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IFC, World Bank Support Training, Increased Job Opportunities for Sierra Leone’s Youth

Freetown, Sierra Leone, August 13, 2013 – IFC and the World Bank are working with Sierra Leone’s government and private sector to help create training and employment opportunities for young people in the country, where about a third of the population is under 35. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
As part of this initiative, IFC, the World Bank, donor organizations, and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Youth Affairs hosted a Youth Employment Forum in Freetown from August 12 th - 13 th that brought together young people, government officials, and the private sector to discuss ways of empowering youth in the country and creating more employment opportunities for them.
Speaking at the event, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Alimany Kamara, said, “Now that there is strong political will and determination to empower the young people of Sierra Leone, the development of the nation lies in the hands of the youth. Young people must be ready and committed to take the lead to move this nation forward, and through peaceful and productive activities. “
Sierra Leone coordinator for IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative, Sese Gadzekpo, said, “IFC, through its investments and advisory services programs, is committed to helping Sierra Leone build a strong private sector and achieve long-term, sustainable economic growth. A major focus of our work is supporting young people and entrepreneurs in the country, helping them obtain the training and financing they need to launch and grow businesses.”
The Youth Forum, which focused on the ICT, agriculture, mining, and tourism sectors, explored ways of providing young people with better training opportunities so they can more easily find employment, or start businesses. The forum’s desired outcome is a youth employment road map that will provide long-term solutions to youth unemployment.
Sierra Leone’s government has already committed to building a $30 million ‘youth village’ that will act as a training, education, and networking hub.
IFC is active in Sierra Leone with investments and advisory services programs that are improving the country’s investment climate and helping support the growth of smaller businesses, including co-hosting an annual business plan competition that nourishes the talent of young entrepreneurs.
Sierra Leone is also one of eight countries supported by IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA) which works with other IFC programs to promote a strong private sector in countries recovering from conflict. CASA is supported by donor partners Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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