Monrovia – Vice president Jewel Howard-Taylor and the Ambassador accredited to Liberia, H.E. Fu Jijun on Thursday April 12, 2018 toured a Chinese-aided Bamboo and Rattan Weaving Project at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The project, according to Ambassador Fu Jijun, was established in 2007 during the tenure of former Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Lin Songtain.
This, the Ambassador explained, followed the former Ambassador’s trip to south-eastern Liberia, along with former President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, where they saw an abundance of bamboo and rattan plants, which moved them into collaborative action to begin the initiative.
The Vice president who interacted with some young Liberians in training, during the tour of the facilities, expressed delight in the talent of Liberian youth in the project whose products were inspected and found to be remarkable.
She encouraged those implementing the project to extend the initiative to other vocational centers in the rural parts including the Tumutu Vocational Training center in Bong County to benefit others who are also unskilled.
VP Howard-Taylor according to a release from the office of the Vice President commended the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the training and urged them to continue to do more with specific focus on rural counties to improve the lives of the young people.
She hopes that this training initiative will give beneficiaries of the project after-training, an opportunity to launch themselves into entrepreneurship as a way of becoming self-reliant.
VP Howard-Taylor said by this, it means that these Bamboo and Rattan Furniture-making process in Liberia and by Liberians, using Liberian natural resources will help government cut down on spending on the importation of furniture into the country; an action she noted reflects the pro-poor agenda of the George Weah-Led government.
‘The production of these things will cut down cost and encourage other unskilled Liberians to go into the process aimed at sustaining their livelihood’, VP Howard-Taylor said.
The Liberian Vice president used the occasion to call on the Chinese authorities to go one step further by making the bamboo and rattan weaving competitive in order to compete with those exporting furniture from overseas so as to make those produced in Liberia marketable.
Following the tour of the facilities, the Vice president as part of support and commitment to the initiative procured significant amount of Bamboo and Rattan Furniture for her private residence.
Speaking earlier, Chinese Ambassador Fu Jijun maintained that Agriculture remains a very important area in Liberia’s economic development but needs support to boost the sector.
He said Bamboo and Rattan Weaving team has expanded its project to the Klay Agricultural and Vocational Training Center to share agricultural techniques and skills with more youths.