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UNESCO Alongside Senegal in the Promotion of Artisanship as a Factor for Economic Growth

From March 5-10th, the Diamniadio Exhibition Centre hosted the Salon International de l'Artisanat de Dakar (SIAD). The 2020 edition, which included Turkey as it’s guest of honour, was created with the following theme: "Artisanship, a factor in job creation and income generation".

Today, the challenge is to modernize artisanship and position it at the international level. If we begin at our national potential, we will have the opportunity to establish craftmanship as an engine of development.

Professor Cheikhou Touré, National Academy of Science and Technology of Senegal

The objective of SIAD is to show how the sector of artisanship contributes to economic and social development of the country, as well as increase the Senegalese expertise. It was also a moment of exchange and sharing on topics concerning the emergence of artisans.

During the SIAD opening ceremony, H.E Macky Sall, President of the Republique of Senegal recalled that “artisan crafts play a fundamental role in national economic development, the consolidation of expertise and the creation of jobs.” 

On Friday, March 6th 2020, during the panel chaired by the Minister of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Artisanship in Senegal – Mr. Dame Diop, accompanied by Mr. Bamba Ould Daramane, Minister of Commerce, Industry, Artisanship and Tourism of Mauritania, stressed his commitment to implement government policy in the artisanship sector as an essential factor in economic growth.

The UNESCO Dakar Office, through Mr. Olivier Pieume, TVET and Labour Market Specialist in the Dakar Office and Regional TVET Coordinator for Africa, contributed to the deliberations on: "What prospects does the triad of employment, vocational training and artisan crafts offer in the fight against youth unemployment? ». This triad refers to a paradigm shift with explicit reference to Axis II of the Senegal Emerging Plan (PSE) for context. It appears to be that strengthening human capital is the best guarantee of reducing the structural imbalance between labour supply and demand.

The artisan craft sector in Senegal is a pro-employment sector (the second largest provider of jobs after the agricultural sector), it only takes a small increase in the productivity of the sector to directly impact the creation of new jobs.

Olivier Pieume, TVET Specialist, UNESCO Dakar and Regional TVET Coordinator for Africa

This panel, which brought together experts in education, vocational training and artisanship, was an opportunity to discuss the strategic goals in harmoniously combine employment, vocational training and artisan crafts, especially in relation to the employability of young people in the broad sense of the term (formal and nonformal). It also presented itself as a place to identify the changes needed to place crafts in Senegal at an international level and at the heart of development.


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