Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Challenges that prevent youth potential in Liberia

Bernard Gbayee Goah
Written by:
Bernard Gbayee Goah
President, Operation We Care for Liberia

There is a limitless untapped potential of young people living in Liberia. The problem remains the unwillingness of government institutions, corporations, and policy-makers to recognize such potential. And this is a Major challenge preventing Liberian youths from reaching their full potential.

Relevant institutions in Liberia must proactively realize the potential of young people if the structures and problems that are keeping youth unemployment rates high must be quenched. The lack of decent jobs resulting from lack of contemporary career educational opportunities is a major contributing factor to youth unemployment, and this is by all means a key source of social and political upheaval in Liberia today. Multitudes of young people are jobless, poor, school dropouts, and uneducated, but they are all demanding their rights and greater voice in economic and political life. There is a need to support initiatives that encourage social contracts that buttress job-rich economic growth. Liberia must make youth Empowerment a priority. Government must focus on more and better jobs for young people. Government must be willing to give Big businesses that operate in Liberia tax breaks, and other incentives. This will pave a way for companies to offer jobs, tuitions, and other forms of stipends to young people in Liberia.
Also, Practical discussions on how collaboration among government institutions, social partners, the private sector and young people themselves can be maximized to increase employment must be encouraged. The need to inspire Young entrepreneurs must be prioritized in Liberia.
As potential natural resources that enhance economic growths in Liberia are finite and continue to deplete day by day, Government must give tax breaks to companies whose operations are bent on going green. Government must also encourage green educational career among young Liberians pursuing education at all levels. Green career is the way forward. Technological innovations by means of Green oriented initiatives come from accessible local resources. And such resources are availably abundant in Liberia. In fact, they are environmentally save, renewable in nature, and durable if used pragmatically.  The Liberian government must encourage the use of new but green technologies in school curriculums so that young Liberians would be exposed to the idea of “Going Green” at an earlier stage in their pursuit of education. Government can realize this potential if policy-makers become more aware that the pillows of any successful country rest on government’s support of the potential of the youths to pursue their dreams.
Lastly, government must strengthen human capital in green educational endeavors as well as open up non-rigid labor markets that guarantee youth employment.  Without economic growth, getting young people to work is a complete illusion because there will be no new jobs as more and more people are born. Reinventing government’s monetary policy that focuses on youth unemployment cannot be over emphasized at this time. Also, an accompanied durable solution that alleviates youth unemployment in any country is regional collaboration. Regardless of individual economic strength, West African countries, especially Mono River countries must realize the potential of young people and be willing to work together innovatively to solve the long-standing problems of youth joblessness.
Once the realization and support of youth potential is there, government and policy markers can now focus on the willingness aspect and target those structures that perpetuate unemployment thereby making the challenge recognizable and the solution attainable. 

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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