The youths of Sierra Leone can proudly and gleefully slap their cheeks and salivate at the glorious goodies that are provided for them under the 2021 financial budget, as the government looks to make the absurd story and sad predicament of youth unemployment a thing of the past.
In what many have described as a hopeful and gracious budget that focuses on economic diversification and building the resilience of our economy, the government under the 2021 budget, looks to boost the productivity and competitiveness of the growth sectors such as agriculture and agribusiness, fisheries, tourism, and manufacturing, to create jobs for our youthful population.
As the government continues to directly invest in the productivity of our youth, in the 2021 budget, the government will expand the Youth in Car Wash Project; support the Youth in Agro-processing; establish Chiefdom Youth Farms; promote the Youth in eco-tourism and establish the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Project.
The government will also develop a National Apprenticeship Policy and Strategy, roll out a Graduate Service Programme to further facilitate skills acquisition and expand the National Youth Service, and as well continue to support Youth Resource Centres across the country.
Part of this commitment will also see government allocate Le5.8 billion to the Ministry of Youths Affairs, of which, the National Youth Commission is allocated Le3.0 billion and the National Youth Service, Le2.5 billion, and from the domestic capital budget, the Ministry of Youth Affairs will be allocated Le24.0 billion, of which, Le8.0 billion is to support Youth in Car Wash and Le5.0 billion each is allocated to the Youth Economic Empowerment Fund and Youth in Agro-processing. The Youth in Fisheries and the National Youth Service will each receive Le2.0 billion. The sum of Le2.3 billion is allocated for devolved sports services.
Development partners including the ADB and UNDP will provide Le35.0 billion, of which Le15.0 billion is for the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Project and Le10.0 billion to promote youth and eco-tourism.
This shows President Bio’s undiluted interest and indefatigable commitment to ameliorating the conditions of youths in Sierra Leone under the New Direction Administration.