The Aquaculture and Fisheries Department of the School of Natural Resource Management, Njala University has on Saturday 11th July, 2020 benefitted from water quality, fish processing and breeding equipment to support hands on deck training of youths in Fish Farming and its entire value chain process.
The donation was made possible through the Sierra Leone Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Project funded by the African Development Bank and implemented by the National Youth Commission Sierra Leone.
The Aquaculture and Fisheries Department is benefitting under component one of the YEEP Project which has to do with skills for development and employment.
The set targets under this component are capacity building for training youths in priority skills needed by private sector employers and in growing sectors of the economy.
The Millton Margai College of Education and Technology, Eastern Polytechnic Kenema, Government Technical Institute, the Ernest Bai Koroma and Njala Universities would directly benefit from the tools and equipment amounting to over 158 thousand dollars.
The Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries is benefitting 14% of the total amount in valuable equipment to effectively aid teaching and learning in the aquaculture discipline.
Dr. Julius Olufemi Olapade, Dean Natural Resource Management, Njala University welcomed the Commissioner, National Youth Commission, Mr. Ngolo Katta and other representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Technical and Higher Education to Njala University on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Sankoh (Mallam.O.)
He expressed his delight for the gesture which according to him demonstrates the willingness of the National Youth Commission under the leadership of Mr. Katta to push through the advancement of Technical and Vocational Education.
He conveyed the deepest appreciation of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Mallam .O. and the entire administration for the commitment demonstrated by the African Development Bank, NAYCOM, the Technical and Higher Education and the Ministry of Finance for supporting the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries.
Dr Olapade expressed the strongest desire of the Administration and his department to work towards realizing the aspirations of the project and noted that he was overwhelmed to have received such a resounding support from the Government of Sierra Leone.
He commended the astute leadership of the Youth Commissioner, an alumnus of Njala University for coming to pay back to an institution that contributed to what he is today.
The Project Manager Josephus Gbakiwah gave a background of the project and underscored the fact that they were determined to deliver on the deliverables of the project.
He applauded the support received so far from the other line Ministries and Njala University in moving towards meeting the deliverables of the project.
Abdul Senessie, the Deputy Director TVET, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education acknowledged the sound partnership between the Ministry and the National Youth Commission in promoting the advancement of TVET in country.
This according to him was key for them as a Ministry that is mainly responsible for the informal component of the Educational system.
Mr. Senessie pinpointed that the donation of the tools to the respective institution to aid teaching and learning was demonstrative of the fact that MTHE was cognizant that effective teaching and learning of relevant skills for the 21st century market could not be possible without the requisite tools and hands on deck training.
He urged the authorities at the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries to be very clear with regards delivering tangible deliverables which will transform graduates and other youths within the immediate communities to entrepreneurs.
The Commissioner National Youth Commission, Mr. Ngolo Katta in his keynote address disclosed that a key component in the Commission’s Strategic Development Plan for 2019-2023 had factored skills development and entrepreneurship as key to fulfilling the aspirations of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio vision for the youths of Sierra Leone.
This he recounted was in tandem with the Medium Term National Development Framework cluster six which was also key on the development of the youths through entrepreneurship.
He entreated the authorities at the Department to support the aspirations of the Government by producing graduates who would create jobs and compliment the economy.
Mr. Katta urged Njala University to serve as a hub for production of several aquaculture sites in the country.
He spoke on the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Project and underscored its relevance in addressing the vulnerability of our youths.
The Youth Commissioner further noted that they are fully aware at the Commission that graduates from the respective Universities over the years have not been able to match their skills with those of the job market.
This according to him is a huge concern for Government, the World bank and other multi lateral donors and hence the Government of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education and his Commission are keen to move towards this trajectory as the new approach to enhancing the empowerment of the youths and the overall development of the country.
Head of Department, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Dr Kpundeh who chaired the ceremony assured the Youth Commissioner and representatives from the other Ministries that they will deliver on the deliverables of the project.
The High point of the ceremony was the handing over of the items to the Dean of Natural Resource Management, Dr Julius Olufemi Olapde on behalf of the University Administration.
Daniel Bayoh, a final year student of the Department while giving the vote of thanks applauded the Commission for coming to their aid in enhancing the trainings at the sector and assured them that they will make use of the opportunity accorded them to become entrepreneurs.
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