Ambassador Pratt’s Remarks at the Closing Ceremony of the Workforce Development Project, 07 JULY 2022.

Ambassador Pratt’s Remarks on the Closing Ceremony of the Workforce Development Project.

07 July, 2022

It is a great honor for me to be here with you to participate in the closing ceremony of the Djiboutian Workforce Development Project. This project, funded by the US Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) began in December 2016 and will end at the end of this month.

Over the past five years, the project has worked hand in hand with three institutional partners: the MENFOP, the Ministry of Labor, and the Chamber of Commerce, to find common solutions to the problem of unemployment. Together with USAID, all of these partners worked very closely with the implementing partner, EDC, to develop and implement activities. The PED Project is a strong symbol of the cooperation between Djibouti and the United States of America. Today we have great successes to celebrate; I can say that the project has achieved tangible results. Let me relate a few of these:

  • The project placed 510 young people divided into eight cohorts in numerous private sector companies as interns. Surveys carried out on the first two cohorts show that thirty trainees out of a hundred were able to obtain permanent employment at the end of their five-month internship. Indeed, thanks to the opportunities offered by these internships, many young people now work in companies or organizations including Coubèche, WFP, Kempinski, here at the Sheraton, Salam Bank, international maritime transport (MTI), East Africa Bank , Miriatec and other companies.
  • With the Chamber of Commerce, USAID funded the training of five hundred Djiboutians in transport and logistics in partnership with the resource and skills center for port trades.
  • Another achievement is the hotel management pilot program in which four young people were enrolled in an online program with Cornell University in New York for nine months. They all succeeded, and these young people are now qualified to occupy management positions in hotel right here in Djibouti.
  • The project developed and transferred to ANEFIP an innovative employment platform, intended to facilitate intermediation between job seekers and recruiters. The project also equipped the new premises of ANEFIP, particularly the amphitheater and the training rooms for young people.
  • In addition, the project revised the curricula of six MENFOP technical and vocational training courses.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Government of the United States of America remains committed to work alongside the Government of Djibouti in the fight against youth unemployment. We will continue the work in this area and achievements of this project will continue with a new follow-on project with a total budget of sixteen million dollars over four years which will be launched at the end of this year.

In conclusion, allow me to thank all our partners again, a special mention to ANEFIP, Mustapha, the General Manager of the Sheraton, my team at USAID and again the MENFOP, the Ministry of Labor and the Chamber of Commerce as well as EDC. Rest assured Ministers that we will continue to work with you in the development of young people.