A mini soccer tournament for under-16s in The Gambia may not seem the obvious place to stir brilliant business ideas.
But ITC's Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) saw an opportunity for young Gambians to shine at the competition between Banjul, Kanifing Municipal Council and the West Coast region held recently at Palma Rima Beach.
The tournament was arranged under the Kick for Trade initiative of the International Trade Centre in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children. It aims to promote employability, entrepreneurship training and hope for young people who too often cannot see a better future at home.
While Banjul beat the West Coast team 4-1in the final, all participating teams in the knock-out format tournament were awarded prizes that were more than just a trophy.
What they really won was knowledge and skills that they could use to live healthy prosperous lives and contribute to economic wellbeing of their country. YEP is using football to convene energetic minds in its drive to reach out to young Gambians and familiarize them with the concept of Tekki-Fii (Make it in The Gambia) as an alternative to risky irregular migration.
Kick for Trade is supported by the Gambia Football Federation, the Gambia Coaches Association, the Gambia National Sports Council and the Gambia Beach Soccer Association.
The UEFA Foundation for Children and the ITC announced the launch of Kick for Trade in July 2019, with initial projects in The Gambia and Guinea.
Former ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: 'Through Kick for Trade, ITC and the UEFA Foundation aim ensure that youth are part of the game and are resources to be taken seriously. In Guinea and the Gambia we will demonstrate that it is possible to have fun while learning new skills, and that vocational training, entrepreneurship and football can be a winning formula.'
ITC - International Trade Centre published this content on 17 February 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 17 February 2020 17:16:10 UTC