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. 

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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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