News

UNFPA supports the launch to review the 2014 national youth policy

5 August 2019
UNFPA country representative, Dr. Kim Eva Dickson delivering her remarks at the a launch in Freetown. © UNFPA Sierra Leone/ 2019/ Angelique Reid

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 5 July 2019 - Today, UNFPA attended the launch of the process to review the 2014 National Youth Policy.

Speaking at the launch, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sierra Leone country representative, Dr. Kim Eva Dickson said, “As we review the policy, we need to ensure UNFPA’s three transformative goals of ending preventable maternal deaths; ending the unmet need for family planning; and ending gender based violence and harmful practices against women and girls, are truly considered within the policy.”

In relation to harnessing the potential of young people in Sierra Leone, Dr. Dickson stressed the point that the review of the policy needs to consider the demographic dividend. Dr. Dickson explained that in harnessing the demographic dividend the four main pillars needs to be factored in. These pillars comprise, health and well-being; rights, governance and youth empowerment; education and skills development; and employment and entrepreneurship. Dr. Dickson ended her remarks stating that UNFPA is fully committed in the review of the national youth policy process, and that UNFPA’s commitments are always realised.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sierra Leone, country director, Dr. Samuel Doe in his address stated that in Sierra Leone, UNFPA is driving the demographic dividend agenda forward. This is an opportunity for all of us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Too many women in Sierra Leone are dying whilst giving birth. Young people find it difficult to give birth and the policy needs to look at these social norms to help us achieve the SDGs.

Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang delivering his statement noted that over the past 48 years, China has been cooperating with Sierra Leone in many areas such as education, health care, infrastructure, culture, agriculture and fisheries, which are all related to people’s development. The majority of those beneficiaries are youth. China will continue to do more and stands committed in supporting the Government.

In his keynote speech, the Minister of Youth Affairs, Mr. Mohamed O. Bangura stated the review process will focus on changing the mindset of Sierra Leoneans. “We meet today to start the process of updating the Acts and reviewing the national youth policy where we must produce a set of documents that Sierra Leoneans can say we produced ourselves,” said Mr. Bangura.

Mr. Chernor Bah, the consultant working on the review process, during his presentation informed participants that the review process will engage youth from all over the country. “The findings we present will be what the youth have said they want. It will be a consultative process which is visibly inclusive. The new policy will lay the foundation for gender. We will ensure this new policy is a reflection of the female representation in the country,” said Mr. Bah. He remarked that the new policy will have clear priorities and these will be what the government focuses on. Technical experts will guide the advisory panel so it is an actionable policy.

 

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Angelique Reid, Communications Specialist

UNFPA Sierra Leone 

M: 078 340044              

E: areid@unfpa.org