Over 60 per cent of young people in Sierra Leone are unemployed or underemployed. The lack of prospects – one of the principal causes of the lengthy civil war – is still considered a major threat to peace and stability in Sierra Leone by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission.
Youth employment is a source of great economic potential. Yet in the twelve years since the end of the armed conflict, the country’s production and employment potential has still not been fully tapped, especially in the rural private sector. Skilled workers are in short supply. And after a decade of civil war and poor government funding, the education situation also remains inadequate. Around half of Sierra Leone’s population is unable to read or write. Without needs-oriented training and practical work experience, it is difficult for young people in particular to find productive employment. This factsheet presents the context, objectives, approach and achievements of the project ‘Promoting youth employment through agricultural development’ (2005-2016) commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Sierra Leone.