The major focus of the Liberian government is to ensure the economic empowerment of Liberians.
This is according to the nation’s president, George Weah while underlining the unrelenting commitment of his administration through the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
This comes just as the President launched on January 14, 2022 the Recovery of Economic Activity for Liberian Informal Sector Employment Project, with the acronym ‘REALISE’
He said the launch of the REALISE Project should send a strong signal of his administration’s determination to empower Liberian citizens.
“We shall remain unrelenting in our resolve and determination to lift this country and its people from poverty,” the President averred, adding: “Several studies have been done on how to maintain stability following years of conflict, such as that which Liberia has experienced. They all point to poverty reduction and people empowerment as essential elements for a sustainable and durable peace.”
He praised the REALISE initiative, acknowledging that the needs of Liberians are many, and these needs are best addressed through initiatives that involve the people themselves.
“This is the approach adopted by the REALISE Project, which calls for the direct involvement of ordinary people through small enterprises and community-based public works,” President Weah said.
He thanked the French Government, the World Bank, and all those who have helped to make the project possible.
“Let me now call on other development partners to contribute to the REALISE Project, so that the impact reaches across the country, and not just Monrovia,” President Weah requested.
He recalled that as the then Senator of Montserrado County and Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Youth and Sports, he sponsored the ratification of $10,000,000 Youth Opportunities Project, (YOP) which provided training, livelihood and entrepreneurial support to thousands of Liberian Youth.
“That is why, since the beginning of my tenure some four years ago, my Government has embarked upon numerous important initiatives which are intended to empower our people, while at the same time tackling other developmental challenges across the country,” said the President.
The REALISE Project will promote economic activities for a total of about 19,000 Liberians in the Greater Monrovia area; about 4,000 vulnerable Liberians in the informal sector will receive support to either start a new business or improve existing ones, and about 15,000 Liberians will also be empowered to engage in labor-intensive community-based public works, while improving the environment for the poor and vulnerable in urban areas.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, who are jointly working together to implement this Project, have indicated that the French Government, through the Agency for French Development (AFD), has committed to support the REALISE Project with a total contribution of approximately €9,000,000, and that a technical team has already been sent to Liberia by AFD to conduct a feasibility study for the Project.