Signing of Two Financing Agreements Opens New Partnership Perspectives Between The European Union And Liberia

NAO MFDP011On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the European Union Cooperation with Liberia expanded to additional areas of partnership as new programmes were launched for education and civil society for a combined value of EUR 24 million (USD 29 million).

The European Union and the Government of Liberia signed on Thursday 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 government’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 and National Authorizing Officer of the European Development Fund Honorable Samuel D. Tweah, Jr described the European Union as one of the most trusted partners of the government of Liberia. Minister Tweah acknowledged that experiences from other parts of Africa show that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays a more pivotal role in addressing youth unemployment. Minister Tweah said that government is working with her partners to ensure that all of the TVET programs are brought together to build stronger synergies and complementarity between programs that are funded by different partners so that we can more successfully move towards the goal of empowering young people. 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 then disclosed that government is putting into place a delivery team that will transform government’s delivery over the next five to six years. He assured that government is committed to measuring the impact of every dollar spent on the country’s development. He added that the technical mechanisms will be put into place to measure the marginal impact of the expenditure of every dollar under the project.

Additionally, Minister Tweah expressed the hope that the financing to the strengthening of the Civil Society will enhance the technical efficiency of the civil society and improve their knowledge and technical ability to producing quality reports and engaging and compelling government to deliver results.

The signing ceremony of the financing agreements which took place in the 10th Floor Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Broad and Mechlin Streets in Monrovia, Liberia was attended by representatives of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, the Swedish Embasssy, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Education, UNIDO, and the National Civil Society Council of Liberia.

Background Information

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.

The European Union
The Member States of the European Union have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

The Office of the National Authorizing Officer
In the context of development cooperation with the European Union under the Cotonou Agreement the Minister of Finance and Development Planning acts as the National Authorizing Officer (NAO). In this capacity he is jointly responsible with the EU Delegation for the preparation, submission and appraisal of all programme and projects funded through the European Development Fund and for contracts under these projects. The NAO is supported in this work by the Office of the National Authorizing Officer (ONAO), which is a unit of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

Contact Details:

Offfice of the National Authorizing Officer European Union Delegation to Liberia
Ministry of Finance and Development Planning UN Drive Mamba point
Capitol Hills Executive Manstion Grounds Monrovia, Liberia
Republic of Liberia Websites: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/liberia
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