This report is an overview of young people’s experiences and perceptions from just before the 2018 presidential elections.
State of the Youth Sierra Leone 2018
The votes of Sierra Leone’s young people are key in elections – under 35s comprise 58% of the voting age population, a higher proportion than at any time in Sierra Leone’s history. Despite this, young people are more likely to be seen as troublemakers, rather than kingmakers. In the run up to the vote there is a persistent worry about what young people might be capable of. Fear of disenfranchised young people is rife and the SLPP manifesto talks about the “youthquake of unskilled, underemployed and unemployed youth roaming the streets”.
In a setting where young Sierra Leoneans are more likely to be depicted as a problem to be solved than candidates for office, this report gives voice to young people. It presents findings from a youth-led study which set out to hear from young people about their experiences, views and hopes.
“If you don’t have money, it’s not easy to be educated.”Young male