara, Permanent Representative of Japan, Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General. Front row, from left: Mr Masashi Nakagome, Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN in Geneva, Mr Moussa Oumarou, ILO Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships
GENEVA (ILO News) – The Government of Japan and the ILO have signed a US$1 million agreement to support sustainable economic growth and peace in The Gambia through employment generation and development of infrastructures.

Since 2017, The Gambia has been undergoing a difficult political transition, characterized by post-election violence and an ensuing worsening economic outlook. The country has witnessed a further decrease in GDP growth which was already low under the previous government, and also suffered from the recent Ebola crisis. In 2017, the unemployment rate was at 29.8 per cent, 38.6 per cent for women and reaching as much as 43.9 per cent for youth.

Responding to these urgent needs, the Japan-funded project will generate employment opportunities in infrastructure construction works to help prepare Gambian society for sustained peace. The project will maximize employment opportunities through employment-intensive investment programmes, building on the ILO’s 40-year long experience in that field.

Particular attention will be paid to occupational safety and health (OSH), as well as to the inclusion of women, returnees, refugees and migrants. In order to ensure sustainable impact, technical and vocational training will be provided, together with support for labour market entrants, enterprise creation, and capacity development for both private and public actors in construction-related sectors.

The project will be implemented by the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of The Gambia (MOTIE), and with the NGO Community Road Empowerment (CORE), a pioneer in innovative road technologies from Japan.

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”.