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President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has described as a real element ofsustainability, the China – Liberia Bamboo and Rattan Weaving programhere that has trained several young Liberians and built their capacityin furniture works.

At a graduation program in Paynesville on Friday, 21 October of 69young Liberians who have been trained by Chinese experts on how to makequality furniture works, using bamboo and rattan weaving technology, President Sirleaf said China has done quite a few things, “but thisone is a real element of sustainability.”

High quality living room set made of bamboo and rattan, and otherfurniture designed for household use including chairs and tables wereput on display during the program held near the S.K.D. Sports Complex outside Monrovia.

She said it would help government meet the needs of Liberians, ongrounds that the products would save Liberia of importing foreignmaterials and the cost that comes along with it during foreign exchange.

President Sirleaf hoped that it becomes a real local quality that canbe relied upon for export in the region and beyond. She assured China that the partnership will be supported to utilize the skills acquired by the young people. She thanked China for the skills giventhe young people.

Chinese Amb. Mr. Zhang Yue said the China – Liberia Bamboo and RattanWeaving and Vegetable Planting Technological Cooperation program hasbeen on for almost 10 years here, saying Liberia is rich inbamboo, rattan, wood and other natural resources.

He said many trainees have opened their own business and workshops.Many of them are visible when we drive along the roads. “It is my hope that with the basic processing skills obtained from thetraining course, Liberian youth can be more creative in making theirproducts, not only furniture, but also household daily- use wares, farms tools and even handcrafts and art crafts to boost tourism inLiberia,” Amb. Yue said.

He announced that China will continue to support the AgricultureTechnology Demonstration Center here with US$3m to make itsustainable, having said agriculture is a very important area in

Liberia’s economic development. Mr. Yue said making use of these renewable natural resources was a bigpotential and opportunity for the economic growth of Liberia.

“This is a good way to boost employment and empowerment of women. Withsuch purpose our technical team has been working in Liberia for onedecade and trained local people for free,” Amb. Yue said.

He described the program as a model of capacity – building projectbecause it helps Liberian people to use Liberian resources to makeLiberian products. He said the project has trained hundreds of Liberians with practicalskills in areas of bamboo and rattan weaving, vegetable planting andbiogas system building.

By Winston W. Parley

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