Youth Unemployment Challenges and Opportunities: the Case of Sierra Leone

Molla Mekonnen Alemu


Sierra Leone has gone through a ten-year civil conflict which brought considerable destruction, on the livelihoods of many. A good percentage of the population, before the war, was composed of young men and women who provided the labour force for activities on the farms. These youth (15-35 years of age) have undergone serious transformations as a result of the civil conflict. Most of them have got themselves completely disoriented. About 60% of the country’s youth are believed to be structurally unemployed. The study was aimed at assessing the main causes of youth unemployment in Sierra Leone and to develop sustainable employment strategic principles which will enhance the management of youth employment opportunities in the country. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Different reports, policy papers and publications were also reviewed. Legacy of the civil war, mismatch between the demand and supply side of labour, weak entrepreneurship services, rural to urban migration, and low level of involvement in agriculture were among the identified factors that aggravated the youth unemployment rate in the country. The study has also identified strategic directions which could help policy and decision makers in their effort for the development of the youth of the country.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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