Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has underscored the need for more investments in building the capacity of young people if we are to create a middle income economy as envisaged in the National Vision 2030.
Minister Ngafuan spoke at the graduation of Class Two of the President's Young Professionals Program (PYP) at the C. Cecil Dennis Hall on Monday 21 January, 2012. The PYP is a two-year merit-based training program for young Liberians who are thereafter incorporated into the Civil Service.
Minister Ngafuan lamented the fact that limited job openings are being taken by foreigners due to the shortage of competent Liberians to fill some of the jobs that have been created.
"It is a frustrating anomaly that at a time when an increasing number of our people are clamoring for jobs, we still have to confront the uncomfortable reality of the shortage of competent Liberians to fill these vacancies", the Foreign Minister added.
Minister Ngafuan used the occasion to caution his fellow mentors at various ministries and agencies, against mentoring young Liberians into laziness, indiscipline, and cutting corners and called on them to mentor young Liberians into excellence, professionalism, patriotism and integrity.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Mr. Ngafuan, who is also Dean of the Cabinet, said the task of restoring and expanding Liberia's physical infrastructure has been colossal; however, he noted that even more colossal has been the task of rebuilding our soft infrastructure, especially rebuilding our human capital to effectively respond to the demands and exigencies of today and the future.
Minister Ngafuan said that PYPs wear a badge of honor on their heads because the President whose title they carry, is a Nobel Prize Laureate, an illustrious African Leader, and a topnotch professional of no mean stature, and as the President wakes up every morning with a consuming passion to transform Liberia, they, too, must wake up every morning fired up with a desire to contribute in no small way to Liberia's transformation.