Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa on Thursday 16th February 2023 witnessed the passing out ceremony of 360 National Youth Service Corps in the nation’s capital, Freetown.

The composition of the 360 successful graduates includes 162 females, representing 45 per cent, and 198 males, 55 per cent.

In his statement, he assured all present that youth will continue to be the Government’s topmost priority, maintaining that, the government’s focus is mainly centred on human resource development.

The minister as well as thanked the graduates for going through the process leading to their graduation.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the invitation to this epoch-making event in the lives of the young people of Sierra Leone.

“As a government, we had committed at the outset in our Party Manifesto, in the New Direction, that the youth problem would not only receive our topmost priority but would also be viewed as a human capital development and security challenge that must be addressed.”

He said, the efforts to address the needs of young people should not be subjected to cosmetic quick fixes, but should instead be based on activities and interventions that will commence problem-solving today and lay concrete foundations for real empowerment in the future.

Madam Nadia Rasheed, the UNFPA Country Representative in Sierra Leone urged the young people of the country to use their best zeal to maintain and promote a better development for every citizen of the country.

He said, “At the UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, We are therefore honoured to have been part of the youth corps orientation along with UNDP to help advance that vision by engaging with youth corps members to support youth leadership and to advocate for the rights of young people.

The UNDP country representative, Pa Lamin Beyia, noted that “globally, we are experiencing a youth world with high demand for jobs for the population of young people; this is a difficult task for the world.”

He said the United Nations and the African continent have mapped out strategies to ensure more young people are empowered through programs with youth targets. Adding that “We are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Youth Affairs in Sierra Leone on job creation for young people in the country. I am happy to inform this gathering that UNDP is happy to fund youth-related programs”.

Since 2018, the New Direction administration of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has ensured that there is a steady investment in youth and young people, which is manifested in the various projects, these are initiatives and investments that have ensured that more and more young people are not only learning or studying but are being provided with opportunities to apply their skills and contribute to national development.