FREETOWN, Feb 23rd 2016: Goodwill Ambassador of the Youths of Sierra Leone Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has described Sierra Leone President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as a leader who is easily attracted by a youth empowerment policy of any kind.
Dr. Blyden made this statement at the launching ceremony of the National Youth Policy and the Youth in Fishing Project of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, where she was master of ceremony last month February 2016.
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Speaking further, Dr. Sylvia Blyden likened President Koroma love for youths empowerment to the late Dr. John Karefa Smart who according to her was desirous to empower women as evidenced by the actions Karefa Smart took during his campaigns to become President of Sierra Leone. These, she said included Karefa Smart desirous of empowering women to be his presidential elections running mates.
Relating it to the topic under review, Dr. Sylvia Blyden said both in 2002 and 2007 when President Koroma was in Opposition and contesting for the Presidency of Sierra Leone, he gave more young people his APC symbols to contest for parliamentary seats across the country, including a 20 years old Musa Kanneh who only turned 21 years barely few days to contesting for Parliament in Constituency 005 in Kailahun District.
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She said that was a clear indication that President Koroma is a man who is naturally committed to the advancement of the youths from even before he assumed the Presidency.
This, she said is the reason why today the country has more young ministers, young Judges, young ambassadors and young Parastatal Board members more than any other time in its History. She pointed at how a special ministry of youth affairs and also a national commission for youths have emerged during era of Ernest Bai Koroma as President of Sierra Leone.
She therefore emphasized to the youths that the tenure of President Koroma in office is their opportunity to grow, and must be judiciously utilized.
She said whilst working closely with the President at State House for 20 months, one sure way of drawing his support for any project, was to include a component that empowers youths.
Delivering his keynote address, President Ernest Bai Koroma noted that the launch of the youth policy and youth in fishing project is one of the principal milestones of governmentís commitment to addressing the challenges the youths of Sierra Leone are faced with.
The President reiterated his pledge to dedicate his second term in office to the youths, and further stressed the need for the implementation of drafted policies.
He went on to call on government ministries, departments and agencies and donor partners to mainstream youth policies in every of their daily operations.
He said the youth are of the fantastic potentials required for the sustenance of the countryís development, but he said we can only tap into those potentials as a country, when the people and government ensure effective coordination and collaboration while implementing projects geared towards elevating the status of the youths.
Launching the Revised National Youth Policy, the President called on the youths to take it as their bible which they must always read, in order for them to understand the stated legislations and regulations for them, which will get them in the better position to ask necessary question to government officials.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.