WASHINGTON, December 8, 2014—The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$35 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to support Senegal in its effort to improve the skills of young people for jobs in key areas of tourism, horticulture, and poultry farming that will help promote growth and development.
Today’s financing supports the Skills for Jobs and Competitiveness project that will strengthen Senegal’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system to provide better quality and relevant training. This will allow future generations the ability to find jobs and receive earnings that reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
“To achieve the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PSE) objectives of generating rapid and inclusive growth, Senegal must lay the foundations for a competitive and productive economy by upgrading the quality of its human capital,” said Vera Songwe, the Country Director for Senegal. “The World Bank is pleased to support the government’s efforts through a project that will give young people access to training in areas such as ICT and tourism and will provide them with quality skills sets to find jobs that not only improve their livelihood but contribute to the growth of the whole economy.”
The project will improve the quality and relevance of training in the lycées techniques and a group of training centers that focus on developing the skills for jobs in tourism, horticulture and poultry farming. In addition, job training will be provided to 10,000 participants who have not completed primary or middle school as well as university or secondary education graduates who do not have the appropriate skills that the job market demands.
In Senegal 60% of the workforce is employed in agriculture and fisheries; however it is only responsible for 16% of the country’s GDP. The project will help improve the value of products where the majority of the workforce is needed.
“The training program created under the project will be closely aligned with labor market needs so young people will have the relevant skills and prepared to enter the workforce,” said Atou Seck, The World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project. “Having more reliable and better trained employees with the private sector involvement in the delivery of trainings, the key job-producing areas of Senegal will be able to increase the country’s economic growth.”
The credit approved today will go towards the development of a new fund under the TVET sector that will be the source of financing for of on-the-job training of workers on the basis of request by existing businesses that need to upgrade the skills of employees; training centers and institutions on the basis of performance criteria; individual training for youth who are seeking qualifications to enter the job market; in addition to providing quality assurance.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.