MONROVIA: The United States, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Education Development Center (EDC), officially launched the Youth Advance program in Monrovia last Thursday.
US Ambassador, Michael A. McCarthy, and Liberia’s President, George Manneh Weah, gave the keynote speeches to mark this important event.
The program will work to increase the economic and social resilience of Liberian youths in Montserrado, Lofa, and Grand Bassa counties, providing 21,000 young people with foundational and technical skills, work-based learning opportunities, mentorship and resources to engage in the productive development of their communities. The program will operate through June 2026.
Speaking at the event, U.S. Ambassador Michael McCarthy said that Liberian youths, representing 70 percent of the population, have the potential to drive Liberia’s economic growth, if empowered and provided with market-relevant jobs and business skills, and pathways to employment or entrepreneurship.
Launching the program, President George Manneh Weah thanked the United States Government for its development interventions made across Liberia and commitment to help Liberians foster democratic governance, social stability, and economic progress.
Under the theme: “Partnering for Skilled, Productive and Resilient Liberian Youth,” the event brought together national stakeholders from the Liberian government, development partners, the private sector, disabled people’s organizations, and local youth-led and youth-serving organizations (YLSOs).
USAID Youth Advance has three main objectives under its overall goal of supporting the positive development of Liberian youth: one, to reinforce foundational skills including basic education; two, to strengthen access to work-based and experiential learning for better self or wage employment; and, three, to help provide an enabling environment so youths can live healthier, more productive lives. USAID Youth Advance will assist 8,000 youth in transitioning to employment or launching a micro or small enterprise.
The program will support youth to access and participate in learning through collaboration with technical vocational education and training institutes, community colleges and universities; to understand and engage with market actors through work-based learning, internship and coaching activities; to access savings and loans groups; and to strengthen peer-mentorship and youth-serving supports.
The official launch of the USAID Youth Advance affirms the commitment of the U.S. Government to work in partnership with the Government of Liberia, YLSOs, and the private sector to educate and reinforce the resilience of young women and men to contribute to the positive social and economic development of their communities and their country.