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On Thursday 3 May the European Union and the Government of Liberia signed two Financing Agreements which will lead to new programmes of support to Liberia for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Civil Society strengthening.
Youth development, boosting entrepreneurship and employment access are at the heart of the new EUR 20 million TVET programme which will support Government to equip youth with skills that match labour market demand and respond to new economic growth opportunities while also fostering entrepreneuriaship culture. The five vocational schools that will be at the core of transformative efforts by the EU and the Government under this initiative are the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Greenville and Zwedru Multilateral Schools and Cape Palmas High School (CPHS). The programme will assist Government to modernize TVET and promote training in strategic sectors of the economy for local and international markets.
The Financing Agreement establishing a Civil Society Initiative will ensure that the civil society voice can resonate into the EU development cooperation partnership with the Liberian Government and institutions across political and policy dialogues.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the European Union Ambassador Hélène Cavé commented “with these projects the EU hopes to make a significant contribution to the goveernment’s pro-poor agenda. Quality technical and vocational education is the key to unlocking employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people, while the active involvement of civil society organizations in policy development and monitoring of service delivery is an important element of sustainable development.”
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Honorable Samuel D. Tweah, Jr, acknowledged that experiences from other parts of Africa show that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays a pivotal role in addressing youth unemployment. According to Minister Tweah “the logic of preparing young people for jobs and competitiveness is the most compelling logic in all development in Africa because the youth unemployment crisis is the biggest crisis that Africa faces which multilateral and bilateral insititutions are also supporting governments to grapple with”.
Minister Tweah also expressed the hope that the financing to Civil Society will enhance their capacity to engage and compel government to deliver results.
YOUTH RISING—EU SUPPORT TO TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN LIBERIA
Amount: EUR 20 million (approx. USD 24 million)
Duration: Six years
Implementing Partner: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Objectives: The Overall Objective is to enable Liberian youth to respond to economic growth opportunities by increasing their employability and entrepreneurship potential through strengthening the TVET sector.
Specific Objective 1: Improve the quality, relevance and modernization of TVET, by strengthening links with the private sector, and by improving the governance, planning, management, and delivery capacity at governmental and TVET provider levels.
Specific Objective 2: Promote equitable and gender-balanced access to TVET in target providers.
CIVIL SOCIETY INITIATIVE
Amount: EUR 4 million (approx. USD 5 million).
Duration: Four years
Implementing Partner: To be determined
Beneficiaries: CSOs working in the EU focal sectors of Energy, Education, Governance and Agriculture and the National Civil Society Council of Liberia.
Objectives: The Overall Objective is to contribute to Liberia’s objectives of economic growth and increased inclusiveness for more equal and just society.
Specific Objective 1: Strengthen the abilities of CSOs and NCSCL to address their risks and to pursuit their mission.
Specific Objective 2: strengthening CSOs advocacy roles in the EU focal sectors.
Specific Objective 3: strengthening the collective voice of Liberian CSOs.