An expert in youth affairs as known by many, Mr. Anthony Alimamy Koroma, out-gone Commissioner of the National Youth Commission on Wednesday 25th July, 2018, handed over the commission’s mantle of leadership to Mr. Thomas Ngolo Katta and his deputy, Mr. Emerson Kamara.
In his handing over statement, Mr. Koroma said, youth issues cut across many other government institutions and, that coordination has been one of the most difficult areas in promoting youth employment.
“There is pronounced difficulty in getting line ministries to work with the Commission in promoting youth issues within their programmes,” he told his successor, suggesting that government programme resources allocated within such ministries should be utilized to solve some of the youth problems.
Mr. Koroma briefed the new Commissioner on pending donor funded projects, the AfDB Youth Employment and Entrepreneur Project, UNDP Youth Empowerment and Employment Programme (Career Advisory and Placement Services- CAPS, Graduate Internship Programme- GIP, the Business Development Service- BDS and the Youth Connect Programme) and Youth Business Group for SALWACO Water Connections in Bo, Kenema and Makeni.
He urged the new Commissioner to expedite the setting up of the Special Youth Empowerment Fund which will “be used to stimulate business start-ups and growth among the youth at all levels.” The Fund, he said, will also play a crucial role towards the growth and expansion of Medium and Small Enterprises and employment generation.
Mr. Koroma thanked the development partners who he said believed and supported NAYCOM. He said, with the support of professional staff in all departments, the Commission became a household name winning Performance Awards.
He noted that he was particularly happy to hand over to Commissioner Ngolo Katta, somebody he said he has worked with for over 20 years.
He said he was certain that his successor has the requisite and relevant ability and experience to move NAYCOM forward.
In his response, Mr. Ngola Katta said there is no one narrative for the young people of this country. “There is wide range of challenges which we must all be able to surmount through synergy, innovation and creativity,” the new Commissioner said.
He underscored the uneasy task of serving the youth sector, stating that he has been on youth issues for over 20 years.
The young people, Commissioner Katta said, need an urgent attention that will ensure, from the highest level, their issues are carried with the level of commitment they deserve.
He said the Commission is open to all youth, devoid of political affiliation and that together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs they will develop systems that can attract development partners to support the youth sector.
Commissioner Katta applauded his predecessor, referring to him as the maiden protagonist who came, together with others to set up the National Youth Commission through hard times.
NAYCOM Communications Unit