Innovative training for Senegal’s youth
Siaka Coulibaly Resident Coordinator United Nations, Senegal
The United Nations Country Team in Senegal invests in youth to fulfil the country’s development agenda
The youth in Senegal (15-24 years) comprise around 20% of the country’s population. Being highly entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, they are critical in spearheading rapid growth and achieving the Government’s Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE 2035), particularly when considering the increasing significance of digitalization in socio-economic development.
While COVID-19 has had considerable socio-economic impacts, it resulted in the growth of e-businesses and delivery services in Senegal, which should be nurtured. This resilience in the face of adversity and thus the youth’s technical skills and entrepreneurial spirit, must be fostered for long-term economic gain. Strongly believing in the potential of young people, the United Nations Country Team has launched several innovative projects and initiatives to empower and reinforce their capacity.
© UNICEF Senegal/MEN 2020. Pape Malick Niang
Vocational training and integration to empower young entrepreneurs
In collaboration with the Luxembourg Development Cooperation and Senegal’s Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training and Integration, the UN Country Team started a three-year project in July 2020 that strengthens the employability of youth and promotes self-employment capacity in vocational and technical training. This project arose due to an existing mismatch between the supply of training and the needs of the labour market, as well as limited entrepreneurship development in the vocational training system. The project has so far trained 64 youths in entrepreneurship and three instructors. In a bid to make the most of Senegal’s demographic dividend, the UN Country Team launched the joint project Fass Emergent (FassE) in collaboration with the municipality of Fass-Colobane-Gueule Tapée, other development partners and the private sector. The project adopts a multi-sectorial approach, in alignment with the United Nations Cooperation Framework, the Government’s Plan Sénégal Emergent and the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. It centres around women and youth for better human capital, economic opportunities and local governance within the municipality. Part of its key results include the training of 30 youths in business and economic empowerment and an advisory center for start-ups.
Distance learning in light of COVID-19
To ensure continued education and capacity development during the pandemic, the UN Country Team supported the deployment of the distance learning platform e-jang in collaboration with the Government.
The programme reached almost 655,000 students and involved the distribution of books, laptops, tablets and USB sticks to vulnerable students. Moreover, 200 teachers were trained in techno-pedagogy. Upcoming virtual laboratories will reinforce this approach while internet access will be provided to 1000 marginalized students.
These projects are key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ‘leaving no one behind’ To this end, the UN Country Team, under the Resident Coordinator and through the joint efforts of 16 of its agencies, supports Senegal in developing a multi-dimensional youth strategy, which will incorporate socio-economic aspects, promote peace and stability through citizenship, social cohesion and civility, as well as strengthen partnerships with the private sector.
The UN Country Team has reiterated its commitment to support the government in various initiatives validated by the Head of State during the Presidential Council in April 2021. The UN stands ready to help the country’s youth reach their full potential and increase their contribution to the economy.
The International Trade Centre’s support to our efforts The International Trade Centre (ITC) is a long-time partner of Senegal in providing trade-related technical assistance.
The specialist agency’s portfolio covers both value-chain development and ICT services and responds well to the priorities outlined in the Government’s Plan Sénégal Emergent, while reinforcing synergies, complementarities, and collaboration with the UN Country Team Senegal.
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