Only Professional Training Can Fully Curb Youth Unemployment — Issa Tchiroma

Officials at launching ceremony at Yaounde Chamber of Commerce

By Yerima Kini Nsom

The Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, has averred that only professional training could effectively arrest the high rate of youth unemployment ailing Cameroon. He made the averment while chairing the launching ceremony of the ARCHIPELAGO programme, which is an African/European initiative for professional training.

The project, whose subset is “Youth and Gender Connect,” constitutes the fruits of partnership between the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Crafts, CCIMC, of Cameroon and the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, CMA, of Pays de la Loire, France. It aims at developing and implementing training that would enable youths to find decent jobs by enhancing their vocational training that is tailored to fit squarely in the job market.  While lauding the CCIMC boss, Christophe Eken, for bringing such a needy project to Cameroon, Minister Tchiroma said the initiative is perfectly in line with Government’s policy of curbing youth unemployment and enhancing the country’s development.

 According to the Minister, such a project will help the youths to create jobs and stop them from taking the risk of illegal immigration as they seek for greener pastures in Europe. He expressed gratitude to the European Union for funding the project that will succour the state of Cameroon. He saluted France for constructing eight vocational training centres in some council areas in the country. Tchiroma said the ARCHIPELAGO programme will help to cushion the nightmare in which many youths die on their way to Europe in search of greener pastures. He said 30.000 youths, who were struggling to illegally go to Europe, died between 2014 and 2018, according to the International Migration Organisation.

While explaining the details of the project to the press, the President of the CCIMC, Christophe Eken, said the main objective of the project is to fund the training of youth so they can find jobs in the country instead of taking the risk of illegally immigrating abroad. He said 360 youths selected from four regions of the country will undergo vocational training in the three main domains: food processing, car repair and entrepreneurship. He said, after the 360 youths would have been trained, they will be taught on how to create and manage small and medium size enterprises. Harping on the importance of the car repair business, Mr Eken said the country needs a new breed of trained mechanics since most of the cars now are electronic. The training that will be done in the next two years is being funded by the European Union to the tune of FCFA 300 million. By so doing, he remarked, the EU is helping the Cameroonian youth to create jobs, have decent jobs and avoid illegal immigration.

For his part, an official of the CMA of the Pays de la Loire, France, Phillipe Seguin, pledged his outfit’s commitment to providing technical expertise to the project. He said they would be particularly keen on the aspects of professional training, creation and management of Small and Medium Size Enterprises and transfer of knowledge. In order to achieve good results, the project will rely on the pilot incubation centre, vocational training centres, and some companies selected within the framework of the implementation of the programme. CCIMC will equally partner with the associations that mentor youths and return migrants,  the Support Programme for the Reinsertion of the youths of the Diaspora, the National Youth Observatory, African Women Entrepreneurship Training in the four regions and the Association of Business Women in Cameroon, in order to implement the project.

Cameroonian youths between the ages of 15 and 40 years, notably women and return migrants, are the direct beneficiaries of the project. They come from Adamawa, Centre, Littoral and West Regions of the country.  The CCIMA authorities are envisaging another phase of the project that will train youth on the production of solar energy.

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