Liberia: US Pledges to Support Professional Youth Program

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Monrovia- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, Anthony Chan, has pledged his organization’s financial and technical support to the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP), indicating that Liberia continues to benefit from the program.

The PYPP is a public service leadership organization empowering high-achieving young Liberian university graduates to provide transformative solutions to pressing policy issues and service delivery.

Dr. Chan made the assertion on Wednesday during the annual partners meeting of the PYPP held at a resort in Monrovia, when he indicated that with the small investments, it is producing huge dividends for those it trains and Liberia at large.

“As someone who spent virtually his entire life as a development worker, I know a successful development program. The PYPP is a phenomenally successful program,” Dr. Chan said.

According to him, the successfulness of the program has motivated USAID’s management to provide both technical and financial support to PYPP for the recruitment of a total of 40 President’s Young Professionals.

Dr. Chan said development community has always recognized the importance of capacity development to the success of development assistance and the journey to self-reliance.

“It’s the only way to allow members of the society to take charge of their own destiny. We have not fully appreciated how tapping local expertise and resources for capacity development can have a substantial impact on sustainable development outcomes,” Dr. Chan said.

He continued, “This is why I find the PYPP to be a refreshingly new and different approach to capacity development with the potential to be transformative.”

Laurine W. Johnson, Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and chair of PYPP Board of Directors, lauded partners and supporters of PYPP, including USAID, Liberia Telecommunications Corporation and emerging public leaders for their financial and in-kind to the PYPP.

Director Johnson also praised Hh Zaizay, Executive Director of the PYPP and his team for their tireless efforts in ensuring that the PYPP is breeding the next generation of leaders as Liberian strive to bridge Liberia’s post war capacity and for ably conducting the affairs of the PYPP through maintaining its integrity and credibility.

She recounted that since the establishment of the PYPP in 2009, the CSA continues to be its strongest government partner and played a vital role in the implementation of its programs.

“We have worked from the recruitment and selection of young professionals to placement, training and absorption into the CSA of which 90 percent continue to work after graduation. PYP graduates are placed on the CSA’s payroll and are paid by the CSA immediately after graduation until their ministries and agencies absorb them on their payroll,” Director Johnson said.

Hh Zaizay, Executive Director of the PYPP said the institution will continue to build the capacity of the next generation of Liberia’s public service leaders.

Mr. Zaizay said the PYPP has placed 140 graduates in 25 ministries and agencies in the Liberian government, stating that the PYPs have moved up the civil service career leader and into middle management roles must faster than their peers with equivalent degrees.

According to Mr. Zaizay, the PYPP will begin preparing its graduates for the private sector, indicating that the private sector continues to request for PYPP graduates.

T. Nelson Williams, Board member of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce lauded the leadership of PYPP and pledged his support and commitment to the program.

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