By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
A one-day National Capacity Development Stakeholders’ meeting has ended in Monrovia with suggestions advanced on how to bridge capacity gaps for sustainable economic growth and transformation in Liberia.
The President of the University of Liberia, Emmett Dennis, in his presentation yesterday at the one-day forum attributed tertiary education gaps in Liberia to universities’ failure in taking ownership of selected pre-college curriculums while the Senior Operation Officer for World Bank, Coleen Littlgohn said every project needs to have clear capacity development strategy if it is to be supported.
The Deputy Country Director of Programs at the United Nations Development Fund, Cleophas Torori, said the compelling challenge faced by Liberia is with capacity and there is a need for a shift in supply driven to demand driven need for capacity development.
The Deputy Minister for Regional and Sectoral Planning, Jeremiah Sokan said already there is a drastic shift in capacity development in the country relating it to the reports from international instruments on the country’s capacity development strategy.
Mr. Sokan said Liberia needs to catch up with the development or panic will erupt because the nation has not yet met the required standards therefore best alternatives must be sought that will assist in bridging the gaps for sustainable development in the country.
He said capacity being urgency for the moment, the nation should develop an inclusive, responsive and conclusive document that would address all sectors capacity.
Meanwhile, looking at the cost versus analysis in the emergence of capacity building in Liberia, in a presentation made by Edet Jones of Platinum Consultancy, it was said that capacity development alleviates poverty.
Mr. Jones said sectors like health, education, mining, National Port Authority, police, electricity and the Armed Forces of Liberia suffer capacity shortfalls that will hinder them from bridging their capacity gaps and meeting their future challenges.
He suggested agriculture as the alternative for capacity building noting that it is better to study in Liberia than abroad which is less costly.
Dr. Emmett Dennis identified tertiary challenges as extensive competition for financial resources, high demand for tertiary education as well as traumatized faculty and students with 30, 000 students in a 15,000 capacity.