To explore ways to support the Government’s ambitious goal of creating 500,000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans by the end of President Julius Maada Bio’s second term in office, the Africa Development Bank (ADB) has initiated discussions with the Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security (MELSS).
Paying a courtesy visit to Mohamed Rahman Swaray, Minister of Employment, Labour, and Social Security, the ‘Coordinator of Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy’ from ADB, Tapera Jeffrey Muzira, and his team discussed how the Bank could contribute to MELSS’s efforts to promote human capital development and social inclusion.
Tapera Muzira conveyed the ADB’s commitment to collaborating with Sierra Leone in generating job opportunities for young people and promoting economic empowerment for women and youth. The ADB’s support primarily focuses on entrepreneurship and employment initiatives.
He expressed hope that MELSS would assist in identifying specific sectors that could benefit from these programs.
Minister Swaray highlighted that youth unemployment is a central concern addressed in President Bio’s New Direction Manifesto, emphasizing that it is a significant national security threat.
He informed Tapera Muzira about the Second Generation of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP2), a program supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which aims at enhancing entrepreneurship, improve access to markets, and create job opportunities for youths in rural areas, among other goals.
The Minister stressed the importance of providing technical, vocational, and educational training to the youthful population, particularly in the digital sector, as many lack the necessary knowledge and skills for gainful employment.
In another engagement Minister Swaray had with Madam Vanessa Phala, the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Regional Director for Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria he was informed that Sierra Leone is commended for its achievements in meeting International Labour Standards. Madam Vanessa Phala further highlighted ongoing and completed projects facilitated by ILO in collaboration with MELSS, the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, and the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce.
She expressed her eagerness to further strengthen the partnership between ILO and Sierra Leone.
On his part, Minister Swaray thanked Madam Phala for her efforts in restoring Sierra Leone’s voting rights status at the ILO and emphasized the necessity of reviewing and enacting labor laws to better suit the current needs of the country.
The Labour Minister reiterated his commitment to working with both ADB and ILO in achieving the Government’s goal of creating 500,000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans and expressed his anticipation of a seamless partnership with these organizations.