The Republic of Ireland, as part of its development agenda for Africa, has expressed interest in working with Liberia in the area of youth empowerment, a dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations said on Thursday, September 26, 2019.
Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Ms. Katherine Zappone, said her government was ready to support the empowerment of young people in the country through the European Union (EU) or through knowledge transfer, especially sharing models of best practices from its skill development programs.
According to the dispatch, Minister Zappone said her government was also considering support to vocational and technical areas as well as making its scholarship program at the Master’s level more targeted, to ensure that beneficiaries acquire the needed skill that would be useful to the country.
Minister Zappone assured that her government would work closely with the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS), to determine the kind of support needed to help to accelerate the empowerment of the youth of Liberia.
The Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs spoke on Monday, September 23, 2019 during a bilateral meeting with Liberia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson, on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (74th UNGA), which has convened at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Minister Wilson said the challenges facing Liberia’s huge youthful population was enormous and would require assistance at all levels.
Minister Wilson stressed the need for capacity building, scholarships, and support for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) for young people – both formally and informally.
Minister Wilson made the case for youth ‘At-Risk Youth’, people he described as having little or no formal education and skills. He said that they were more in need of vocational and technical skills for the job market, as a short-term intervention.
Wilson further said that the Liberian government was committed to catering to the welfare of ‘At-Risk Youth’ and was seeking a long-term support in their rehabilitation.