By Ndey Sowe
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has on Tuesday, 22nd December, 2020, handed over equipment worth 2.5 million dalasi to the newly renovated labs at the Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute (GTMI).
The handing over ceremony took place at the GTMI premises at Kanifing.
Malick Bah, GTMI Director, said the ceremony marked another milestone between IOM and GTMI partnership which started in 2019.
Director Bah said in a bid to meet the increasing demand for its programmes, they decided to expand their facilities. The expansion included refurbishing three labs for solar installation, laptop repairs and digital editing and production.
“Upon completion of the civil work, we faced the huge challenge of equipping these labs. IOM then came to our rescue by accepting to support us by way of providing the necessary equipment,” he said.
Director Bah said the quality of the equipment will greatly add value to the training they offer to youths, saying the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.
Bah further said the support will benefit many youths, especially girls, as they are expecting to enroll lot of youths in the coming years.
“Our recruitment policy gives a lot of consideration for girls and back-way returnees. These programmes resonate with Youth Empowerment under the National Development Plan, the NDP, as the youth would be skilled in areas that have the potential of drastically reducing youth unemployment and wealth creation,” he said.
Bah thanked IOM and assured them that the equipment will be well managed.
Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission, hoped that the donated equipment will enhance the capacity of GTMI and enable the institute to provide the much-needed service in skills development for Gambian youth.
Nagano said IOM had previously enabled 150 young people to undergo various training programs at GTMI aimed at empowering youth in their communities of origin to achieve their livelihood expectations and promote local alternatives to irregular migration.
Similarly, she added that hundreds of Gambian returnees have been trained on various skills at technical and vocational education and training centers within the greater Banjul area and beyond.
“It is our hope that the donated materials will enhance the functional capacity of GTMI to respond to the rising demand for these skills without compromising their quality,” she said.
IOM boss further said the donated equipment will quadruple the number of trainees enrolled.
“It should also translate in a 20% reduction in tuition fees GTMI will be charging for skills training in the sectors I mentioned earlier for the next two years,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nagano indicated that the donation was made possible through a project IOM is implementing in The Gambia, funded by the Italian Government through the Italian Agency for International Cooperation (AICS).