By Abubakarr Harding
“We see the National Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Fair as an occasion to bring job seekers and young entrepreneurs face to face with employers and experienced entrepreneurs. It is a place where they can connect and establish beneficial relationships that may support their future career and business prospects” — Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
The Government of Sierra Leone, through the Office of the Vice President, will host over 500 promising young Sierra Leoneans, aged 18-35 years, from across the country at its first National Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Fair (NYEEF).
The event will be held from 15th to 17th November 2022 at Freetown International Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
NYEEF is part of the broader vision of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s Human Capital Development agenda, designed to invest in the young people of Sierra Leone and unleash their potential. President Bio will launch the event at a short ceremony on 15th November 2022. Attendees will include Government Officials, Diplomats, Development Partners, Private Sector representatives, The Republic of Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and Culture and representatives from YouthConnekt Africa.
The three-day networking and learning event with the tagline, “Be inspired, take ownership of your future career!” will be held in collaboration with Ministries of Labour & Social Security, Technical & Higher Education, Trade & Industry and Youth Affairs.
The objectives of NYEEF are to connect final-year students and job seekers to employers and place them in decent jobs, to improve the ability of students to apply for and secure jobs and to enhance the competencies of young people who choose entrepreneurship.
Participation in NYEEF
In total, 567 final-year students, job seekers and (aspiring) entrepreneurs registered, and they were whittled down to 514 participants who will attend the NYEEF and represent each district.,. This includes 30 participants with disabilities and 206 women -in accordance with the NYEEFs inclusion policy. Over the three-day period, 26 young entrepreneurs will showcase their products and services in the car park of the Freetown International Conference Centre..
Over 40 employing organisations, recruiters and tertiary institutions are looking to engage job seekers and entrepreneurs with the aim of recruiting, developing skills and providing critical advice. Thesee include public sector institutions and organisations from the agri-business, banking & finance, construction, energy, manufacturing, mining, service, technology, telecommunications and transport & logistics sectors.
Participants will benefit from various sessions and activities, such as a Career Advisory Lab, DSTI’s Technology and Innovation Lab, Orange Sierra Leone’s Creative Corner, Elba’s ‘Ask me Anything’ for (aspiring) Entrepreneurs, ‘Cultivating Youth Resilience’ panel by YouthConnekt Africa, and workshops in Business Canvas Model, Business Etiquette, Communication Skills and Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving Skills, powered by AfRecruit, Afriqia HR Solutions, Grow Salone, Innovation SL, Insight Consulting and Sigicall.
Partners and Sponsors
The highly anticipated NYEEF has been excitedly received by stakeholders who will participate in various ways. Confirmed Sponsors include Africell, Leone Rock, NASSIT, Orange, Pee Cee Holdings, Sky Handling Partner, Sonoco, UNDP and UNFPA.
“My government is committed to improving youth employability and entrepreneurship, as a vital component of my Human Capital Development vision, through inclusive policy development and pragmatic initiatives such as this” – His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.