Sierra Leone is one of the world’s poorest countries and also ranked 180 out of 187 countries in human development according to 2011 report. The 11 years armed conflicts and economic decline are one of the causes of weak economy witnessed in Sierra Leone. About 60% of the populations are living on $1.25 per day and education, youth life, and unemployment level remains low.
However, since the end of the civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone has made much progress in consolidating peace, democracy and improving development indicators upon the increase in rates of economic growth.
Youth Life, Education, Politics and Employment
Apart from the successes recorded in peace and democracy in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil unrest in 2002, they are still low regarding youth life, education, and employment. The life expectancy increased from 39 years in 2000 to 48 years in 2012, and about 60% of the populations are living under poverty line.
The population of youths between 15- 35 years makes up one-third of Sierra Leone population, and 70% of them are unemployed or underemployed. An estimated 800,000 of them are searching for jobs, and illiteracy remains on the increase because youths have no skills, and they find it difficult to compete for the available jobs. Unemployment is the major cause of civil conflict in Sierra Leone because youths are not skillful engaged and has no job and that lead to the civil unrest.
A lot of factors contributed to the drawback in economic recovery in the country. These include an unchanged economic structure at low levels of productivity because agriculture is the main revenue base of the country and provides employment to about 75% of the population, poorly maintained infrastructure, and inequalities in life expectancy, education, gender, income and shortcomings in the business climate.
Sierra Leone has made progress over the years concerning post-conflict recovery and is now firmly on the path towards the further consolidation of democracy and peace and long-term sustainable development.
The post-conflict economic performance of Sierra Leone has been strong. There has being increase in the Gross Domestic Product from 4.5% in 2010 to 5.3% in 2011, with outstanding contributions from all sectors of the economy. Real Gross Domestic Product is projected to increase by a staggering 50% in 2012, driven by a jump in iron ore production, but without that the economy is projected to grow by 6% each year on average during 2012-2014.
In conclusion, the creation of the National Youth Commission in 2010 was a vital step in beginning to reverse the negative youth employment trend, education and politics in light of its coordinating role in policy development and strategic planning to create more youth job opportunities in Sierra Leone.