Meanwhile, as Sierra Leone is nine (9) days away to the March 7, 2018 general elections, the expectations of the general public remains high alongside efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that the elections are not only fair and credible but peaceful.
Despite the fact that political parties are galvanizing support from all quarters and from all persons, most citizens in Freetown, Sierra Leone are waiting in silence for the 7th March, 2018 presidential, parliamentary, mayoral and councilor elections.
A number of people who spoke with AYV said they are waiting in silence to cast their votes on March 7, 2018, despite the fact that political parties are all around and about their respective campaigns.
Speaking to credible sources in provincial areas, they maintained that the state of Freetown is equal to that of the major towns, cities and villages across Sierra Leone.
In addition, the recent debate for youths in political parties that was hosted by AYV, SLAJ, PPRC and other partners over the weekend, brought out clear instances of the degree in which youth are crying of being marginalized; and the importance of bringing youth participation into governance more than has been seen before.
The two main political parties; APC and SLPP have in their manifestos various programmes, projects, policies and plans to make youth central in governance.
According to the All People’s Congress (APC) 2018 manifesto the APC in the event it is returned to power on March 7, 2018 will among other things develop job programs targeting graduates from universities and vocational institutions; create Youth Investment Fund (YIF) to support innovation in entrepreneurship and technology; expand youth roles in both public and private institutions, appoint competent youths to key decision- making positions in the public service and encourage the private sector to do the same; sustain skills development programmes to address present day demand for both professional, middle-level and lower level jobs; establish Regional Youth Centres of Excellence to provide short term technical and life skills training programmes; continue to process and package public work schemes into a manageable proportion so as to enhance the participation of the most vulnerable categories of youth, including persons with disability; introduce a Return to Learning Scheme (The R2L) as a second chance programme with the aim of returning drop-outs and uneducated youths and young adults to schools, colleges, vocational , technical and literacy centres; strengthen the National Youth Service as a compulsory programme to inculcate nationalism, volunteerism and service in our young graduates; introduce a National Apprenticeship Programme across the nation with additional focus on youths in poor and vulnerable households in Sierra Leone; introduce a nationwide course on appropriate work-ethic and entrepreneurship into the curricula of secondary schools and tertiary institutions; establish Advisory service centres for the marginalized (Ataya Base, Market , etc) to link them to jobs, training and entrepreneurship opportunities; revitalise historic local football teams, including East End Lions, Mighty Black Pool, Kambui Eagles, Diamond Stars, Wusum Stars, Bai Bureh Warriors and support the development of various other sports in the country; and in addition, establish a National Sports Institute.
On the part of the SLPP towards youth development, the party says overcoming youth unemployment will be at the centre of its fight against poverty and among its efforts to consolidate peace.
According to the SLPP 2018 Manifesto, in its ‘New Direction’, the youth problem will not only receive topmost priority, but it will also be viewed as a human development and security challenge.
The SLPP 2018 Manifesto promises to stimulate job creation with a holistic approach; prioritize Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); institute a National Youth Scheme among other progressive efforts.