Mohamed Orman Bangura, Sierra Leone’s Youth Minister has today, in Kenema City, Nongowa Chiefdom received a standing ovation by youth across the world for his laudable initiative(s) to put smile on their faces.
This is the first time Kenema District is celebrating the International Youth Day since inception.
Speaking at the Albertson Hotel, Nyadeyama Section, the Minister of Youth Affairs said, “On the 12th of August of every year, young people around the world celebrate a day set aside by the United Nations for us all to gather and discuss the opportunities, successes, failures, challenges faced by young people around the globe. It gives us the opportunity to chat the way forward for harnessing the full potentials of us young people. At such a gathering, we discuss how to change the Youth Narrative. We discuss how to create safe spaces for young people to participate fully in decision making processes and for us all to be partners in the development process and not just beneficiaries of projects rolled out.”
Dilating on the theme for this year’s International Youth Day: “Creating Safe Spaces For Sierra Leonean Youth,” the Honourable Minister of Youth Affairs told the motley crowd that, the 2018 International Youth Day, presents a unique opportunity for young people to break new grounds, push for more progress, explore more opportunities and build a solid future for this generation and generations yet unborn.
Minister Bangura noted that under the New Direction, the country will invest in young entrepreneurs, young agriculturists, young scientists who will invent the next tools and machineries that will move Sierra Leone and the world forward.
According to him, we have to invest more in our youth to create safe spaces in Sierra Leone, so that our youth will find pleasure living in our beloved country in peace and harmony, and therefore find no reason to risk their precious lives on the Mediterranean in search of safe havens in Europe and America.
He went on to say that, “we have to ensure the youth stay on and help in the development process of the country.”
According to him, President Julius Maada Bio has not only placed young people top of his priorities but sees “our challenges as a security and development challenge.”
In a composed mood, Minister Bangura said, “We have to get it right today or we risk the future of this nation. We have to win today’s battles or we lose the battle when this young population would have grown in age and we will be left with an aging population.”
He added that President Julius Maada Bio, in a bid to help transform the lives of young people, change the stereotypes associated to young people of ‘yesteryears’ has rolled out the free education scheme for primary and secondary schools, introduced a loan scheme for university students and has promised to have a Youth Development Fund that will finance the operations and business plans of young entrepreneurs in different areas of entrepreneurship, develop the skills of young people by investing in Technical and Vocational Education, creating the next generation of young agricultural billionaires by investing in agriculture and investing in science and technology to create room for the next generation of inventors.”
Unveiling his Ministry’s development plans, he said, “In this New Direction, we will be sending our first crop of Youth Corps in the field by October of this year.” He further appealed that every hand must be on deck for us to realize the best out of this crop of ingenious young people. The National Youth Service Scheme is expected to employ 200 fresh graduates as its pilot phase.
He averred that “we all have a duty to create safe spaces, today for young people.”
To young people, he said, “President Bio has given us the mandate to lead three democratic wars. The war against Indiscipline, Corruption and Poverty. There is no better way to create safe spaces in Sierra Leone than winning the wars against Indiscipline, Corruption and Poverty.”
“I therefore call on young people, our youth, to be at the forefront in promoting our peaceful democratic wars on Indiscipline, Corruption and Poverty.”
He commended the donor partners for their continued support and partnerships.