MONROVIA, LIBERIA-On November 22 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the French bilateral development agency, AFD (Agence Française de Développement) celebrated the official close out of the LEEP programme implemented by Mercy Corps in Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties.
The November 22, 2022, celebration climaxed the LEEP 3-year programme financed by AFD that enabled close to thirteen-thousand Liberian youth aged 18-35 years to find meaningful, market-driven employment or self-employment.
This project was conceived and conducted in full support of the national development plan of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development / Pillar I, Power to the People.
The close out of this first successful intervention financed by AFD on the same day as the signing of AFD establishment agreements constituted a landmark in the strengthening partnership between the Republic of Liberia and the French Republic.
The official closing event, which commemorated the close out of the first programme financed by AFD, was attended by high-level representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, including Deputy Ministers Peter S. Bemah and Isaac N. Doe, as well as French Ambassador Michaël ROUX and AFD Country Director Mr. Christophe COTTET.
The ceremony celebrated the achievements of the LEEP programme which exceeded each project objectives, reaching close to 13 000 youth across the three counties of Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa, of which more than a majority of females.
The LEEP programme helped revitalizing powerful tools and mechanisms of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for youth integration in the professional world such as the youth opportunity centers, the youth on the job training or the national youth service programme.
Through the combined experience of Liberian authorities and Mercy corps, LEEP also successfully channeled sports as a powerful leverage for youth empowerment with 182 coaches trained and more than 2,600 students graduated from the programme.
Youth beneficiaries from all main activities of the programme shared powerful testimonies of the impact the programme had on their lives.
The Minister of Youth and Sports commanded the Mercy Corps team and partnering government authorities for their engagement with the youth of Liberia throughout the programme duration.
Important efforts were deployed by the programme team and Government authorities in designing an exit strategy to ensure the sustainability of programme gains.
AFD is still committed to the Liberian youth through a 10MEUR grant supporting the TVET sector–the STRIVE project implemented by IECD.
In 2022, AFD renewed this commitment through another 10MEUR grant targeting vulnerable youth in rural areas, as well as providing scholarship opportunities for forty Liberian youth to study in Institut National Polytechnique Houphouet-Boigny (INP-HB) in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.