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National Employment Policy

Like many other factor-driven LDCs dependent on primary products, agriculture or minerals, the country registered descent growth rates but without commensurable declines in unemployment. The growth is therefore not bearing significant gains in income poverty reduction. In response, The Gambia is pursuing a growth strategy under the PAGE that would do better at generating jobs through the expansion of the labour intensive and growth enhancing sectors as well as MSME development.


With the challenges of unemployment, MOTIE in collaboration with stakeholders have formulated an Employment Policy and Action Plan in 2008 that would lead to an outcome of creating decent employment through inclusive growth.


The overall objective of the Employment Policy is “to promote employment as a priority in national development programmes to enable the economically active population to attain and secure sustainable livelihoods through full productive and freely chosen employment and work by the year 2020”.


The specific objectives include:


  • Reducing rates of unemployment and under-employment;
  • Promoting a well-educated, trained, skilled versatile, self-reliant and enterprising labour force with a view to increasing employment with a focus on human resources that will continually meet the needs of the nation;
  • Pursuing poverty reduction policies through labour intensive programs consistent with improvement of the labour environment; and,
  • Strengthening the existing labour administrative system for the promotion of decent work, worker participation in decision making and an efficient industrial conflict resolution mechanism in the labour market.


The strategies driving the Employment policy would seek to:


  • To promote micro and small enterprises both in the urban and rural areas through incentive packages including fiscal incentives and access to term lending;
  • To establish a special fund for enterprise and skills development training as well as start-up capital;
  • To promote labour intensive technologies in public works/programmes both at the Central and Local Government level targeting youths and women;
  • To improve working conditions and labour productivity;
  • To strengthen the institutional framework and mechanisms for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of employment generation strategies on a continuous basis.


Going forward, the implementation of the policy must be supported by accurate and timely data on employment in both the public and private sectors. Therefore, collecting, processing and reporting employment statistics based on ILO formats is a priority and MOTIE will under the MTP will established a functional labour market information system. MOTIE and GIEPA would guide investments into sectors such as tourism and agriculture and fisheries which are labour intensive while keeping the doors wide open for ICT-related investments that push the technology frontiers of enterprises.

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