The Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura has declared open the Social Good Summit at a conference held at the Youth Affairs Ministry in Freetown.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Youth Affairs in collaboration with the National Youth Commission, National Youth Service, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported by key private sector partners held an annual event titled: The National Youth Innovation Awards. This event is the Sierra Leonean version of the global Social Good Summit (SGS) convened to help inspire more actions towards achieving the SDGs.

The awards showcased young people’s ideas, creativity and use of technology to solve local community development challenges.

The Minister said that the initiative is multi sectoral as it encompasses the public sector, private sector and international partners aimed at the attainment of SDG Goals 2030 through the use of innovation and technology.

He stated that the Social Good Summit has always had a catalytic impact in Sierra Leone, with the winners of the previous summit awards in Sierra Leone contributing remarkably towards the development of Sierra Leone.

He encouraged application of all sorts as long as its borders on creativity, technology and overcoming the challenges young people face in their communities.

He insisted that interested youth should apply through their respective district councils and applications should be addressed to the District Youth Officers in the District Councils.

He added that this year’s event will include a scheme that establishes a pathway to youth ambassadorship.

He maintained that the Ministry aims to ensure that this year’s event is more colorful in ideas and in processes.

In his opening statements, the permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Andrew Sorie said that they have developed a concept and they will be proceeding to identify young people with special skills, adding that with the support of the UNDP, they are identifying the pathway to youth ambassadorship.

The Deputy Commissioner, National Youth Commission, Emerson Kamara said that their core aim is to build the potential, creativity and skills of young people for national development.

He added that they have supported individual youth in innovation to build on their skills to create change in society.

He concluded that they will continue to give their fullest cooperation to ensure that this event create the desired impact and change in the country.

The Programme Specialist, Youth Entrepreneurship, UNDP, Richard Musinguzi said he is pleased to be part of the launching of the summit.

He noted that it is the 7th edition in Sierra Leone and the focus has been innovation, adding that the theme for this year’s edition is Innovation for Better Sierra Leone which he said will create a platform for youths to showcase their talents.

He continued that they want to identify and use young people to solve issues around Covid-19 adding that the idea is to search for innovators, assess innovators, support innovators and implement their innovation.