Expanding Opportunities for Youth Employment and Economic Growth: Stakeholders Validate the Tourism Sector Trade Strategy - #Positively Liberian and Kpatawee Waterfalls Community Pilots

Partial view of some Stakeholder at the validation workshop
Partial view of some Stakeholder at the validation workshop
Photo Credit: MOCI

Thursday – Monrovia, 23 June 2016, Stakeholders met at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to validate the Liberia’s Tourism Sector Trade Strategy (TSTS) and accelerate plans towards the identification of tangible tourism pilots to promote tourism. Information Minister Honorable Lenn Eugene Nagbe and Deputy Minister for Commerce Honorable Steve Marvie jointly opened the validation workshop.

 

In separate remarks, Honorable Nagbe thanked the participants for their detailed analysis of the tourism sector and urged them to accelerate the validation process because “there was a need to put in place the practical projects that promote inclusion”. Minister Marvie expressed excitement that the TSTS was almost finalized and welcomed the initiatives to identify pilots that are linked to communities and youth. In a special statement, Minister Saah N’Tow, who also participated in the workshop, expressed happiness that youth was central to the development of the strategy. In her special statement, Mrs. Barkue Tubman Zarwolo indicated that “sustainability” was the key word that came out of the consultations. Mrs. Zarwolo urged participants to ensure that projects being identified were inclusive, sustainable and impact, especially on the communities.

 

Minister Marvie presented the Tourism Sector Trade Strategy to participants indicating that as a part of the WTO post-accession support, the Enhanced Integration Framework is funding the drafting of a tourism strategy to develop the private sector, identify constraints in the sector and expand opportunities for youth.

 

Over 200 stakeholders participated in the development of the strategy. The strategy has identified 120+ activities along six (6) strategic objectives. The strategy has a very pragmatic Plan of Action, which is core to the overall development of the niches and pilots being considered. The Strategy calls for the establishment of an implementation management mechanism to kick-start implementation and to ensure oversight and management of projects from August –September 2016. There is also a plan to establish a Tourism Steering Committee comprised of NIC, MoCI, MYS, MICAT, LINTAL, TAL, LNTA, and other relevant MACs. Once the comments from the relevant stakeholders and other opening and closing narratives are incorporated in the draft Strategy, the next steps is to launch the Tourism Sector Trade Strategy during the July 26 Independence Celebrations. The Government has targeted July 26 Independence Celebrations to launch #PositivelyLiberian, a Liberian Tourism Web Portal and Registry and the Kpatawee Waterfalls Community Tourism Project to re-energize the sector.