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Boakai targets 10,000 youth for digital education

President Boakai launches an ambitious program to provide digital training to 10,000 youth.

By Lewis S Teh 

Monrovia, Liberia, May 2, 2024 – President Joseph Nyuma Boakai says digital transformation is key to unlocking Liberia’s full potential.

“Digital Transformation key to unlocking Liberia’s full potential; this is why my administration has made ICT important to our development initiative,” President Boakai notes here.

He spoke Wednesday, May1, 2024, at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Oldest Congo town while officially launching digital transformation training project for 10,000 youths across the country.

The launch was jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Liberia Telecommunications Authority, and Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in Monrovia.

President Boakai emphasizes that digital transformation brings about increasing growth through empowerment, adding, “This is about creating values; embracing digital transformation is not about getting new innovation.”

He calls on agencies responsible for working closely with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the LTA to engage with the telecommunication sector to achieve this goal. He instructs the Ministry of Education to review the national curriculum and make some inputs into digital education and transformation here.

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President Boakai: “In order to achieve our ambition, we have to change our way of doing things.”

Giving an overview at the official launch, Mr. Abdullah Kamara, Acting chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, says the project is huge, and the launch was just the tip of the iceberg.

“We have a lot to achieve as a country; imagine our population has grown, but ICT is the driver or facilitator of economic growth across Africa,” Mr. Kamara notes.

He says the imperative for digital transformation means a lot, as Liberia remains a cash-driven economy outside the digital market. Therefore, it’s important that the country gets accustomed to using technology, especially among the youth.

Imagine a time when people used heavy phones like Nokia, but now smartphones have overtaken the world; this tells you the importance of technology,” Kamara adds.

He underscores, “This we see as an opportunity for the young people; we must use our various devices wisely.”

According to him, digital transformation refers to a comprehensive integration of digital technologies into all aspects of an organization or society, fundamentally changing how they operate and deliver value.

The LTA Acting Chairperson, however, says that for developing countries like Liberia, digital transformation offers numerous opportunities to leapfrog traditional development barriers and accelerate progress.

“By embracing digital technologies in areas such as education, healthcare, governance, and commerce, Liberia can overcome infrastructure limitations, improve service delivery, and stimulate economic growth.”

“As we launch today, our key objective is to design and facilitate tech education and empower tech entrepreneurs to grow the country.”

He reveals that about 10,000 youths are direct beneficiaries of the project but clarifies that the training is not meant for people to run after government jobs; instead, it is meant to enable beneficiaries to become productive in society.

Computer literacy and general digital skills are the top areas of focus for the training, according to Mr. Kromah.

For his part, Deputy Education Minister for administration Cllr. James A. Massaquoi notes that the initiative reflects the government’s decision to empower the youth, which he says aligns with the Ministry’s digital education agenda.

“This isn’t an investment in technology but in the empowerment of young people through skills training and providing opportunity,” said Cllr. Massaquoi, continues.

Minister of Youth and Sports Cllr. Cole Bangalu says the launch would have never come sooner, adding, “We are in the age of digital transformation, and as such, this project comes at the right time.”

He praises President Boakai for showing interest in developing young people, who he describes as engines of growth.

Meanwhile, the house committee chair on posts and telecommunications, Representative Alva Jones (Margibi County), pledges the 55th Legislature’s support to the arrest agenda of President Boakai, saying I have come to say thanks; we will run with it to its realization.

We at the 55th Legislature have come to reaffirm our support for your government. As chair of posts and telecommunications, we will ensure that this project works to its fullest.

The launch was graced by officials from line ministries and agencies, development partners, various stakeholders, and students. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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