Sierra Leone’s Youth Affairs Minister, Mohamed Orman Bangura, is one of the Ministers that are making frantic efforts to make President Bio’s New Direction government succeed. With the successes scored over the years since his appointment to manage the youth sector, Minister Orman Bangura’s leadership has impressed donors and international partners to the extent that they are willing to double and triple support to the sector. This according to them is a result of the level of transparency and accountability demonstrated by the Youth Ministry in managing donor funds.
The government’s New Direction Agenda stated thus: “New Direction Overcoming youth unemployment will be at the center of our fight against poverty and our efforts to consolidate peace. In the New Direction, the youth problem will not only receive our topmost priority but will also be viewed as human development and security challenge. It is our view that stimulating job creation requires a holistic approach. Our approach will be integrated and coherent. The priority will be:(i) Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); (ii) National Youth Scheme;(iii) Economic Empowerment; (iv) Sports; (v) Music and Performing Arts; (vi) Public Works and (vii) Agriculture. Allied to these is that everything will be done to improve the competitiveness of the economy and create the enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the country and participate fully in its development.”
It is against this backdrop that the Minister has made the following achievements: Under Youth Empowerment & Employment, 456 youth trained on the use and operations of the farm and heavy equipment; 1400 youth in fisheries; youth in agriculture 191 chiefdom farms; 240 Youth Entrepreneur in Freetown, Bo, Kono, and Kailahun; 28 additional Car wash; thousands of youth took part in the Annual job internship fair; over 1,000 youth corps under the National Youth Service; 300 young people trained at EBK University on various skills; 40 innovators trained on entrepreneurship, leadership and business planning and provision of startup kits (IPAM); 40 young people trained on product design and development, branding and marketing, packaging, design and development, and ICT for business, and provision of startup kits (LIMKOKWING); 40 young people trained on fish farming aquaculture; Construction and equipping of youth konnect centers in 3 districts. (Falaba, Kailahun and Bonthe); Provision of 126 motorbikes for the district and chiefdom youth leaders Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance; Training of 648 youth on entrepreneurship and provision of stimulus package totaling Le4 billion at the end of the three weeks training in Western Area; and 240 Entrepreneur trained and provided with startup seed money.
The Youth Economic Empowerment Fund will be lunch this year.
Under the Governance and Youth Participation in Decision Making, the Minister continues to strengthen the Youth Council, provide training on Gender-Based Violence, and 758 youth groups’ engagement across the country including Africa youth day international youth day.
249 youth groups engaged and over 57,000 young people engaged in the danger of drugs and substance abuse, under the Ministry’s Violence, Drugs & Substance Abuse Component.
Under its Regulation Framework for the youth, the Ministry will launch the revised National Youth Policy, support the review of the National Youth Scheme (NYS) Act, review the NaCOM Act, Criminal Procedure Amendment Act in progress, Sentencing Guidelines Regulations in progress, and Traffic Offences Act 2007 and the Regulations of 2011 in progress.
Some Youth Leadership interviewed expressed nice sentiments about the Minister’s successes scored and commended his developmental strides made over the year to transform young people in Sierra Leone.