Japan works with UNIDO to enhance cooperation and boost jobs in Liberia's wood sector
The Government of Japan has announced that it will fund a project addressing youth unemployment through vocational training and enhanced cooperation with transnational corporations in Liberia’s wood industry.
This is one of eight new projects implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic, with Japanese funding totaling US$5.2 million.
In coordination with transnational corporations, the project seeks to provide technical and vocational training to unemployed youth in Grand Bassa County.
By developing marketable skills, the training aims to enhance the employability and resilience of the youth which, in turn, strengthens social stability and human security of the local communities. Moreover, the project promotes carpentry using rubber wood as a sustainable and environmental alternative to tropical woods.
The Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan to Liberia, Tsutomu Himeno, stated “I am pleased that Japan can contribute to supporting skills and job creation for the youth of Liberia which is a very important element of the Liberian Government’s “pro-poor” policy.” He added “One of the pillars identified under the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) is about human resource development; therefore the project is in line with the development agenda of the Government of Japan.”
Speaking at the kick-off event held at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, during which the eight projects and the funding from the Government of Japan were announced, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, highlighted that the projects aim to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus and promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development by taking a human security approach.
Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, stated that the projects will “help individuals to live under healthy conditions, consolidate their livelihoods and, with all of this, gain optimism for their future.”
Liberia is a country richly endowed with natural resources and fertile land, but its economic recovery from the destructive civil wars of the 1990s has been seriously affected by the recent outbreak of Ebola.
This project seeks to promote social stability and enhance the human security of vulnerable people and communities negatively affected by natural resource concessions to foreign investors, whilst at the same time strengthening the local private sector, and engaging transnational corporations to build sustainable business partnerships and job opportunities for youth.