Youth Employment in post conflict setting
A look at the case of Liberia
Eugene L. Nagbe
Minister of Youth and Sports
Republic of Liberia
• Following 14 years of civil strife that ended in 2003, 58% of
Liberia’s population lives in severe poverty and 84% lives
below the income poverty line;
• 75% of the population in Liberia is under the age of 35 and a
third of the population (1.15 million people) comprise the
generation that grew up during the civil conflict years and are
now between the ages 15-34;
• The most vulnerable youth in Liberia belongs to at least one of
the following groups: Ex-combatant youth, poor and poorly
educated youth, young mothers and rural youth;
• Strengthening the African Youth Charter, an international
treaty that was passed into law in Liberia in 2011. The charter
defines youth as young people between the ages 15 and 35.
• The Government of Liberia “Agenda for Transformation” a
national vision strategy to make Liberia a middle income
country by 2030 focuses on among other things, poverty
reduction by creating an enabling legal environment for
• The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) in 2012 crafted a
National Youth Policy for Liberia (NYP 2012-17): A
Framework for Setting Priorities and Executing Action on
• The Government of Liberia plan to invest US$75million over
five years for youth employment through the Liberia Youth
Employment Programme (LYEP);
Liberia Youth Employment Program
LYEP was launched on March 1, 2013
• Provide Opportunities to Empower youth
• Increase employability and employment of
vulnerable youth (18-35 age-group)
Strengthening youth participation and
Job creation for the youth
Supporting vocational and entrepreneurial skills
Supporting provision of life skills
Government Priority Areas
High Priority /Low Hanging Fruits Other Priority Areas
1. Youth in Agribusiness 1. ICT
2. Community Education Teaching Assistants 2. Security
3. Auxiliary Health Care Assistants 3. Transportation
4. Waste and Sanitation Management 4. Construction
5. Youth in Trades and Vocation 5. Road maintenance
6. Reclamation of mining lands
Unemployed and vulnerable youth (18-35 years of age).
Special consideration include the following:
• Dropouts from school and training institutions
• Youth living in slums, city streets, high risk and
• Youth without opportunity to attend formal education
• Single parent youth
• Physically challenged youth
• Youth who have completed secondary school or
LYEP SWOT ANALYSIS
• Major focus is on youth
• Program designed in line with Liberia’s National Youth Policy
and Action Plan (2012-2017)
• Low staff capacity in workforce development for youth
• Lack of comprehensive database on youth in the program
• Lack of approved Information, Education and Communication
(IEC) materials on LYEP.
• The LYEP is government’s own flagship program for youth
employment and empowerment in Liberia over the next five
• Youth excited about taking jobs provided by LYEP
• City authorities willingness to provide local leadership for the
• Global focus on youth employment and empowerment
• The program’s current total dependence on government of
Liberia budgetary allotment as its only source of funding.
• Unpredictable and inconsistent funding.
• Competition with existing youth development and employment
initiatives currently run by government of Liberia.
• Inadequate funding to cover all components
of the Program.
• Recruitment methodology used did not
provide opportunity for getting the number of
youth under some specific categories into the
• Bureaucracy surrounding government
procurement process caused delays in the full
start of the first component of the program.
• Put in place the proper administrative
structure before recruiting and deploying
youth in workforce.
• Acquire necessary tools and work equipment
before deployment of youth workers.
• Ensure that recruitment processes are
targeted and transparent.
• Put in proper engagement media strategy at
the inception of the program.
• Strengthen Waste and Sanitation Management
• Launch the Volunteer Support Program with
emphasis on deploying Education Teaching
Assistants during this fiscal year.
• Launch the Vocational Trades and
Entrepreneurship Development Program with
focus on increasing computer literacy among
graduating high school seniors; and assisting
youth establish their own businesses.
• Job creation for youth across Liberia from the
most vulnerable to the least vulnerable;
• Matching labor demands with existing
curricular in Higher Education, TVET and other
skills training programs;
• Stable or secure source of funding;
• Linking youth employment to national
reconciliation and peace building agenda.