Khartoum — Representatives of the European Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) have signed an agreement to implement a project to foster employment opportunities and economic growth in Sudan.
A statement today by the EU Delegation to Sudan says that the agreement was signed by Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond, Head of Delegation of the EU to Sudan, and UNIDO representative Khaled El Mekwad.
The project is funded by the the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and its Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) in the Horn of Africa, in which Sudan participates. The RDPP is one of the flagship initiatives within the broader "Valletta Action Plan" - a result of the Valletta Summit on Migration, held in the capital of Malta in November 2015 - which reiterates the EU's strong commitment in addressing the root causes of displacement and irregular migration from Africa to Europe. The EU will provide €3 million to the newly signed project.
UNIDO will implement the project over a period of three years by enhancing employment opportunities and stimulating entrepreneurship for migrant youth, refugees, asylum seekers and members of host communities in Khartoum State, Sudan. The project will benefit from demand-oriented skills development programmes involving technical vocational training, small business development and legal protection. The intervention is intended to provide alternatives to primary and secondary movements of migrants and refugees and enhance self-reliance opportunities. Special attention will be given to youth and women IDPs and migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and other neighbouring countries.
Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond said: "This project will train youth, adult migrants and refugees with competitive technical and soft skills to enable them to find future jobs. The trainees will benefit from new opportunities to engage in decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. It will open new windows for them and will help in the eradication of poverty and with decreasing the unemployment levels."
The EU Ambassador stressed that "through employment and learning we are addressing the root causes for migration and we encourage other countries to take an inclusive and people-centred approach to migration."
Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO Representative, said, "This project is part of the Industrial Modernization Programme for Sudan initiated by UNIDO in 2013. Through vocational training and private sector support, we are trying to develop the new training skills demanded by the local and regional job markets, as well as skills for self-employment. This will ultimately contribute to poverty reduction and the creation of sustainable sources of livelihoods and development."