June 19, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Commissioner of the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) Thomas Ngolo Katta, has stated that the commission was underpinning the seriousness of entrepreneurship in the unfolding of the economy and development of the country.
“NAYCOM is underpinning the seriousness of entrepreneurship in the unfolding of the economy and development of the country. Almost 40% of the country’s population that is over two million seven hundred young people required given the capacity to lead in the development of the country,” he said.
Commissioner Katta was yesterday Tuesday June 18th speaking at his Freetown Office Conference Room while addressing young graduates’ participants in a two day training workshop on entrepreneurship skills with the theme ‘building public awareness of entrepreneurship as a key strategy for building community wealth through community action plan.
He said the National Youth Commission was leading on the important activity because in partnership with the Africa Development Bank they are running a project call Employment and Empowerment Programme YEEP, adding that the project gives opportunity to young people especially university graduates to be empowered in entrepreneurship programming.
He said the project has a series of component and the core of its component is been undertaken by one of their partners one Italian Company and they are dealing with the skills development component.
He further that in the skills development component there are series of activities that are going to be undertaken and they have also identified three skills including hospitality and tourism sector, adding that for that skill they will be virtually relating with the Milton Margai College of Technology and Education.
He said the second skill is in the construction and energy sector, noting that they are also looking at TVET engagement with the Eastern Polytechnic and other institutions and thirdly they are also looking in the agro sector especially in the aqua sector and that they want to undertake fish farming in the country with the aim to raise the nutritional level of the citizens.
He said the other aspect of the project was is about looking at career advancement and guardians, noting that the career aspect was to support universities in Sierra Leone to be able to guide young people to understand how would they go through transition from school to work.
He said for them at NAYCOM the career aspect is one of the most important of the project because most of the young people in the university don’t know what they want to do as career, noting that some of them had have the opportunity in securing a job but they don’t have work ethics.
He said already with support from the United Nation Development Fund UNDP they had set up structures in the universities that is engaging and talking to young people how to make career, adding that they will be training councillors that will be talking to young people in the universities.
He disclosed that they are trying to reimage to give a different meaning to Technical Vocational Education Training TVET in Sierra Leone, adding that if the country has to reach meddle income country by 2035 and give confidence to young people that TVET was important to the development of young people in the country.
In his presentation the consultant of the project Joseph Kpakiwa, said the project focuses on to strengthen entrepreneurship and crate employment for the young by supporting Sierra Leone in creating integrated system the education and vocational institutions with the market productive sector.
He said the project is going to be training twenty TVET instructors, provide career guidance and counselling to 2,400 youth, train at least one hundred graduates to enhance supervisory skills in collaboration with private sector partners.
He further stated that there are also going to be training 150 youth in three selected priority skills needed by the private sector and also be supporting 60 youth to start and manage businesses through mentoring.
The Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme (YEEP), initiated in 2011, build on UNDP’s extensive post-war experience supporting the empowerment of Sierra Leone’s youth.
It is designed to strengthen national policy, strategy and coordination for youth employment and seeks to provide basic support services for youth across the country, including business development and career advice and guidance. The Programme is focused on three key components.