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NEWS : Local News  

Sierra Leone News : Urgency! Koroma Explains
By State House
Feb 26, 2016, 17:10
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His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has explained that the question of issues around the youths of Sierra Leone, was one of urgency. He was speaking in Freetown yesterday 25th February 2016 as he launched the revised 2014 national youths policy as well as 70 new fishing boats for use by youths in coastal communities of seven districts.


As the Head of State reeled out the statistics and percent of the population that made up the age bracket of youths and those citizens under the age of 35 years, he informed that he created a special Ministry of Youth Affairs and also focused attention and lots of human resource to handle youths issues because it was an urgent issue for his government.


It can be recalled that many post-war academic and research findings including those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, had called on authorities and donor partners to pay extra-special attention to Sierra Leone youths. It is a fact that under the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC government, an unprecedented amount of high attention has been put towards the empowerment of youth. For example, large number of youths have been appointed to lofty places in both the Executive arm of government and the Judiciary.


Meanwhile, a State House news reports with photos of the event are below.


President Launches Fisheries Project for Youths

 

By State House


FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, February 25, 2016 Various projects have been designed by the government to provide job opportunities for young people as well as improve their livelihoods in riverine and coastal fishing communities, said President Ernest Bai Koroma this morning during the official launching of the Youth in Fishing project and the Revised National Youth Policy 2014 at the Tambercular Wharf in Aberdeen.


The president recalled that, he established the Ministry of Youth Affairs with the mandate to give leadership and to inject a sense of urgency in addressing the challenges facing the youth. He pointed out that government has taken several actions in this direction revised the National Youth Policy, enacted the National Youth Commission Act, developed the Youth Development Programme, passed the National Youth Service Act (which will involve the countrys graduates in the development of the country), commenced the National Youth Village Project in Koinadugu district, and expanded Youth in Drainage Clearing Project among others.

 

President, flanked by Muslim & Christian leaders, cuts the tape to commission the 70 boats.


The Revised National Youth Policy, according to President Koroma, would serve as the blueprint for the empowerment of young people in key strategic areas including Youth Sensitive Policy Analysis, Education and Skills Development, Agriculture, Health and Healthy Lifestyles, Technology and Innovation, Socio-economic Integration of Youth, Protection of the Environment, Sustainable Livelihoods and Youth Employment.


On the other hand, the Youth in Fishing Project is intended to make more fish available in local markets and at affordable cost. That is why the project has constructed boats outfitted with 70 Horse power engines. These boats will be distributed across 70 fishing communities nationwide, targeting at least 1,000 youth. And this is just the first phase of a total of 200 Outboard Fishing Boats to be provided by mid 2017, the president said amid rapturous applause.


Chairperson for the occasion Dr. Sylvia Blyden eulogises the President's commitment to youths


He thanked the Alwaleed Foundation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for providing part of the funds for the project and assured of governments commitment to continue to work with development partners and to implement development projects that will provide not just skills training but also job opportunities for young people.


President Koroma urged beneficiaries (of the first phase of the project) to make good use of the opportunity, to improve their lives and those of their families and create opportunities for others and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. But you must also ensure sustainable fishing by using appropriate fishing nets, he admonished.

President and his Youth Minister jointly launch the revised National Youths Policy


The Minister of Youth Affairs Hon. Alimamy Kamara thanked President Koroma for his continued support to youth empowerment, noting that his ministrys business is to implement youth empowerment projects. He praised development partners for their support to his ministry and observed that not all young people are unserious. Hon. Kamara said the beneficiaries are going to be trained by Maritime Administration, and therefore entreated them to prove to the nation that they are now changed people.


Adviser on Youth Affairs in the Office of the Chief of Staff, Dr Sheku Gibril Kamara called on fishermen to make judicious use of the boats by managing them well and appealed for cooperation to move the project forward.

Female youths were fully involved in the event and will be fully involved in the Projects on a 1:2 ratio with their male counterparts


Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Capt. Momodu Alieu Pat-Sowe described the project as an example of inter-ministerial collaboration to provide the required technical support to the Ministry of Youth Affairs. He told beneficiaries of this first phase to work closely with their communities and urged them to refrain from using monofilament as it destroys the fishes.


Chairperson of the occasion, former Special Executive Assistant to President Koroma, Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden recalled that President Koroma had pledged to support the youth of Sierra Leone since he was in Opposition, and during the campaign trail, he also vowed to commit his government to youth empowerment which he has gone far in actualizing.

A smiling President assures Sierra Leone youths that his commitment to them remains unshaken.


Buoyant Fisheries Minister Pat Sowe shakes hands with President Koroma at the event


Some of the 40 horsepower outboard engines for the fishing boats


Another cross section of the jubilant oceanic Tamba Kula wharf scene yesterday


Some of the recipient youths from seven coastal lined districts, jubilantly prepare to go out to sea fully kitted with safety gears and ice boxes.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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