6 May 2014

Liberia: Major Threat to Liberia's Stability Identified

The Ambassador of Sweden accredited to Liberia, Sofia Strand, has observed that the high unemployment of youth in Liberia remains a great threat to the country's stability.

Amb. Strand further observed that a large youth population with limited opportunities for employment and political participation can constitute a destabilizing force that could undermine stability in the country.

The Swedish envoy was speaking Monday, May 5, 2014 at program marking the official closing of the pilot phase of the National Cadet Program held at the Samuel Kanyan Doe (SKD) Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

"The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports needs to address these many youth problems through program like this," said the Swedish envoy.

She pointed out that the socio-economic lives of Liberian youth are still characterized by the consequences of the 14-year civil war.

According to her, despite steady growth in Liberia's economy in recent years, the issue of youth unemployment still remains high, noting it is not a good sign for the country's peace and stability.

"Youth employment constitutes to peace and stability in Liberia, and this is something that the government needs to look at very seriously." The Swedish envoy emphasized.

"One of the major challenges for reconstruction, rehabilitation and reintegration has been the need to address problems of the youth, many of whom were victims and participants of the war. Initiative like the cadet program that helps provide employment opportunity for youth is very important," she stated.

"Many of the youth, who are employed, are placed under vulnerable employment. They earn low wages and work under insecure working condition. This is a threat to this country," Amb. Strand added.

For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Len Eugene, said government through the Ministry of Youth Sports will work tirelessly in a bid to solve some of these major problems confronting the youth.

He said though there have been some challenges along the way, but noted that government considers youth employment very seriously.

Like many other programs at the Ministry, he added that the National Cadet Program will help in addressing the high unemployment of youth in the country.

Meanwhile, 98 out of the 100 were successful to graduate from the three-month training program.

Out of this number, three persons have been employed, while 15 are to get employed shortly at various line ministries and agencies.

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