July 3, 2018
Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura, Monday paid an official visit to the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
During the visit at FAO’s country office on Signal Hill in Freetown, the minister, on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, thanked the UN agency for their continued support youth of the country.
Bangura told the FAO Country Rep that he was in her office in two capacities: as government minister and as youth of Sierra Leone.
The minister requested for partnership, technical support in agriculture, food security, as key thematic areas in the New Direction administration. He, however, acknowledged that FAO has challenges, but further implored them to swiftly come in to help address the growing youth unemployment.
Minister Bangura told FAO that “there is no way we can succeed as a nation if we do not reduce the rate of poverty.”
Owing to the fact that President Bio has recognised youth unemployment as a challenge to state security, the minister used the opportunity to lobby FAO’s support in key areas such as agriculture.
It could be recalled that one of the successful models introduced in Africa is the Songhai Center in Benin Republic which trains agricultural experts, engineers among others. FAO has been encouraged to replicate same in Sierra Leone to help youth of the country.
FAO Country Rep Mrs. Nyabenyi Tito Tipo and the Head of Programmes Mr. Joseph Brima noted that they were pleased with the minister’s visit. They promised FAO’s continued support in the country and to the Youth Affairs Ministry.
The FAO Country Rep stated that her institution would align its programmes to suit the President’s New Direction agenda as well as the President’s commitments during the State Opening of Parliament.
“Youth unemployment has become a global issue, hence FAO’s Rome Office is working hard to see how this could be addressed,” said Mrs. Tito Tipo.
The Country Rep revealed that there are youth friendly projects in the agricultural sector which they will support.
Agriculture is a key priority area of the government and it is against this background that the Youth Affairs Ministry wants to use Sierra Leonean youth as a driving force to increase productivity.