More than 60 per cent of Sierra Leonean youths are unemployed or underemployed. Funded by the Government of Japan, Reducing the Risk of Irregular Migration through Employment Promotion and Entrepreneurship Support for the Youth will be implemented over three years from 2019 to 2022.
The new project will contribute to youth and women’s empowerment through vocational and entrepreneurship skills training. A partnership will be developed with Sierra Tropical, a Sierra Leone-based juice manufacturing company, to provide internships and on-the-job training to young people and women across the country.
Two hundred and forty youths will also receive entrepreneurship trainings, business start-up kits, and long-term mentoring from industry professionals to ensure the sustainability of their ventures.
Mohamed Bangura, Minister of Youth Affairs for Sierra Leone, said this new project will support the country’s National Development Plan: “The project will help provide young people with the skills in areas relevant for the job market; reduce rural-urban and irregular migration and contribute to economic growth and development,” he explained.
Since 2017, more than 950 vulnerable Sierra Leoneans have returned home with IOM’s assistance. The project will also develop activities to raise awareness on the risks and dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking.
“Over the years, the Government of Japan has been very committed in providing support to Sierra Leone, and we are very happy also to support this wonderful project, “added Tsutomu Himeno, Japan’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone.