Youth Connekt Gambia
Over the last decades, Africa has been experiencing rapid technological and economic development creating new opportunities for millions of people all over the continent. However, with more than 226 million people aged between 15-24 years, Africa has the youngest population – and the highest youth unemployment rate (60%) – in the world.Lack of employment opportunities, low levels of education and skills combined with limited access to sexual and reproductive health services, have resulted in a generation of young people with limited association to the formal job market. However, Africa’s youth represent a significant asset for the achievement of the sustainable development goals and national economic growth if the demographic transition (characterized by an increase in the working age population) is appropriately harnessed and channeled.
Launched in 2012 by the Government of Rwanda and UNDP, the Youth Connekt Model has been embraced for its innovative design and implementation, through Policy harmonization, Programmes and Partnership. This has provided African youth with the skills, networks and information needed to scale their initiatives and gain meaningful employment. To date, six countries in Africa have launched YouthConnekt in the scale up initiatives and many others are in the process of implementing the model including the Gambia.
Following the successful launch of Youth Connekt Gambia in October 2018, and subsequent regional consultation and sensitization on Youth Connekt Gambia, National Youth Council is set to organize the Youth Connekt Summit in the Gambia. The Summit is funded by UNDP The Gambia through the Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development Project under the MOTIE, and scheduled to take place from 15-17 January 2019 at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Youth Connekt Gambia Summit will bring together relevant Government ministries and all stakeholders to discuss and strategies on how to achieve Youth Connekt Gambia goals of creating 100, 000 jobs by 2021 in sustainable job environments in emerging industries. This aligned to the NDP goal of reducing youth unemployment from 38% to 25%; create 250, 000 opportunities through Relevant Education, training & enrolment in workplaces; identify, nurture & grow 10,000 leaders that provide solutions, participate in advocacy & become role models in their communities; develop sustainable initiatives & policies that reduce gender inequality in education, jobs, technology & leadership; and nurture 150 digital ambassadors in each region to collectively help connect & digitally empower 15,000 Gambians allowing skills to be transfered to their local communities.
The YouthConnektGM will domesticate Youth Connekt Africa goals, aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP) priorities, and Sustainable Development Goals to harness the demographic dividend by supporting / promoting skills development, ICT and Innovation, entrepreneurship, access to jobs and finance, awareness creation on irregular migration, and for positive behavioral and attitudinal change towards national development, and promotion of citizenship and leadership.