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First Agricultural School Announced For Southwest 

Ndjaga made this known to well over 1,000 students drawn from various schools in the Tiko Sub-division on Wednesday, February 4 at the Tiko Town Hall. The students had assembled for the launching of the Youth Employment Week by the Southwest Regional Office of the National Employment Fund, NEF.

The SDO said that the government is going to get into an agreement with the French Cooperation Mission which will help finance the large-scale training of youths in the area of intensive agriculture basically on food processing and commercialisation.

He thus, urged the youths to take their studies seriously because, as he said, these were just some of the measures that the government was putting in place in a bid to reverse the trend of unemployment among Cameroon youths. Cameroon’s unemployment figures are currently estimated at some 30 percent of its active population of some ten million.  With the SW being a highly fertile and agrarian area and yet with no agric school, Government’s option to establish one now can be very exalting.

The Deputy Director of the Southwest Regional Agency of the NEF, Bernard Muambo, said at the level of his agency, they have, since 2001, secured jobs for some 3,396 youths. He, however, said presently there was still a huge number of applications in their files to the tune of 12,000 whose owners have not yet found work.

Of their eight different agencies spread nationwide, there are still some 200,000 pending applications.Muambo said while it was not possible for everyone to be given a job, they have diversified their activities by assisting to train other applicants in fields such as dress making, computer maintenance, secretaryship and several others.

Besides, they offer loans for up to FCFA 5 million at an annual interest of six percent for some ventures in areas of agriculture and wood transformation among others.Muambo, his NEF staff and a team of resource persons drawn from around the W Region, took the students through a three-day sensitisation workshop on some prominent career fields like marketing and advertising, agriculture and information technology.

"We want the youths to listen to the professionals who are already in the field and for them to tell the youngsters how they got to become what they are," Mr Muambo said. "Finally, " he added, "our mission is to is to promote employment by making sure we communicate to the public about the job market situation and also provide training and financial assistance to others."

Interest-free Loans

Meantime, the Divisional Delegate for Youth Affairs, Isaac Mbua Ikome, disclosed that his delegation would soon be launching a programme where some 500 youths will be selected, trained and finally awarded interest-free business loans of up to FCFA 5 million.
"So go now and start writing your business plans," Mbua Ikome urged.

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