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AFD Expresses Satisfaction Over LEEP Program

By Precious D. Freeman
Barely two weeks after President Weah’s State of Nation Address highlighting the contribution of the Liberia Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) to youths’ development in Liberia, a delegation from the French Development Agency (AFD) has expressed satisfaction over the program’s process and impact among young Liberians.
AFD is the donor of the 2.4 million, three-year project, which aims to bolster employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for vulnerable youths, aged 18-35 in three of Liberian fifteen counties, including: Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties.
During its 3-hour visit at the Monrovia Youth Opportunity Center (MYOC) on Jamaica Road yesterday, the AFD delegation acknowledged significant gains made by the project.
According to the Country Director for AFD Christophe Cottet, since July 2019, Mercy Corps in collaboration with the Liberia Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) has been implementing the project by helping youths to find meaningful market-driven employment or self-employment increased skills, self-confidence and increase opportunities.
He added that based on the interaction of the participants and how well they have learned, when it comes to building up their skills for entrepreneurship, it is very much encouraging.
Explaining on the outcome of the program, he mentioned that the training that was conducted was considered successful, the health protocols is being observed, the overall outlook is positive, the project is a success, among others.
For his part, the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Team Leader Mwesigwa Bikie Isharaza explained that MYOC is one of youth opportunity centers established in the three programs counties, which function as a support hub where youths can acquire life skills and business skills as well as access financial support to launch or grow small businesses.
According to him, over 36 months, Mercy Corps proposed a public private civil society partnership to generate better economic opportunities and increase youth empowerment under LEEP.
He furthered that the youths on the job training program scheme targets two-hundred-sixty (260) semi-literate and illiterate youth participants to receive on the job hands on technical apprenticeship training in various technical trades.
“The trades include; motor mechanic, carpentry, hairdressing, welding metalwork, and that the vulnerable youths are assigned to private sector businesses to provide practical throughout the ten assignments,” he added.
He maintained that the program provides tools to aid businesses building the technical capacity of youth participants.

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