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  • Writer's pictureIDEAL-MIGRATION

ARCHIPELAGO: An African-European partnership for vocational training

ARCHIPELAGO is a 4-year (2019 - January 2023) European programme, funded by the European Union in the framework of the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa. Its main objectives are to improve the employability and integration of young people into the labour market through targeted technical and vocational education and training (TVET) measures and to support the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Funded to the tune of €15 million, the programme supports partnership projects in 12 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad.

This program is jointly implemented by SEQUA, CPCCAF and EUROCHAMBRES.

Photo : Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The main objective of the program is to better match the offer of labour (skills available on the labour market) to the demand of labour (generated by the local private sector and productive economic growth).

Regarding the specific objectives, the ARCHIPELAGO Programme aims to increase and improve local employment opportunities through the strengthening of entrepreneurial skills, SMEs and future start-ups employment creation. One of the objectives is also to develop local training and vocational resources adapted to private sector needs to enhance employability of young people.

The ARCHIPELAGO Programme is based on the exchange of know-how, collaboration and the mobilization of African and European private sector organizations (chambers of commerce, associations of entrepreneurs, training centers and other business support organizations). These partnerships are selected through several calls for proposals aimed at establishing consortia made up of key players from eligible countries in Africa and Europe.

- April 2019: The first call for proposals

As part of the first call for proposals, launched in April 2019, 11 partnership projects (Burkina-Faso 2 projects, Cameroon 1, Ghana 2, Mali 1, Mauritania 1, Senegal 2, Chad 2) were selected to receive funding from the European Union with an average grant of 600,000 euros per project.

- November 2019: The second call for proposals

Following the first call for proposals, a second call for proposals was launched on 4 November 2019 with the aim of supporting partnership projects to be implemented in the 12 target countries.

A total of 117 applications were submitted, out of which 9 projects have been selected. The selected projects will be jointly implemented by African and European business support organisations and training centres in Cameroon (3 projects), Ivory Coast (2), Ghana (1), Mauritania (1), Niger (1) and Senegal (1). The 9 projects will receive a total of €4.5 million in financial support from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), with an average grant of €500,000 per project.

The projects selected are expected to start in September 2020, with an average duration of 23 months. The projects focus on employment opportunities in the following economic sectors: agriculture, agro-industry, textiles, construction and mechanics. 35 partner organisations are involved in the selected projects, including 19 African organisations and 16 European organisations.

What are the expected results of the programme?

- Private Sector and youth are aware of the employment opportunities offered by TVET

- Youth is trained and has skills according to private sector needs and identified economic potentials

- Local economic development and entrepreneurship is enhanced

- Performance and service provision of Business Support Organizations and Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions in the Sahel region and Lake Chad is improved

Thus, by supporting the creation of sustainable and decent job opportunities in West and Central Africa, the ARCHIPELAGO Programme contributes to tackle the grievances arising from economic and social exclusion, marginalisation and inequality, usually considered as the most significant drivers of violence, radicalisation, forced displacement and irregular migration.

This programme is in line with the aim of IDEAL-M, which seeks to highlight the opportunities in Africa and safe alternatives to irregular migration.

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