Kenya: Deputy Youth Minister Strengthens Bilateral Ties With Kenya

Sierra Leone's Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Lusine Kallon, has in line with President Julius Maada Bio's New Direction vision strengthened the bilateral ties between Sierra Leone and Kenya in preparedness of the review of the National Youth Service (NYS) Act of 2016.

Minister Kallon who returned over the weekend from Kenya on a study tour travelled with the main opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdul Kargbo-Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Youth Affairs, NYS Board Chairman Sahr Nyaama and the NYS Deputy Executive Director Onanah Jalloh.

The NYS study tour to Kenya and Ghana is to inform the review of the 2016 NYS Act, as proclaimed by President Bio during his inaugural speech at the official State Opening of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.

Addressing corps members, staff of Kenyan NYS and state officials in Nairobi, Minister Kallon said, "I feel honored to be here and to be a beneficiary of your good hospitality. I have heard so much of your beautiful country and how nice the people are, so when the opportunity for the study tour came, I had no option but to grab it at once."

He went on to say that, "we are here to get the Kenyan experience. An experience that has made Kenya the hub for youth development and entrepreneurship. Let me commend you for this giant move. An impressive move that has placed you in in a very good position to have a productive youths in the Continent in terms of technology and innovation."

As the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of Sierra Leone, he continued, "I am here with my delegation to learn from the best practices of the Kenya National Youth Service. Our own National Youth Service is still in its developing stage and currently faced with a lot of challenges just like your own National Youth Service when it was first established in 1964."

The Deputy Youth Minister informed his audience that the idea of the National Youth Service in Sierra Leone was first nurtured in 1961 by our first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai.

He noted that fifty years down the line, the late Prime Minister's idea was legislated in April 2016.

He said the actual implementation only started in 2018 when his government under the leadership of His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio, decided to kick-start the dream of our forefathers into a visible reality.

The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs-Hon. Rachel Shebesh said they are ready to support the NYS in Sierra Leone as a way on strengthening the bilateral relationship. She said they started the Kenyan NYS amidst challenges but today they have a lot of success stories Sierra Leone will learn from.

The APC Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdul Kargbo, assured that they will support the process and ensure that he lobbies around colleague MPs to support the review to stand the test of time.

He commended the Kenyan government for the reception and hospitality during their one week stay in the country.

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