The new Executive Director of National Youth Service (NYS)- Onanah Jalloh and team have paid a courtesy visit to the German Embassy in Freetown.
The visit came ahead of the review of the NYS Act, which President Julius Maada Bio proclaimed during his 2018 state opening address in Parliament.
Ambassador Horst Gruner was elated after he met the team for the first time since his appointment. He said the embassy has been supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to empower the youth and develop their abilities in entrepreneurship, technical and vocational training, quality health and transparent mining development.
Giving an overview of the National Youth Service, the Executive Director, Mohamed Onanah Jalloh, said the NYS is an agency under the Ministry of Youth Affairs, legislated by an Act of Parliament in 2016. Since its establishment, he said it was least functioning except in 2018 when the New Direction administration changed the fortunes of time and 200 graduate corps were inaugurated.
Whilst thanking the German Ambassador for the reception, he said they are on a study tour in Kenya and Ghana ahead of the review of the NYS Act as declared by President Bio. He said President Bio wants the review to match up with contemporary youth development plan as a way of addressing the growing youth unemployment in the country.
“After our study tour, we are now convinced that the best model for Sierra Leone is the Kenya model,” he said, noting that commercializing the NYS would sustain the project and add up a sense of patriotism in the para-military outfit.
About 30,000 youth in Kenya are recruited every year and trained in various skills such as paramilitary, engineering, fashion and design, business management; catering; agriculture; secretarial; plant operation; construction; driving and later prepare for a dedicated national service as well as job creation.
He called on the German Embassy to support the NYS as the solution to addressing the highest youth unemployment inherited by the ruling government.
In a similar development, the NYS management last week engaged the US Ambassador, Maria E. Brewer at the US Embassy at Leicester Square, Regent in Freetown.
Ambassador Brewer said the embassy is available to provide technical advice when called upon. She disclosed that there are other exchange learning programs such as the YALE programs for young African leaders which Sierra Leone has benefited from.