President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday demonstrated her commitment to empower young Liberians entrepreneurs when she visited the World Trade Center on Gurley Street in Monrovia, and donated a 45-KVA generator to the group with pledges to give the center a face-lift. The World Trade Center in Monrovia houses a group calling itself Association of Liberian Professional Secretaries and Clerks or ALIPROSEC.
The group comprises of young men and women who started providing secretarial services to the general public using manual type-writers before replacing same with computers. Accompanied by her Planning & Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh and Montserrado Senatorial Aspirant Lewis Brown, President Sirleaf expressed her impression over the level of entrepreneur spirit demonstrated by the group of young professionals.
The president’s expression which was verbal came after ALIPROSEC, Chairman, Deacon Toe, gave a brief historical detail about how the center was established by a young man who had been sacked from his job and had only a single type-writer to live on. Impressed by what these young professionals have been able to achieve all by themselves President Sirleaf said their efforts is in the direction of the poverty reduction strategy and therefore need some boost.
She said as part of the effort to expand such initiative across the country government was also looking at ways to establish training centers in the various counties but said this will start with the renovation of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center or MVTC. The MVTC offers skill training in area of electrical work, carpentry, masonry, among others.
The Liberian leader further assured the group that as part of government’s function to create programs to support small and medium size enterprises in providing access and capital for youthful citizens throughout the country, similar facilities will be constructed in other parts of the country.
“That means, we should be able to give them money, for them to be able to extend their business, so centers like this will be in force through the government’s program and I will make sure that the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will come here after me to tell you about those programs,” she said.
President Sirleaf at the same time promised that government will additionally provide a fast Inter-net service by next year to enhance the working and production speed of the association, given that internet services here slow.
“You in this room represent the future of our country. Liberia is a young nation; the majority of our people are between 15 and 30 years of age. And what I see here, I haven’t gone around yet, and the most important part today is the wall, the pictures, computers, type writers and others are a spirit of innovation and creativity that come out-This just tells me the hidden talents we have in our country that is going not fully utilized, and we got to put it to use” she said
Notwithstanding, the president said she made the donation of the 45 KVA Generator in her capacity as Unity Party Standard Bearer. For his part, Lewis Brown says power means nothing in the absence of empowering the governed. He pleaded to President Sirleaf before the group that there was need for more youth empowerment in technical skills and education as means to economic and capital self sufficiency.
He further informed the president of the deplorable road condition in the Samuel Kanyon Doe Community on Bushrod Island, adding that women and children go with bear feet to cross in flooded areas during the rainy season. He said at present, there are no accessible motor roads in the highly populated community and said this was another thing to look at.