“Growth Accelerator Program Will Be a Game Changer in Liberia”

Participants at the just ended Growth Accelerator Liberia Agricultural Cooperatives cohort on service provision

— UNDP Program Team Leader urges agricultural cooperatives cohort entrepreneurs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Team Lead, Dosla Facarthy, says Liberia is the only country where the government is the largest employer, but the Growth Accelerator program will be a game changer for the country.

Facarthy told the participants that Liberians rely too much on the government for jobs and that the government is too small to absorb everybody. “It does not happen in any other country, so there’s a need to reduce that tendency, which is what you are doing here today,” he said. 

“We want this program to be a game changer in Liberia. People rely too much on the national government — everybody wants to work for the government, and the government is too small to absorb everybody, so Liberia is the only country where the government is the largest employer. It hasn’t happened in any other country, so we need to reduce that tendency, and part of the way to reduce that is what you are doing here today,” said Facarthy.

He made the remarks recently at a two-day training workshop on service provision for Growth Accelerator Liberia Cohort II Agricultural Cooperatives, organized by iCampus Liberia, Accountability Lab with support from UNDP, to help businesses scale up their operations through technical assistance, mentorship, and co-financing.

The Growth Accelerator Liberia challenge is in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with funding from the UNDP Livelihood and Employment Programme.

iCampus Liberia, in partnership with Accountability Lab Liberia, Growth Africa, and Business Startup Center Monrovia, are implementing the programme.

“Business pays a lot,” Facarthy said. If you start your own business right now, you become the boss of your own. You can employ people, determine what time to go to work, and you will not be working for someone from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you manage your business well, there’s no need to fight for a government job because it pays.” 

He told the participants that the UNDP wished for an entrepreneurial spirit for all Liberians so that they could take their destinies into their own hands.

Facarthy urged the participants to pay close attention to whatever they are learning because those are the skill sets required to move the Liberian economy forward.

For his part, the chief executive officer of iCampus, Luther Jeke, lauded the participants for convening for the training.

He stated that the service provision workshop offers primary enterprise growth abilities and assists in scaling cooperatives, in addition to empowering native entrepreneurs.

Jeke said the training is part of this year's Growth Accelerator Cohort II, which is divided into two parts: MSMEs and Agriculture Cooperatives.

“We hope to see the program grow within the next couple of years. But more importantly, all of you who are participating on the stage are able to pick up knowledge and skills that you can use to effectively grow your business,” Jeke said.

Meanwhile, the agricultural cooperatives cohort II workshop was facilitated by Jonathan Stewart, CEO of Agri-Tech Liberia.

The training brought together participants from Darbodakel Farmer’s Cooperative Society, Rescue Women Micro-Agriculture Cooperative Society, Nimba Livestock Farmers Association Inc., Nimba Women Agricultural Venture, and Rural Women and Girls Promoters for Sustainable Development. 

Others are Makona River Farm and Agricultural Services, Voinjama District Women’s Organization for Peace and Development, Multi-purpose Farmers' Cooperation Society, Community Empowerment and Innovation in Agriculture, Rural Agriculture Promoters Cooperative Society, and Geh-Zoedoar Farmers Association.