The Government of Liberia (GOL) and the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation (OOF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formulate and implement
projects in Liberia targeting human security initiatives in the areas of Health, Education, Finance and Economic Planning, Labour and Youth and Sports.
The two parties acknowledged that there are key development gaps in Liberia, including Leadership Initiative, Feed Africa Initiative, Girl Child Initiative, Youth Empowerment and Employment and Non-Communicable and Waterborne Diseases, and the need to bridge the gap so as to advance human security.
According to an Executive Mansion release, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo signed on behalf of his Foundation, while Education Minister, Mrs. Etmonia Tarpeh, signed on behalf of the Liberian Government.
The signing ceremony, which took place in the Cabinet Room in the President’s office, was witnessed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In remarks, President Sirleaf welcomed former President Obasanjo to Liberia and said the signing of the MOU, in part, is to support the education sector, especially the training of young women particularly in technical fields to enable them enhance their employment potential. “This is a big contribution to Liberia’s development effort,” she said.
Also in remarks, Education Minister Tarpeh called the signing of the MOU as a dream come true because recently there was a discussion on what needs to be done with the youth of Liberia which culminated into a three-year Action Plan for the education sector. “What we have signed today is part of that activity and addresses the need for young people, especially girls,” she said.
For his part, former Nigerian President Obasanjo, said his Foundation has set its sight on five areas in its efforts to help Liberia. He named education, particularly girl child education; youth employment; health, food and nutrient security, and leadership.
The MOU serves as a framework to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the GOL and the OOF in areas of common interest and to set forth the general terms and principles for potential future agreements, within their respective scopes of activities and objectives.
The MOU states that GOL and OOF will work in partnership on developing education programmes focusing on the Gender Responsive Accelerated Vocational Technical Programme (GRAVTP); support the GRAVTP program as well as the School Development Program, support to STEM Skills Acquisition Program and Teacher Training Scheme and Community Awareness Program.
They will both promote projects of an acceptable commercial nature in the areas of infrastructure and agriculture with the goal of increasing employment for the youth of Liberia; support programs that will promote health awareness particularly concerning non-communicable diseases; and any other activities and programs in areas of mutual interests which the Parties may jointly devise.
As regards the area and scope of collaboration, the GOL shall develop and assist OOF to mobilize resources and develop strategic plans to generate funding from regional, bilateral and multilateral agencies.
It will also develop, implement and monitor a coherent mobilization effort through maintaining dialogue and strengthening relations with major donor agreements, expectations and expanding the donor base; encourage the Ministries of Education, Gender and Development and other GOL agencies to advice on innovative fund raising strategy and identifying strategic development opportunities; among others.
The duration of the MOU is ten (10) years from the date of the last signature; however, either Party may terminate the MOU by giving three months prior notice to the other Party.