The National Authorising Office (NAO) announced today (17th April 2020), that as part of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), the European Union is injecting €60 million into Sierra Leone’s economy, through a new Jobs and Growth Programme. The Programme, will boost sustainable and inclusive economic development and job creation, especially in the agricultural and Education sectors, and will contribute significantly to the Government’s COVID 19 recovery strategy.
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development and National Authorising Officer, Dr Francis Kai-Kai says: “The Jobs and Growth Programme is an important investment in our young people and agricultural productivity. It addresses the need to equip young people with skills to cope with future aspirations, and the importance of an environment that delivers employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Jobs and Growth Programme is anchored on a three-pronged approach, that simultaneously directs resources at skills and education, job creation and supporting an enabling investment climate particularly in the agricultural sector. It will create 8,500 jobs in the short term and lead to increased investment and a better business climate in the medium term.”
The Jobs and Growth Programme has two specific objectives
Objective 1: To improve the investment climate and the business environment.
This objective is divided into two strands:
The first focuses on improving access to finance for the private sector and includes a range of measures which will support the development of sustainable value chains; improve access to finance; develop policies and products to de-risk investment in the agricultural sector; and create a more enabling environment for financial services.
The second strand, focuses on improving rural road infrastructure by creating jobs for young people in feeder road maintenance; rehabilitating and maintaining 200km of feeder roads; establishing public-private partnerships with communities to maintain feeder roads; and promoting opportunities for youth entrepreneurship in the sector.
Objective 2: Improved human capital, better aligned to the labour market.
Under this objective, support will be provided to schools and to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector:
Support to the education sector will be aimed at improving management capacity, teaching practices and learning conditions in line with national policies and targets. Work will include supporting education planning; data collection and use, as well as technical reform and more inclusive education; teacher management and professional development; and improving learning environments by building the capacity of school management committees and school construction.
The second set of outputs are related to improving youth employability and access to the labour market through skills training, employment creation and strengthening the TVET sector. Training in employment skills, public-private partnerships in the TVET sector, apprenticeship schemes; and improved course quality and service delivery are included in this programme of work.
The Jobs and Growth Programme is fully aligned with the Government’s vision for national development as expressed in the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019-23 (MTNDP). It emphasises human capital development, in particular education, investment in skills, and establishment of a diversified, competitive economy with well-developed infrastructure.
The National Authorising Office (NAO) under the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MOPED) works with the EU Delegation to manage the implementation of EU funds, oversee EU-funded projects, and ensure their alignment with Sierra Leone’s national development priorities. The NAO currently monitors a range of projects which span infrastructure, governance, education and agriculture.
Further information can be found on the NAO’s website at www.naol.gov.sl
For more information contact – Abu Bakarr Sesay, National Authorising Office (NAO) +23278531897