The West African Youth Network (WAYN) over the weekend unveiled its new regional secretariat at Waterloo Street in Freetown.
The ceremony was witnessed by representatives from Sierra Leone and Liberia together with other government officials and senior lecturers from both countries.
Giving an overview of the network the regional director, Richelieu Allison, said the opening of the building marked the history of the network as they had come a long way, as after five years of existence they had finally opened an office.
Mr Allison said, “this project is part of our 2005-2007 initiative which aims at bringing ECOWAS countries together,” and urged young people to be part of the development of the network.
The regional director stressed that, “WAYN has engaged in research on the role of young people in peace building and democracy.
“We have also sponsored a youth delegation to have audience with ECOWAS on sensitive issues affecting the youth”, he revealed.
Richelieu Allison disclosed that, “the network will be awarding scholarships to five deserving pupils and we have several programmes of which one is to be implemented in The Netherlands”.
In his keynote address Kimmie Weeks, founder of Youth Action International and winner of the 2007 Bircks Award, explained that he came to Sierra Leone to help a child who was born with an abnormal growth.
The 25-year-old Liberian child activist said their goal was to transform the lives of Sierra Leonean and Liberian youth.
He stated that special attention should be given to young people, and that if they were forgotten, there would be mismanagement and conflict.
As Sierra Leone is heading towards general elections, he urged the Special Court to ensure that young people take part in it actively.
Talking about the resource centre named after him, Mr Weeks said at first he thought the name of a place should be given to old people or those that had died.
But “this is a credence that young people can do better. The rest of the world is transforming and the transition is going smoothly,” he noted.
Memunatu Pratt, Mr Bockaria Ensah and others also made statements.
Mrs Binta Mansaray, who is the coordinator of the Special Court Outreach Section, did the cutting of the tape.