Liberia, France Signs 5 million Euros Grant for Youth Employment

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MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), and the Republic of France through the Agencies France Development (AFD), Wednesday, March 27, 2019 signed a 5 million euros grant agreement towards enhancing support for youth employment in Liberia.

Specifically, the Agreement 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, Ivory Coast for technical training.

Making remarks at the ceremony, France Ambassador Terrance Wills said it was important for his government to deliver on the promises that had been guaranteed Liberia’s President George M. Weah.

He disclosed that France President Emmanuel Macron and Liberian 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 PAPD, and will provide opportunity for young people to get requisite and employable skills.

AFD Director Emmanuel Debroise, also making remarks, termed the signing as an important step toward supporting youth employment in Liberia. Mr. Debroise said the signing was a follow-up on commitment made in November of 2018 when the CEO of AFD visited Liberia.

It can be recalled that on November 27, 2018, the Government of France through the French Development Agency and the Government of Liberia signed the AFD Roadmap to support the implementation of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) at the French Embassy near Monrovia. 

While emphasizing on the significance of Wednesday’s signing ceremony aimed at supporting youth employment in the country, Mr. Debroise disclosed, “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”.

The AFD Director stated 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 in close collaboration with the World Bank. He noted that grant approval already submitted to the AFD Board will try to identify new areas of intervention which will be aligned to Liberia’s PAPD priorities. The intervention, he added, will also complement actions of different donors and development partners.

For his part, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr, commended the Government of France for supporting Liberia’s development drive.

Min. 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 indicated 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 adds, is the right way to support Liberia, because the PAPD transformation starts with agriculture. Additionally, Minister Tweah used the occasion to convey profound appreciations to the French government for that country’s budget support of 5 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.

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