Craft companies account for 78 % of employment in the Congo. These companies play a major role in training young people, especially early school leavers, for whom an apprenticeship with a small company is often the only way to prepare a professional future. On 15 January 2016, GRET launched Partag, a support project for the crafts sector via reinforcement of the Congo Inter-professional craftsmen’s group.
With Partag, a four-year project funded by the European Union, GRET will strengthen the Congo Inter-professional craftsmen’s group (Giac) in its role providing services to its members and subscribers so that they can contribute sustainably to the development of very small companies in Pointe-Noire, improve working conditions, facilitate access to training for apprentices and improve the economic environment for the crafts sector.
After a year of diagnoses and surveys to position the Giac’s service offer in line with craftsmen’s expectations, a ceremony held on 15 January to launch operational activities in Pointe-Noire was attended by 150 craftsmen and the Chief of cabinet of the Ministry of SMEs and Crafts and of the European Union Delegation in the Congo. The diagnosis documents and the Giac’s handbook of procedures, drawn up with support from AIDL Consultance, were presented; partnership agreements associating the Giac and 14 of its professional organisation members were signed; and refresher classes for the Giac’s young apprentices were officially launched with a view to preparing them for the Professional Aptitude Certificate.
Armand Bienvenu Vioudibio, Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of SMEs and Crafts, expressed his wish for this work to be extended beyond Pointe-Noire: “The Minister of SMEs and Crafts wants to make the crafts sector the main employer in the Republic of Congo. To achieve this, the Partag project deserves undivided attention and constant support, in keeping with the national diversification of the economy advocated by the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, and all government authorities.”