President Ernest Koroma yesterday at the Atlantic Hall of the National Stadium Hostel launched the National Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Youth Development on the theme “Youth Empowerment and Attitudinal Change.”
In his speech President Koroma said he is very happy to be part of this unique consultative forum on youth development with the aim of “soliciting the views and aspirations of our young people and all stakeholders working with them on what my government can do to address the critical problem of youth empowerment.”
The president recalled that “during several of my campaign pronouncements, I had mentioned the intention of my party, the APC, to establish a youth Commission as a key strategy in promoting youth development.”
This Commission he said “will be charged with safeguarding the aspirations of young people and assisting government in evolving policies that promotes the welfare and development of our young people”
“This nation owes our young people a clear policy and practical measures to ensure that they contribute to, and benefit from, our democracy” he said.
The President called on the youths not to despair, but use the available opportunities and take advange of government programmes.
He further urged them not to “rely merely on others, try to create opportunities yourselves my government will fully support and promote aspirations of young people” he promised.
The Minister of Education Youth and Sports Dr Minkailu Bah in his own statement said “In March this year, my ministry initiated a national sensitization and consultative process aimed at a strategy for the establishment of the National Youth Commission.
He went on “Today, we are witnessing the end point of these consultations with this forum with representation from all corners of this country and from all shades of interest, we are certain that the outcome of this forum will serve as a reference point in the establishment of not only the commission, but in designing a framework for youth development in the foreseeable future.”
The Country Director at UNDP Bernard Mokam in his own statement said “The fact that you want to hear from the United Nations at this time suggests to us that the government appreciates our partnership and recognizes, as we do that effective and transparent partnerships are needed to jointly address the many challenges that we are facing in the coming up with effective strategies for youth employment and empowerment.”