Liberia: USAID Mission Director Stresses Need for Empowering Liberian Youth


MONROVIA — USAID Mission Director Jim Wright says youth empowerment and employment is key to Liberia’s development. 

He was speaking on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.  He met with Minister D. Zeogar Wilson and other officials of the Ministry.

The USAID Mission Director noted that building the capacity of young people and enabling them to contribute to the development of Liberia was particularly important, because they constitute a significant majority of the Liberian population.

Assisting the development of youth is a USAID goal, Mission Director Wright said. But to do so effectively, USAID wants to “know the priority of the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” including its plans for the “Technical Vocational Educational and Training or TVET sector, as well as the challenges facing the Ministry,” he added.

The USAID Mission Director also discussed with Minister Wilson the newly launched USAID-funded youth activity designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.  With the active engagement of private sector actors, the activity aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 21,000 youth, providing them numeracy, literacy, and other skills to improve their income earning abilities.

Minister Wilson thanked the USAID Mission Director for the visit and the U.S. Government for its long-standing support for Liberia’s development.

Minister Wilson said one of the key challenges facing his Ministry was “the need to develop the capacity of its staff, especially its monitoring and evaluation staff.” He also said there was “an urgent need for the rehabilitation and empowerment of at-risk youths” across the country.  “We need to deal with the problems they face in a more holistic manner to provide them the capacity and self-esteem they need to be active players in their country’s development,” Minister Wilson added.  

Mission Director Wright’s visit to the Ministry of Youth and Sports is part of several courtesy calls he has made since his arrival in Liberia three weeks ago to various government ministries and agencies. Director Wright is learning first-hand from his Liberian counterparts about how to build on what he has described as the “strong partnerships USAID has forged with all stakeholders in Liberia’s development.”