By Kebba Jeffang
Six Gambian youth both males and females through the Network of ECOWAS Trainees on Youth Entrepreneurship (NETYE) recently returned to Banjul upon completion of a thirty-day training on different spheres of vocational skills development programme held at Zinaire Vocational Training Center in Burkina Faso under the recommendation of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) and National Youth Council. The press briefing was held recently at the NYC office.
The training exposed both Gambians and participants from other countries to auto-Mechanics, refrigeration and air conditioning skills to better equip their skills.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Kawsu Badjie of NYC expressed gratitude to the beneficiaries. He said the six youths have attended the highest level of ECOWAS programme that seek to enhance the capacities of young people in West Africa. He added that the programme is aim at reducing youth unemployment within the Sub-Region through the acquisition of necessary skills for enterprise development.
He disclosed that the training started in 2007 and it is the 3rd edition of the Burkina Faso capacity building programme organized by ECOWAS/YSDC.
“This team has joined the fifty nine youth selected by NYSS and NYC under the coordination of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Trade, Employment and Regional Integration to attend the skills acquisition training programmes on Agriculture at the Songhai Center in Benin, building Electricity at the Soufouroulaye skill center in Mali and Auto Mechanics, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Burkina Faso respectively,” said Badjie.
Mr. Gilbert Jassey, the Chairperson of the NETYE said, in the Gambia, graduates of the programme have developed a Sub Regional Civil Society Organization of its Alumnae called the Network of ECOWAS Trainees on Youth Entrepreneurship, Gambia Chapter. He said this network was established in April 2009 with a membership of sixty five including both sexes. He described the event as a big achievement for the beneficiaries. He advised them to share the information with people and also utilize it.
Mr. Alagie Jarju said the programme is very much important as it will help the youth to excel especially in the areas of skills. He opined that with skills and knowledge, the trend of irregular migration can be reduced.
On behalf of the participants, Ms. Kaddy Badjie who won herself the most outstanding student on auto-mechanics in the programme expressed happiness to NYSS, NYC and NETYE for the opportunity. She assured that the knowledge gained will surely be put into good use.