The JETS project (Jeunesse, Entreprise et Transformation Sociale/Youth, Entrepreneurship and Social Transformation) is a joint project of Baltimore-based International Youth Foundation (IYF) (http://www.iyfnet.org); and the West African Research Center. Project funds were entrusted to UNESCO-Dakar by the Japanese Fund-in-Trust for the benefit of the Senegalese Ministry of Youth. When IYF was selected by UNESCO for implementation, they in turn selected WARC as their partner.
A view of the audience at the JETS Networking Event at WARC, July 22, 2015
After a week’s training at the West African Research Center (WARC) in December 2014, the 16 JETS fellows went back to their respective sites in various parts of Senegal. The next phase, consisting of long-distance training and monitoring, took place over the next six months. During this phase, the academic coordinator measured their progress along a number of dimensions – including leadership, management, computer skills, civic engagement, and networking. The July 22 event at WARC provided the JETS fellows the opportunity to share with each other and the training staff the progress made in their entrepreneurial activities and to reinforce their networking skills and opportunities. As a result of the remarkable quality of the fellows’ presentations, it was moved by those in attendance that they be involved in the establishment of a local or pan-African network for the promotion of social transformation in African societies. The Director of WARC has already started contacting potential members and making plans for a preparatory meeting. The fellows were also encouraged to join organizations like the American Chamber of Commerce in Dakar. This would allow them to promote their ventures and seek potential funding and partnerships. They were also urged to set up a website for exchange of ideas among themselves and with other youths in Senegal and the rest of the continent. The event was wrapped up with a reception at WARC.