8 February 2018

Liberia: Promises to Keep At Youth and Sports

Newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Zoegar Wilson (L) and Deputy Minister for Sports G. Andy Quamie.

Youth and Sports Minister-designate Zoegar Wilson has outlined several plans for youth and sports in the country if confirmed.

Among his plans are the introduction of a Sports Development Tax, youth development, and vocational training.

Zoegar's intention for the Sports Development Tax is to use the revenue to construct stadiums across the country. He made the disclosure on Tuesday, February 6 when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports for confirmation following his appointment by President George Manneh Weah.

In addition, his Deputy Minister-designate, Andy Quamie, also promised that if confirmed he would focus on inter-school competitions and grassroots programs, and also intervene in the six-year-old leadership crisis at the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA).

Of course, these are all good proposals. The construction of additional sporting facilities and vocational training centers across the country and the development of grassroots football have been issues of major concern that need more attention. The two men should be reminded that past officials at the ministry made similar proposals but did not deliver in the end.

Besides, the ongoing crisis in the LBA is a situation that continues to kill the ambitions and dreams of the many young people that are passionately engaged in basketball.

The employment of youth and the development of sports in the country remain a challenge; and it was due to these challenges that the young people overwhelmingly voted President George Weah as the country's president, which he acknowledged in his inaugural address.

"This victory could not have been possible without the support of the youth of this country," Weah said.

Certainly, the majority of the support from the youth come from vocational and sporting background, and they are extremely confident that only President Weah can restore their hope.

While there is no doubt that the Senate will confirm the Youth and Sports Minister and his Deputy, they should be reminded that they will be watched to see how they will realize their promises to the youths.

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