The Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Agencies France Development (AFD) on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, signed euros five million grant agreement aimed at enhancing youth employment in the country.
The Agreement accordingly, is in line with the French Government’s commitment to support Liberia through agriculture and capacity building under the Youth Support Program where young people will be provided opportunities to enroll at the Polytechnic Institute in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast for technical training.
France Ambassador Terrance Wills, said it was important for his government to deliver on the promises that had been guaranteed Liberia’s President George Weah.
Amb. Willis said that France President Emmanuel Macron and President Weah last year agreed on strengthening ties through development, and to connect the two peoples better in order to improve relations between the two countries.
The Youth Support Program is an initiative led by the AFD to support the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), and will provide opportunity for young people to get requisite and employable skills.
AFD Director Emmanuel Debroise termed the signing as an important step toward supporting youth employment in Liberia.
Debroise said the signing was a follow-up on commitment made in November, 2018, when AFD chief executive officer visited Liberia.
It can be recalled that on November 27, 2018, the Government of France through the French Development Agency, and the GoL signed the AFD Roadmap to support the implementation of the PAPD at the French Embassy in Monrovia.
While emphasizing on the significance of Wednesday’s signing ceremony aimed at supporting youth employment in the country, Mr. Debroise said “we are very pleased to say that with the support of the Liberian government in a short period of time, AFD has committed financial grant of Euros 10 million, and budget support to Liberia has been put into place and disbursed.” He did not say how money was infused into the country’s budget.
Debroise said that they are currently working on an additional grant that will focus on Liberia’s entrepreneurship program in rural and urban areas. The program according to him, will foster cooperation between Liberia and the Polytechnic Institute in Abidjan, which is an African center of excellence.
He added that this additional financing amount of 10 million euros will be monitored in close collaboration with the World Bank.
Mr. Debroise noted that grant approval already submitted to the AFD Board will try to identify new areas of intervention, which will be aligned to Liberia PAPD’s priorities.
The intervention, he added, will also complement actions of different donors and development partners.
Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., commended the Government of France for supporting Liberia’s development drive.
Tweah said since the visit of the President Weah to France last year, Liberia has witnessed the deepening of relations between the two nations.
He said that numerous conversations took place last year between the two leaders and Liberia appreciates the fruitful outcomes of that visit.
Youth employment, according to him, is a global challenge in Africa, because young people don’t have employable skills. The Youth Support Program, he added, is the right way to support Liberia, because the PAPD transformation starts with agriculture, bringing aboard some of the young people.
Minister Tweah used the occasion to convey profound appreciations to the French government for that country’s budget support of five million euros to Liberia during last year. He described budget support as a critical intervention necessary to help the country emerge out of what he described as “adversarial circumstances” owing to the commodities price slump which has posed enormous challenges on the country’s revenue generation capability.