On 22 November 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the French bilateral development agency, Agence Franchise de Development (AFD) celebrated the official closing of the Liberia Employment and Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP). .
Initially, the program targeted 11,000 young Liberian youth (50% male, 50% female) between the ages of 18-35 and most affected by unemployment, in Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties with job opportunities and market-driven skills.
However, the LEEP Program has been extended to 13,000 young Liberian youths who benefit financially from the 3-year program funded by Agence Franchise de Development (AFD).
It focuses on enhancing employability and job creation for young Liberian youth. This approach also benefits local business partners, such as TRIBE Liberia, MWESTANA Consulting & Technology Group.
Sharing their experiences and interests, Karl R. Smith acknowledges Mercy Corps and the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Department of Youth & Sports, for the benefit of their National Youth Service Program.
Karl says it enhances the growth and development of young people.
Karl added that MWESTANA Technology & Consulting Group was able to join the Young Entrepreneur program, by training about 350 young people in coding, programming and software development.
By 2030, when the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion, the youth population will grow to more than 1.3 billion.
Pervasive unemployment, underemployment and longer school-to-work transition times are some of the most important challenges facing a growing youth population.
These challenges are the result of a lack of appropriate career opportunities for young people, and a mismatch, shortage, redundancy and mismatch between the skills acquired and those that are not available to the world. The demand for jobs is increasing.
In response to growing skills demand, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems, countries around the world are investing in new pathways of learning.
They are establishing innovation initiatives and programs and developing new partnerships.
Responsive skills development programs should ensure not only functional consistency with the needs of the working world, but also the development of specialized skills and competencies that enable young people to meet the changing needs of young people. branch.
Emphasizing LEEP’s presentation, Edward Onyuka, Team Leader of LEEP said the program is a €4 million youth employment program operating from 2019 to 2022.
Mr. Onyuka said the Youth Employment component of the project targeted about 9,700 and benefited 11,294, reaching 116%.
He said Young Entrepreneurs targeted 1,300 young people, but has benefited 1,603 people, reaching a rate of 123%.
As for Private Sector involvement, Mr. Onyuka said they target 15, while there are 18 actual beneficiaries.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson, Undersecretary for Technical and Vocational Education and Training at the Department of Youth and Sports, Peter Bemah acknowledged that youth unemployment rates are high. in Liberia is still high.
He added that the program has helped enhance and impact the capacity of Liberian Youth.
He praised the AFD and Mercy Corps for the LEEP initiative, which he said could support the government’s efforts in creating employment and educational opportunities for young people to become vibrant contributors. , resourceful and engaged in nation building.
For his part, Mercy Corps’ Liberia Country Director, Miji Park, reaffirmed Mercy Corps’ commitment to working with partners for youth development.
Also in his speech, Mr. Christopher Cottet, Country Director of AFD, reaffirmed his organization’s commitment through the French government in partnership with the Government of Liberia to further engage youth and develop develop.
He commended the youth of Liberia for the care and commitment they showed during the programme. -Press Release