APRM holds Inaugural Governance Forum
The Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states for self-evaluation to monitor compliance to the NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Cooperate Governance on 15th May 2013 organized a one day dialogue Governance Forum for the private and public sectors, government and non-State actors, including civil society and the media at the British Council Auditorium, Tower Hill, Freetown.
The APRM, is one of the capital’s institutions set up of government functions that looks into various developmental aspects in collaboration with the National Youths Commission (NYC) to look into the high rate of youth unemployment in the country on the theme Youth Unemployment and Job Creation.
Basically, the NYC, which was set up to create job employment and enhance youth unemployment enacted in 2002, was launched into operation in 2009. The President who has the responsibility and commitment in the enhancement, to promote the interest and welfare of young people in the country and in line with support to the NYC policy, serves as a reference for state institutions.
The Chairman of the forum, Osman Gbla, said the governance forum geared towards youth unemployment, is very much important as participants are accepted to bring out fruitful contributions at the end of the day.
In his opening remarks, Mr. M.S. Jalloh said that APRM gears towards providing a platform that is able to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country, adding that steps have been put in place to ensure that the youth have the necessary skills for employment in the sectors of the economy.
The Deputy Minister of Political Affairs Hon. Karmokoh Kabba said the president is very much committed to the APRM Peer Country Review Report (CRR) which was submitted to ensure that the issue of unemployment in his government is addressed.
He said the private sector and public sectors, and other institutional developments, will also attest to the fact that since that time, the President is always ready to protect the issue of youth unemployment as it occupies a serious attention in the government’s agenda for prosperity and his ministry, together with the President, is paying greater attention on the issue in order to improve the lives of young people in the country.
The Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs at the APRM Youth Unemployment Forum, Ferehmusu Konteh, said the Inaugural Governance Forum on Youth Employment and Job Creation is paramount in a way that it fosters a peer learning process of best practices among African countries.
She said the issues of the youth are a major challenge to the government with over 800,000 youths being unemployed and underemployed. She said Sierra Leone is one of the fastest growing economies in the sub-region but has a mismatch of skills and a high rate of dropouts from BECE to WASCE level, which she said is one key area leading the youths of Sierra Leone to miss out on the plenty available jobs in the mining, agricultural and tourism sectors.
She maintained that His Excellency is very much committed to the issue of youths since in 2007, when he took up office. She noted that the Ministry will remain committed and they will strengthen the governance operational mandates of the youth councils by ensuring that they are able to act as advisory committee, and to liaise with government to promote the issues of youths in their communities and at districts levels.
By Mohamed Y.Turay
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