— As IECD kick-off STRIVE project meeting in Monrovia
France, Government of Liberia and the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD) have successfully launched a five-year project (July 2020-June 2025) called Strengthening Integration through Vocational Education (STRIVE).
The US$10 million project will have direct intervention in the TVET sector and will be implemented in Montserrado, Bong, Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties.
The launching ceremony on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, was graced by all partners of the projects. The STRIVE project further recruited and trained one hundred TVET Instructors; trained 2,000 TVET students as well as provided training and opportunities for 300 farmers.
STRIVE also focus on supporting young people to have better access to employment and economic opportunities for youth through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
France Charge d’Affairs to Liberia, Hugues Nagy, who spoke at the kick-off meeting said, “I am delighted today to see three Liberian institutions, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Finance to have gathered here to welcome this project that is providing additional strength to education, entrepreneurship and eventually to the national youth TVET policy.”
According to him, if the private sector is the engine of growth and the government is the driver, then, education is the field that drives the engine.
“And that is the reason why the French Government through this project (STRIVE) aims at reinforcing links between business and educational institutions in order to make Liberia strong and a prosperity society,” Nagy told the gathering.
He said the right to education is universal and it stands to hold children, boys and girls, youth, adult and the will to take part in the development of their country.
Nagy further narrated that Liberia’s economy needs an educative, skills and workforce to achieve growth and spike innovation. And education, he said, is not only important for economic growth but for prosperity, it’s also essential for the promotional of peace and social cohesion.
In this vein, the French Charge d’Affairs added, IECD plays a key role in raising competence through their experience and expertise. “I am confident that this program objective will be a success.”
He recalled that in November of 2017, the President of the French Republic President Emmanuel Macron presented his vision to other world leaders for Africa based on common interest, a new relationship where education, private sector and innovation are priorities.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister for Administration, Audrian Smith-Forbes, pledged the ministry’s support to the STRIVE project.
She said, “We come with this privileged of commitment and consequent of the driven platform of the STRIVE project.”
Madam Forbes told her counterparts that the project was an offspring of President Weah special relationship with the government and people of France.
She narrated, “We are encouraged that the STRIVE project is a TVET based project that is designed to create, expand and better help with employment and economic opportunity for Liberian youths.”
Also speaking, Christophe Cottet, Agencies Francoise De Development (AFD) Country Director for Liberia and Ghana commended the government of Liberia and its partners for the tremendous work in making sure that the program becomes a success.
Cottet stated that investing in young people is like investing in the future and this is actually what the STRIVE project is all about.
“With the kind of training some of them will get, we believed it will make it easier for the beneficiaries to integrate the job market and with employable skills,” he added.
At the same time, the Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management, Augustus J. Flomo, who spoke on behalf of Minister Tweah, recognized the efforts of the French government and the Embassy staff to ensuring that the STIVE is successful.
He told the French delegation that as a government, they are fully prepared to work with them in providing capacity building for young people in the country.
Meanwhile, the schools or institution in which this project will be rolled out are the Monrovia Vocational Training Center, Booker Washington Institute, Tumutu Agricultural Vocational Training Center, Business and Domestic Occupational Training Center, LOIC and Don Bosco High School.