The German Development Cooperation in Sierra Leone has said that, from 2006 to date, over 1300 jobs and livelihoods for youths in urban and rural areas have been created.
The outgoing manager of GTZ, an Employment Promotion Committee (EPC), Dr Salua Nour spoke to journalists yesterday saying that during her two years in Sierra Leone, GTZ has not only helped in job creation but has enriched the debate about youth employment with the Government and donor communities.
Dr Nour explained that when the EPP was initiated in 2006 with funding of about $15million, it was with the view of helping to create jobs, especially for youths. Since then, many projects have been realized through effective and innovative approaches with partners, the public and the private sector.
GTZ also contributes to the fight against corruption in the country by guaranteeing the transparent and tightly controlled implementation of the German Cooperation projects and also by promoting the Anti- Corruption Commission with a funding of over 1 million US Dollars, Dr Nour explained.
A National Employment Survey (NES) was conducted on a nationwide basis in order to identify the employment potentials of the main economic sectors in all districts and to analyze the factors impeding the realization of the potentials. A databank was also established, in which project proposals coming from all over the country from enterprises, youth groups – rural and urban – and small initiatives were registered.
“At the present moment, over 190 project proposals are under study and, if funded by Government and other donor resources, they will lead to the creation of 17,000 sustainable jobs and livelihoods,” Dr Nour said.
She spoke about 37 projects that have been implemented through the innovative approach in the field of private sector development. There are 12 micro-enterprises, 3 medium sized enterprises, 11 rural entrepreneurial youth groups and 3 big enterprises as well as the economic venture of big youth associations like Klin Salone, NaMEP and AMNET.
“The most important contribution to the solution of the youth unemployment problem has been the support given to the successful organization and employment of youth groups in rural and urban areas,” she said. “The models of Klin Salone and nation-wide resource organization (NWRO) are considered to be examples for youth empowerment and rational engagement in sustainable economic activities.”
Dr Salua Nour is leaving Sierra Leone to take up another assignment in the field of academic teaching.
By Ishmael Bayoh