Press releases

ITC and Lai-momo announce partnership to provide vocational training centre for migrants in Italy

11 April 2017
ITC News
Lai-momo and the International Trade Centre to collaborate to provide vocational training for West African migrants in Italy to facilitate assisted voluntary return schemes with the EU funded Emergency Trust fund for Africa.

(Lama di Reno/Marzabotto-Geneva) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) and Lai-momo, a social enterprise, have announced a new collaboration to expand a vocational training programme for West African migrants in Italy. The partnership is part of a wider objective to support increased job creation in the ethical fashion and design value chains in West Africa.

The new partnership was announced on 9 April during a visit by Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of the European Commission’s department for international cooperation and development, ITC Executive Director Arancha González, and representatives of Italian authorities, including Domenico Manzione, Under Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Virginio Merola, the Mayor of Bologna and Romano Franchi, the Mayor of Marzabotto, to the Lai-momo vocational centre in Lamo di Reno, near Bologna, Italy.

ITC and Lai-momo’s collaboration is part of a €10 million project in support of job creation in recipient contries, funded through the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to address root causes of migration from Africa to Europe and elsewhere, and to create economic opportunities in those developing countries. The project – Job Creation and Sustainable Development of Micro-Enterprises through the Management of Ethical Fashion, Lifestyle and Interior Design Supply chains in Burkina Faso and Mali – will be implemented by ITC’s Ethical Fashion Initiative in selected West African countries.

Under the EU funded project, Lai-momo and ITC will pilot a model that will enable migrants from Burkina Faso, Mali and other West African countries that have received vocational training in Europe to return to their countries of origin with new skillsets and knowledge through assisted voluntary return schemes. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration.

Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of the European Commission’s department for international cooperation and development, said: ‘Through this project, we are combining capacities and building skills for migrants to enter and participate in the fashion value chain. This project is not just about doing something interesting, but about taking action and creating opportunities for migrants. Moreover, we are creating linkages between Ouagadougou, Bamako and Bologna, demonstrating how it is possible to work towards a “globalization for good”.’

ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘This partnership with Lai-momo is a crucial element in equipping migrants with skills that respond to the job market in their countries of origin and which would help them take advantage of the economic opportunities that exist in Burkina Faso and Mali. ITC’s Ethical Fashion Initiative has demonstrated for several years the power of the fashion value chain to provide jobs and inclusive growth in developing countries.’

Andrea Marchesini Reggiani, president of Lai-momo, said: ‘Our commitment to the vocational training centre in Lama di Reno, as well as our daily work with asylum-seekers and local communities, today achieved an important recognition. Migration and development represent challenging issues, which should be addressed through concrete and innovative proposals.’

Notes for the Editor

About the EU - The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa addresses the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. More specifically, it helps address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration by promoting economic and equal opportunities, strengthening security, development and resilience of vulnerable people.

About Lai-momo - Lai-momo is a social cooperative that runs reception centers hosting over 400 asylum-seekers and migrants arriving in Italy and has 15 years experience in providing a wide range of communication services specialised in the issues of migration, European integration and relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Immigration is an important focus at Lai-momo where they aim to facilitate the development of an integrated society. Their approach provides support to native and migrant individuals and groups to empower them and increase their capacity to actively manage their own lives and take part in community activities. Since July 2016, Lai-momo has been piloting a vocational training programme to teach skills in leather bag making to migrants.

About ITC – ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. For more information, visit Follow ITC on Twitter: @ITCnews

About ITC’s Ethical Fashion Initiative - A flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, the Ethical Fashion Initiative enables artisans living in urban and rural poverty to connect with the global fashion chain. The Ethical Fashion Initiative works with the rising generation of fashion talent from Africa, encouraging the forging of fulfilling creative collaborations with artisans on the continent. Under its slogan, ‘Not Charity, Just Work’, the Ethical Fashion Initiative advocates for a fairer global fashion industry.

For more information:

ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative
E: efashion [at] (efashion[at]intracen[dot]org )
Facebook: ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative
Instagram: @ethicalfashion
Twitter: @_ethicalfashion

International Trade Centre
Mr. Jarle Hetland
Media Officer
Office of the Executive Director
P: + 41 22 730 0651
M: + 41 79 582 9180
E: hetland [at] (hetland[at]intracen[dot]org)

Miriam Salussolia
Project Coordinator
P: + 39 351 1741909
E: m.salussolia [at] (m[dot]salussolia[at]laimomo[dot]it)

European Commission
Aurélie Valtat
Information and Communication Officer/Digital Communication
P: +32 2 29 87664
E: Aurelie.VALTAT [at] (Aurelie[dot]VALTAT[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

EU Trust Fund for Africa
E: EuropeAid-EUTF-SAHEL [at] (EuropeAid-EUTF-SAHEL[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
Twitter: @EuropeAid,#AfricaTrustFund
Facebook: EuropeAid
Instagram: @europeaid