By Emmanuella Kallon
Over three weeks to 2012, German International Cooperation (GIZ) held a consultative meeting with stakeholders to reveal proposals for 2012 which will focus on employment and income situation for youths in rural areas and also to bring partners to have a deeper understanding of what the Employment Promotion Programme (EPP) has done over the past year and to join GIZ in future planning.
The workshop took place on December 6 at the Hill Valley Hotel, Kingharman Road in Freetown. The meeting brought the Chairmen of Kailahun, Koinadugu and Kono representatives from Ministries, Local Government, Government Agencies, NGOs and other partners which made the forum very interactive.
GIZ, a German NGO, has been supporting a three-year project which started in 2010 and will last till 2013. The three main components: Decentralized Economic Planning, Local Economic Development and Youth Reintegration Salone, and finally Needs-Oriented Qualification of the EPP which are part of the overall efforts to improve the employment and income situation of young people in rural Sierra Leone. Speaking at the workshop, Ambassador Ruediger John said EPP is the largest programme of German Cooperation in Sierra Leone which is very crucial because up to 800,000 youths are unemployed which, he said, should be a concern to the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Ambassador said the recent concluded café training holds a lot of promise for youth employment in Sierra Leone. EPP Programme Coordinator, Susanne Bieberbach, thanked partners like Ministry of Labour and Social Security for its support in the last years. She mentioned that great achievements have been made in the last years stating that EPP has supported the drafting of the National Employment Policy, promotion of livestock, success in cocoa and rice value chain and training curricula on functional adult literacy developed. Bieberbach wish to consolidate these achievements in the 2012 Programme.
Presenting the overall objective of the GIZ- EPP over the past years, Florian Carplai, Deputy Programme Coordinator said employment and income for youths in rural areas should be improved, stating that 8000 youths in the rural areas should take up decent employment, number of companies processing or storing agricultural products should increase to 10 in each District, demand oriented services for the private sector should be improved and two innovative concepts for business start-up promotion should be implemented
In the planning, proposal for the implementation of the three components in 2012, Mr. Daramy said GIZ through its EPP will capacitate development of District Councils, support to Councils in selection of infrastructure, strengthen support to rice value chain, support in the process and launch of the National Employment Policy, and adaptation of concept towards more sustainability.
Daramy added that the programme will be functional in adult literacy which will involve training of trainers for Krio, development of teaching and training materials for Community Animal Health Worker and further assist the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology by supporting Technical Vocational Education and Training.