President Weah launches state-of-the-art center for young entrepreneurs
President George Weah said his government is ready to help Smart Liberia and other Liberians to reach their goals, while emphasizing the importance of education for Liberia's development.
Smart Liberia, subtitled 'Changemakers', is involved in equipping promising young Liberians with skills and opportunities to create social change and lead meaningful lives.
President Weah made the statement on Monday, July 22, 2019 at the official launch of Smart Liberia, an organization that supports young people through career development and entrepreneurship. Weah said no country can really develop until its people are educated.
"Education is the essence of life, because without education, it will be difficult for anyone to achieve their potential. It is therefore important to see young people undertaking such endeavor to encourage others to follow career paths," President Weah said.
"The Smart Liberia program, which is helping to take young Liberians from the street remains the best for our country and we will continue to encourage the initiative and will help them to succeed," he said.
The President further encouraged parents to support their children's education and not to limit them, but always advise their children to maximize their potential. "You can be in the market selling and then go to school," he said.
"I am a living witness to the importance of education. I spent over 20 years being an entertainer, but found reasons after ending entertainment career, I returned to the classroom, and so, I will encourage everyone to take their education serious, because education delayed should not be denied," President Weah said.
President Weah along with US Ambassador Christine Elder cuts the ribbon to Smart Liberia's Changemakers Village.
He said taking advantage of education will enable anyone to help Liberia and praised Smart Liberia particularly for information technology education for young Liberians.
Minister of Youth and Sports D. Zeogar Wilson expressed gratitude to Smart Liberia for undertaking such a "worthy initiative that continues to empower young Liberians."
Marvin R. Tarawally, executive director of Smart Liberia (Changemakers Village) said millions of young people across the country are hungry for opportunities that would empower them to make a difference, including impacting their family, communities.
Tarawally said some of the young people are lacking opportunities, because of where they are born, and which family they are born unto.
Liberia, he said is fading, "because its young ones are missing out there on the incredible potential of the youth population."
According to him, young people, who constitute 60 percent of the country's population, remain the most unrepresented in many sectors due to the lack of education, skills and experience.
"We are faced with enormous challenges that need quick action. Unfortunately, our education system continues to fail people," he said.
Smart Liberia is creating Changemakers Village, Liberia's first social change hub to train and equip promising young Liberians with the technological and entrepreneurial skills, tools, and networking opportunities to create jobs and wide-scale social change in their communities. The space will focus on technology, entrepreneurship, and education advancement. The center trains people in various business skills, including information technology and provide each trainee a seed fund of US$1000.
Some of the young Liberians who displayed their products at the dedication of Smart Liberia's Changemakers Village.