- 11 Nov
Honorable Joseph NyumaBoakai, Sr. Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Delivered the K E Y N O T E A D D R E S S At the Greater Monrovia EPAG Round Four Graduation Ceremony Under the Auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection
Monrovia Friday, November 11, 2016
Officials of Government Present;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Donor Partners in Development;
The Management and Staff of the EPAG Service Providers;
Proud Parents and Community Members;
Private Sector Partners;
Civil Society Partners;
Members of the Fourth Estate;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
It’s great to be with you again today. It has been a long but pleasant and productive engagement that I have had with this program since 2010, when I first graced and addressed the launching of this EPAG Program.
Today’s event is such a huge one as it marks the climax of several days of intense graduation exercises under the EPAG initiative. My information is that you have held graduations at various locations in Grand Bassa and Margibi counties, pouring out hundreds of better prepared young trainees who have successfully completed their courses. And this round of trainings under your program has a pleasant surprise.
The Gender Ministry finally took the thoughtful and bold step of injecting a bigger dose of gender sensitivity in the demographics of the trainee population. This bold step comes from the hard reality that both young male and females share similar needs when it comes to preparing themselves to serve their countries.
I see that this round of trainees included young men, not limited to the usual all female batch of recruits. We should find this as such a positive and welcome shift in the direction of gender balance that has finally taken hold of the EPAG, as the EPAG will never be the same again.
You, Minister Cassell, and your tenacious team at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection have my commendations for this impactful program. This is surely one big way to boost our effort at pushing our national Agenda for Transformation, considering our sad reality that youth unemployment and youth exclusion are among the main obstacles to development in Liberia.
The superb collaboration between your Ministry and the service providers—The National Adult Education Association of Liberia (NAEAL) and EDUcare-Liberia–is highly laudable. Most recently this exemplary collaboration has got us here today celebrating the success of 970 adolescent girls and 200 adolescent boys. Thank you ever so much.
Here today, you graduate more than 500 young people. Out of this total, I am told 100 are young men. The essence of our assembly here today thus is primarily to take due note of your hard-earned success and celebrate with you. In so doing, we bear the hope that other young people across this country will find motivation to embark on productive exercises that will transform them into good and productive citizens.
And so let me congratulate you for this achievement. You deserve all the accolade for staying the course, remaining focused and withstanding the odds to reach this celebratory point today.
Let me caution you as I have done your peers who have similarly emerged from these training grills. I caution you be aware that, though your training may be over, your education continues.
As you go out into the world of work, seize every opportunity to learn. Always exhibit the best of positive attitude. Show patience and fortitude; be proactive; and hard-working. Be in the practice of communicating with your employer or partner. Never hesitate to ask questions where you may have the slightest doubt. The onus is now on you to make the most of the skills you have learned in class. I also urge you to hold yourself to the highest standards. Serve yourselves and your country well.
As you move forward, make sure that you leave exemplary footprints that others would want to follow! Use your EPAG experience as a stepping-stone to realizing your dreams.
In your performance, do not settle for mediocrity, for this world is increasingly becoming competitive. What is modern today may so quickly become obsolete by day break tomorrow.
Show gratitude by the exemplary way you apply your training to real world situations. Always remind yourselves that so much was invested in you—so much time, money and effort. You were given the opportunity to better your condition, and you took it. So, make sure you, your community and country reaps benefits from it.
Let me close by saluting you on this joyous occasion of your graduation. I further congratulate you on behalf of the Government, and in my own name, for this huge feat. The challenge is yours to go out and be the best that you can be for you and your country, remaining mindful to your calling.
We all joyously stare at you as you take majestic strides to the podium today to proudly take hold of your certificate of achievement in this program. This evidences the fact that a solid foundation has been laid for you. Yours is the call to build upon it!
As you use your skills acquired to serve, never ever forget to THINK LIBERIA, LOVE LIBERIA, so that you can help BUILD LIBERIA!
May God bless our beloved Country.