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Graduate Internship Programme 2017


President Koroma Launches ‘The Demographic Dividend’ through Investments in Youth

Participants at the Symposium

President Ernest Bai Koroma as part of a week- long commemoration of the National Youth Development Week launched “The Demographic Dividend’ through Investment in young people at the Miatta Conference Hall on Monday 24th April 2017. The National Youth Development week is a recommendation in the Africa Youth Charter for Governments and Partners to pay special attention to the needs of young people.

It is commemorated from 21st-26th April each year.
In Sierra Leone, this year’s commemoration kicked-off with a symposium at the Presidential Lounge, National Stadium. Youth representatives from various youth groups converged at the venue to benefit from motivational and educative statements from speakers on different topics bothering on youth issues.
The launch of the Demographic Dividend by the President could be seen as the apex of this year’s National Youth Development Week as it gave young people the reassurance of the government’s continued support.

However, in the statement of the Country Representative of UNFPA as key partner for hosting the launch, Madam Dixon said the “The Demographic Dividend’ is a core mandate of UNFPA. She said their organization is to partner with Governments in Africa to see how they can invest in young people and make them productive citizens. Madam Dixon said although the government has several programmes for young people, more investment in them is still required. She pledged UNFPA’s support to the government to invest in the youths.
President Ernest Bai Koroma described the youths as ‘the most valuable natural resource’. He said if the country is to achieve the demographic dividend, education on family planning would be a key approach. He said this will translate into a healthy and dedicated workforce for increase productivity.
Cataloguing his government’s priority for youths among others, President Koroma mentioned his appointment of youth to leadership positions, designed to promote national cohesion and provide youth with the relevant skills for the job market. He said if the young people have the relevant skills for the current job market they can join the continent to achieve the demographic dividend.
He reassured the youth of his commitment to formalize existing structures that his government have put in place to support young people.
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura , Minister of Youth Affairs said the National Youth Development Week promotes recognition, participation and involvement of youths in the development processes at all level.

The Minister said the theme for this year: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth” was selected by the African Union (AU) as a guide to achieving vision 2063.
He appreciated donors who supported the event - UNFPA, UNDP, GIZ, CCYA, PLAN International and Restless Development Organization.

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