By Maddieu A. A. T. Kabbah
The National Youth Commission (NYC) yesterday commenced consultations with youth groups in the east end Freetown on the setting up of District Youth Councils.
Speaking at the well attended meeting at the Obama Complex at Lower Savage Square in Freetown, the Programmes Officer of National Youth Commission, Mr. Manso Bangura, informed the gathering that they were in the process of establishing District Youth Councils as provided for by the Act of 2009 which established the National Youth Commission.
He added that this came about as a result of the general consultative meeting held in April 2012 at the National Youth Commission in Brookfields to finally agree and verify the demarcated zones to avoid future difficulties.
He explained that the Commission will have to organize three consultative meetings in the Western Area Urban which will take place in the East, Central and Western Zones respectively.
In his opening address as Chairman of the consultative meeting, Mr. Kabba Franklyn Bangura who is the Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Union of Disability Issues (SLUDI), and board member of the National Youth Commission, said the turn-out of the youths demonstrates that the youths are now ready to answer to the all of helping to develop their careers. He called on the youths to always act responsibly in whatever they find themselves involved in.
Giving an overview and declaration for the purpose of the consultative meeting, the National Youth Commissioner, Mr. Anthony A. Koroma, explained that President Ernest Bai Koroma, in his wisdom, established the National Youth Commission to cater for the youths of the country.
He further stated that the Act of 2009 which establishes the National Youth Commission calls for the establishment of the youth councils at various levels in order to support the work of the Commission.
He revealed that the process has begun with the establishment of the various Provincial Youth Councils and that this meeting in Freetown will see the establishment of the Zonal Youth Councils in the Western Area Urban.
Mr. Koroma observed that the youths in Sierra Leone have for too long been looked low upon and that some of the very few engaging in negative activities continue to paint a bad picture for the mass of serious young people but that they should not in any way stop the determined ones to forge ahead in their pursuit for a better Sierra Leone.
Mr. Koroma said every registered and formidable youth organization will be given an opportunity to be part of this very important decision making process as invitations will be sent out to each of these groups or organizations to send in two delegates each to the convention and they will be eligible to vote and be voted for. He encouraged the different youth groups to ensure that female delegates are also part of those attending the convention.
The Commissioner also urge every youth present during the meeting to be very responsible and peaceful during all the processes in order to set the pace for the up-coming national elections on November 17.
In an interview with one female youth, she expressed satisfaction over the process and said she hoped that it will continue in this manner.
Present at the meeting were Journalists, civil society organizations and other observers. The consultations are expected to continue today at Freetown Central and tomorrow at Lumley in the West end of Freetown.