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World Bank study on youth violence launched

World BankThe Social Development Department of the World Bank, in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone through the National Youth Commission, has revealed a study entitled: Justice or Inclusion: understanding the drivers of youth violence in Sierra Leone”.
The study, which started last year, proffered several recommendations geared towards curbing the spate of violence in the post-war countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia; and was launched yesterday at the Bank Complex, Kingtom, where stakeholders, especially youth organisations gathered to understand the content of the report and possibly use it as a tool in their quest to move the youth agenda forward.
While the study moves along with the objective of understanding the drivers of youth violence, it also laid emphasis on income generating activities as a way to mitigate violence through the support of donor communities, the government, NGOs and different income-generating programmes.
From a power-point presentation done by Ekaterina Romanova of the Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team of the World Bank, it was defined from an official point of view that anybody whose age runs between 15 to 35, is considered a youth, and that 73.5% of Sierra Leone’s population falls within this category.
She explained during her presentation, that issues of youth violence normally occur when the lack of understanding has pervaded among an existing youth population, in relation to decisions taken by authorities in their respective communities and the country.
The Chairman of the ceremony, who doubles as the Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Anthony Koroma, said that the study shares youth issues in Sierra Leone and Liberia, as countries that have similar experiences as a result of civil wars.
He said that the two countries have so much in common, and understanding the issue will create room for effective response.
World Bank’s Country Manager, Nikolay Nikolov maintained that the World Bank is pleased to have contributed to the study, especially as it is geared towards addressing the many problems of youth, and helping to move the President’s prosperity agenda.
He said that the report looks at opportunity for youth’s empowerment and the behaviour expected of the youths as they move forward to achieving their goals.
The Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Alimamy Kamara, said that issues of the youths are pertinent to the government, especially when the President has made commitment during State Opening of Parliament that he will dedicate his life to the welfare of youth.
He commended the World Bank for the ongoing youth empowerment support project across the country.
He mentioned that the government is looking forward to the report to accept the challenges young people are faced with, as tremendous efforts have been made by the government to bring youth issues to the fore.
The Minister therefore considered the report as a possible step in the inclusion of youth into national policies in a bid to strengthen transparency and accountability in the governance process.
He revealed that government is working on reviewing the Youth Policy of 2003, while other relevant documents aimed at improving the welfare of youths is on the pipeline for promulgation.
By Poindexter Sama

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