UNIDO, Japan launch project to enhance job creation and livelihoods in Liberia
The Government of Japan has announced that it will fund a project in Liberia to promote social stabilization in the country by creating jobs and livelihoods for vulnerable people and communities – in particular youth – in key sectors of economic growth.
This is one of nine new projects implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with Japanese funding totalling US$5.8 million.
Recent civil wars and the Ebola crisis have left Liberia with major hurdles on the way to political and social stability.
The recovery of the country’s economy has been identified as a key solution to consolidate peace and realize human security.
Liberia’s economy relies heavily on foreign investments by transnational corporations (TNCs) in the extractive industries.
However, the jobs created by TNCs’ concessions projects are not accessible to the workforce of local communities due to a lack of skills.
The UNIDO-Japan project will therefore aim to provide the necessary skills and technical know-how to improve employability and job creation, as well as develop Liberia’s productive industries.
“With over 80 per cent of Liberia’s youth unable to find secure employment, providing skills training is an important tool to tackle youth unemployment and, in turn, enhance social stabilization in a still fragile post-crisis society,” said UNIDO Project Manager Noriko Takahashi.
Tsutomu Himeno, Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan to Liberia, added: “I am pleased that Japan can contribute to supporting skills and jobs creation for the youth of Liberia – a very important element of the Liberian Government’s “Pro-Poor” policy. One of the pillars under TICAD 7 (Tokyo International Conference on African Development), which Japan hosts in August this year, will be about human resource development, therefore this project is in line with the Government of Japan’s development agenda.”
With a particular focus on youth, the project will provide technical and vocational trainings in the Nimba County in close coordination with TNCs; utilizing existing vocational institutions.
The project targets the wood and furniture industry, a key priority of the Liberian government to achieve economic growth. In addition to building marketable skills for youth, the project will seek to create and expand local businesses, and develop partnerships with TNCs.
The aim is to ease tensions between TNCs and local communities and strengthen the creation of robust local economies.