Background

Youth entrepreneurship and employment has become a key agenda for most countries,especially in Africa where the demographic make-up has young people less than 24 years accounting for over 45% of the total population. The youth labor force is growing much faster than the creation of new jobs. Recently the ILO concluded that young people will continue to suffer disproportionately from a deficit of decent work opportunities. For countries like Sierra Leone that have experienced internal conflict, followed by an outbreak of Ebola in 2015 and are experiencing fragility, dealing with youth unemployment becomes an even bigger challenge in view of the role of the youth in the conflict and the breakdown in education systems during years of conflict as well as during the outbreak of Ebola.

The youth population of Sierra Leone is currently estimated to be between 1.5 and 1.7

Million. Sierra Leone has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan

The majority of the youth labour force is not seeking

Africa, estimated at more than 70% productively employed. Despite an estimated 800,000 young people actively employed, there is unfortunately a significant mismatch between demand and supply.

Employers report plenty of job applicants, but few with the requisite skills-set or working experience. This is partly due to the poor quality of training offered by the Sierra Leone education system from junior and senior secondary school through to tertiary education(including 3 Universities, 3 Polytechnics. 2 Teacher Training institutions and 23 private institutions/colleges) and Technical Vocational(TVETS).

The Government of Sierra Leone is taking steps to address youth unemployment, which include among others setting up a dedicated Youth Ministry and a National Youth

Commission, in order to address increasing youth vulnerabilities; putting into place targeted youth employment programs; enactment of the national employment policy, which aims at addressing and improving labor relations and conditions of service of workers; enactment ofa National Local Content Policy for Sierra Leone, which aims at ensuring that there are linkages between foreign companies or enterprises and the local economy, thus promoting employment of Sierra Leone citizens through participation in the private sector. Successful implementation of youth employment programs and enacted policies however require availability of skilled and employable Sierra Leoneans to take advantage of emerging opportunities for employment and/or entrepreneurship.essential.

The Government of Sierra Leone has in this regard received a grant from the African

Development Bank for the purpose of financing the Sierra Leone Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Project (Sierra Leone YEEP). The Sierra Leone YEEP is aimed at contributing to the Government of Sierra Leone’s efforts to create decent sustainable incomes for the youth

The Government of Sierra Leone through the National Youth Commission Implementing agency, is therefore seeking the services of a communication firm to support the implementation of the Sierra Leone YEEP.