Liberia: UNDP Launches Phase 2 Training for Underprivileged Women, Youths in Business Management


Monrovia – In the midst of economic challenges that Liberia faces currently, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has embarked on its second phase of a project to empower underprivileged women and youths by providing skills training and funds to start their own businesses.

Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr 00231886458910[email protected]

The first phase of the project was launched in September 18, 2018 and it is expected to end in September 2019. Due to the conflict sensitivity of the program in terms of peace sustenance in Liberia, the first phase of the project trained youths and women in peace management at the same time inject some livelihood in economic empowerment.

The US$500,000 project targets communities in Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Montserrado and Margibi Counties, and the project is expected to run for a year under the theme, “Consolidating Peace to Social Cohesion and the Pro-Poor livelihood and Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth in Liberia”.

Phase two of the project was launched last Monday in Margibi County with youths and women gathered to participate in the training.

The second phase of the project is expected to empower disadvantaged women and youth into becoming entrepreneurs.

Participants at the training hailed the UNDP for providing education on how to start or improve their businesses.

One of the participants, a resident of Kakata City in Margibi County, Rachel Danuwele, said the training will help her to expand her business and teach others who have smaller businesses in order to have them have an idea to expanding theirs, too.

Another participant — Kebbeh Kennedy — of the R2 Community explained that she has been selling but not realizing much out of her business, but was full of hope that the one-week training from UNDP, she is better prepared on how to encourage customers.

“For me I don’t even need a job anymore to survive,” Garlamah Jallah, another participant of the training said.

Jallah, who is a foreign currency exchanger, praised UNDP for the training and urged it to expand the project to other parts of the country.

UNDP Project Manager Marcus Zarway disclosed that during and after the Ebola crisis, UNDP embarked on Ebola recovery support projects in social economic program and cross boarder peace and social cohesion project in several counties.

“However, it was realized that livelihood and economic empowerment remain critical to building resilience in sustaining the gains made from previous projects, against these backgrounds, the project ‘Consolidation Peace and Social Cohesion through Pro-Poor Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment for Women and Youth in Liberia’ was designed and secured funding (under the Funding Window) to enhancing the socio-economic status of beneficiary; women and youth in the target counties (Gand Cape Mount, Montserrado, Margibi and Nimba), while addressing drivers of conflict,” he stated.

He said it is also intended to promote and enhance peace and social cohesion among women and youth, while providing livelihood support through small business development trainings and start-up kits.

He said all of these are in line with the government’s pro-poor agenda for inclusive growth which is built on four pillars of power to the people, economic growth and job creation, consolidating the peace and justice and transparency.

The project is being implemented in collaborations with the Ministries of Gender and Youth and Sports, and the Peace Building Office (PBO) at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

He noted that the project will train women and youth in basic entrepreneurial skills, basic and effective financial management.

He said the expected outcome of the project is for beneficiaries to acquire the needed entrepreneurial skill to start, manage, grow and sustain their business by applying the skills acquired from the training.