By Bampia James Bundu:
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications
The New Direction Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has continued with its empowerment and promotion of inclusiveness of youths in the governance system as a way of harnessing their contribution to the transformation of the country.
It is against this backdrop that the Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation (DSTI), on 27th July officially presented the E-Governance discussion platform at the Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Stadium Hostels, Brookfields, Freetown.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mohamed Orman Bangura, the Minister of Youth Affairs, described the platform as very important, saying for the past decades youths have been neglected, marginalized and their voices not heard in governance issues.
He furthered that President Bio, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and most Ministers of the New Direction government, are young men and women, noting that Sierra Leone has the youngest Presidency in the sub-region with the present cabinet full of young, energetic people.
“The empowerment of youths can only be done through technology, because this is the mordern age, and President Bio is committed to ensuring digital revolution in the country,” the Minister underlined.
He continued that all projects undertaken by this government have links to youth empowerment, a clear indication of the concern the New Direction has for the youths of Sierra Leone, and a determination to do everything humanly possible to bring them to the limelight.
Michaella George, the Policy Lead at DSTI, emphasized that the platform is one that will help government plan and do a survey on youths, in a bid to getting them directly involved in the governance process of the country.
She informed that similar platforms have been successfully instituted for youths around the world and applauded the leadership provided by the Minister in undertaking sucuh ventures that could serve as guiding principles in the youth sector.
The Head of Experimentation, UNDP, Tuzlyn Bayoh, on his part said: “This platform will help promote accountability and transparency in the youth sector, and also help government achieve its desired goal.
She furthered that her organization is very much elated about the E-platform in the youth sector and assured that UNDP will support the Youth Ministry in this drive.
She however pointed out that the country is currently struggling to come up with accurate data on youth activities and achievements.
The launch of this platform, according to her, could help ease the challenges faced, highlighting the concerns of youths when it comes to national issues.
“This platform has strengthened the close collaboration between the Ministry of Youth Affairs, DSTI and Cee Bah Policy Group, taking into consideration all the initial observations and recommendations.
The E-Governance platform forum will help young people have direct conversation on national issues bordering on their affairs.