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Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan

REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MONROVIA, LIBERIA

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release  

Monrovia, May 13, 2014: Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has lauded the steps taken thus far by the Liberian Government in responding to the capacity needs of the country. 

He made the observation when he delivered the keynote address of the induction ceremony of the 4th Batch MBA and 1st and 2nd Batch Graduates from the Financial Management Training Program (FMTP) and the Intensive Procurement Training Program (IPTP) respectively over the weekend held at a local hotel in Sinkor.

“Capacity development must therefore continue to occupy a central role in our national development efforts.  We laud the steps that are thus far being taken by this Government to respond to the capacity needs of our country”, he remarked.

The World Bank-sponsored program has continued to train and place MBA’s and procurement students who complete trainings in both the FMTP and the IPTP via the Civil Service Agency (CSA) into various ministries and agencies after intensive mentoring programs. It has graduated 99 students since the inception of the programs.

The Foreign Minister who associated very closely with the program during his tenure as Minister of Finance named a host of other innovative capacity building interventions that the Government has been using in being extremely helpful over the years in ramping the country’s public sector capacity. He listed the Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) program, the Senior Executive Service (SES) Program, the Scott Fellows Program, the President’s Young Professional (PYP) Program, and the FMTP as capacity building efforts being supported by the Government and some of its donor partners.

The Foreign Minister explained that though the physical infrastructural development of the nation is good but also emphasized that even more huge has been the task of rebuilding the country’s human capital, otherwise termed as the soft infrastructure, to meet the demands of the present and the future. 

Stressing the need to expand the FMTP/IPTP across the public sector, he added: “We must continue to dedicate more and more of our precious dollars to building the capacity of our people. Donor assistance to our capacity building initiatives is usually short-term and has begun to dry up.” 

The Keynote Speaker then used the occasion to encourage the graduates to avail themselves of some of the advanced studying opportunities that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will attract as they were being fully absorbed into the Civil Service.

He then pledged his personal commitment to the programs: “I will continue to be one of the chief advocates for this program. Although my present portfolio makes me to deal with ‘foreign affairs’, I dedicate myself to working with you, Mr. Coordinator, in ensuring that this program attracts the necessary support, both local and foreign, to continue to stay afloat. Additionally, we at Foreign Affairs are in the business of attracting scholarship opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels for civil servants of Liberia”.

Mr. Aagon F. Tingba, Jr., Director of the program, thanked the Minister for his special keynote address while the Deputy Director for the CSA performed the induction ceremony.

Other representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the University of Liberia, the Liberian Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), the World Bank, African Development Bank, the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC), and the graduating classes all made special remarks during the ceremony.

The FMTP was initiated in November of 2006 while the IPTP was established in 2011. The establishments of the two programs were enhanced by the collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, the University of Liberia, CSA, the Liberian Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), and the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC), all working under a Memorandum of Understanding whose partnership constitutes the governing board as chaired by the Minister of Finance.

Signed:
             David KB Akoi
             Senior Public Relations Officer

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