It's no point tagging the youth as morbund and volatile. Attitudes of youth can be turned around.

Mohammed Turay burns cables in Freetown’s Kroo Bay slum to extract copper which he sells as scrap. Photo by: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN

Youth unemployement has been conducive to instability in Sierra Leone for more than a decade. The country went through an ordeal of civil war starting 1991, dragging on until 2002 and leaving large number of people dead and displaced. Whole economy collapsed. Foreign investment has tried to save the country from economic disaster but the World Bank reports 70 % youth are still unemployed.

Most of the young boys in their early twenties pass their time by playing games for example draughts, because they can't find work. Young girls search inside rubbish dumps to get hold of any recyclable articles.

The only chance some of the youngworking as an apprentice by participating in UNDP(United Nations Development Programme) internship scheme.

President Earnest Bai Koroma understands that the derailing nation can only survive with the well-being of its youth. Despite all economic development, majority of country's youth scraps in on less than $1/day.

Agicultural value chain has the tendency to engage large number of youth in work. 5000 students graduate from universities every year and they are not prepared for the job market. Labour market should be as ready to employ the youth as the youth should be ready to work. Employers better show the youn people their vision right from the beginning. Give excessive training for developing skills. The improvement process depends on both the youth and employers.

Only by understanding their problems and tackling the related challenges can be a way out. They face problems in gaining education and health. They can be made disciplined. The world market be prepared for taking young people. Not resist them with stereotypes but skill them. The lesson can be applied to all countries facing the similar situation with their youth.


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