By Ibrahim K.Turay
West Africa Youth Network over the weekend celebrated Africa Youth Day at the British Council Hall in Freetown on the theme “Combating Injustices, Marginalization and Corruption in the Education sector”.
Africa Youth Day is an annual programme set aside to promote and increase recognition of youth as key agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development in Africa.
The day was commemorated in Sierra Leone by the West Africa youth Network (WAYN) and the Patriotic advocacy Network (PAN) on Saturday 2nd November, 2019.
Addressing participants, Executive Director of PAN, Ansumana Keita, described the event as a starting point in the transformation of combating injustice, marginalization, and corruption in Sierra Leone, thus noting that over the years PAN has been a strong advocate that preaches against corruption in schools.
On his part, Executive Director of WAYN, Mohamed Kanneh, expressed his warmest appreciation on behalf of the Board of Directors to young people, who joined them in celebrating Africa youth Day.
Kanneh added that the theme was timely as corruption was taking centre stage in the country.
He advised young people to serve as catalysts for change, adding that they should not give or take bribe and must be prepared to expose exams malpractices at all time.
He said since 2001, WAYN has been operating in three Africa countries including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, and has provided young people with an opportunity to champion different issues affecting their lives.
James Fortune, a member of the West Africa Youth Network called on youth to help eradicate corruption in the education system, as it has affected the development of the country.
He said African youth should now be partners in development and should not condone or indulge in crime.
He explained that this year’s celebrations is focused on three major areas including education, empowerment, and engagement, and that the event will also look at contribution made by young people and their energy and optimism to reinforce the effect towards the achievement of sustainable development.
President Julius Maada Bio Commissions new Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) for Police Wives
President Dr Julius Maada Bio has officially commissioned a newly constructed Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) institute and administrative building constructed by the Sierra Leone Police Wives Association at Kingtom Barracks in Freetown.
In her presentation, President of the Police Wives Association, Mrs Olga Moigbe, said that the project was designed to meet the felt needs of police wives across the country. She said that she made use of a holistic approach to make the project a reality – a very fascinating idea geared towards empowering police wives to be self-sustainable and self-reliable.
She said the project was fully funded by Sierra Leoneans and expressed appreciation to President Bio and other Sierra Leoneans who in diverse ways supported the project, saying that that was indicative of the fact that Sierra Leoneans were capable of doing things and improving the country by themselves. She stated that the project was of great significance to the country because it was in line with President Bio’s free quality education and First Lady Mrs. Fatima Bio’s empowerment for women.
Inspector-General of Police, Dr Richard Moigbe, said that the commissioning of the institute was a laudable venture that would help to build the capacity of police wives and daughters, other women and girls and empower them to be self-reliant. He added that it would also strengthen women to support their families and contribute to President Bio’s agenda for human capital development.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Honourable Edward Suluku, congratulated the Police Wives Association on the completion of a project that would cater for the welfare of police wives across the country. He assured that he would work with the association to replicate similar projects to other regions across the country.
First Lady Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio said that she was excited that the project had been completed within a very short time. She said that President Bio had demonstrated his belief in women when he gave them the right vision and inspiration. She added that women were an integral part of the development of the country and commended the President for providing the space for women to participate in nation-building.
In his keynote address, President Julius Maada Bio said that the completion of the project was a show of quality leadership and commitment, saying that when people work together they could achieve better things. He commended Mrs. Olga Moigbe and the First Lady for their commitment to the successful completion of the project.
“This institute will help to impart different skillsets to the women of this country in line with our agenda for human capital development, thereby empowering them for financial stability in their homes. We are here to celebrate the work of women and to encourage them to increase the scope of what they want to do. We are going into a digital world that requires everyone to be skilled and competitive.
“We are investing billions of leones into education which is the future of our nation. Our students should make use of the free quality education because it is about shaping a brighter future for them. Parents should always encourage their kids to pay more attention to their schoolwork and discourage them against all sorts of examination malpractice,” he said.
The vocational and training institute, which was completed within fourteen months, is well equipped with modern facilities and would offer courses in information technology, tailoring and dressmaking – both theory and practical, hairdressing, adult literacy programmes, catering, arts and craft and other practical courses.