The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) is recommending diversification in Liberian academic programs as a step forward in creating a prepared nation to address current and future challenges and urged that it should serve as a national call for all educational stakeholders including government.
“Diversification in our academic programs is an essential step forward in creating a prepared nation for the future. This should serve as a national call to action for all educational stakeholders including the government, to increase its investments in the educational sector which is practically the only way towards elevating Liberia’s economic status”.
Madam Emma Metieh Glassco stated that the purpose of the diversification in Liberian academic programs is to increase investments in the educational sector which is practically the only way towards elevating Liberia’s economic status.
Speaking Tuesday May 30, 2023 at the University of Liberia’s 103rd commencement convocation as the Keynote Speaker at its Fendell Campus in Louisiana, Montserrado County, Madam Glassco challenged academic institutions to create additional programs other than the conventional ones such as medicine, law, accounting, public administration and sociology.
She advised Administrators of academic institutions not to limit students’ skills development to skills demand but rather they should develop variety of skills that can be marketable to the region and the world at large.
Referencing the Republic of Cuba, the Liberian Fisheries Boss mentioned that Liberia can also export its labor force to attract foreign remittances as Cuba exports healthcare services by means of sending physicians, nurses and healthcare technicians to other countries as a revenue source. She stressed that Liberia can do same or better, reflecting on Liberia’s record of once having the most sophisticated labor force in West Africa in the 1960s.
At the same time, the Liberian Fisheries Expert urged that government and the private sectors should consider skills development in order to tap into emerging industries such as the multi-billion dollars Seaweed industry of which Liberia is a natural habitat.
She indicated that research has shown that seaweed, which is commonly seen as dirt along beaches when it is pushed out by the ocean tides is currently valued at 17.85 billion United States dollars and can be used as vegetables, animal feeds, fertilizers, cosmetics, and industrial gums, as Indonesia for example is a leading exporter in this industry followed by America and China.
She noted that, mango is an important fruit widely consumed globally as substantial investment can be made into Mango to aid in boosting the viability of Liberian agricultural sector thereby creating an entire value chain, from harvest to processing and to foreign markets, eventually creating jobs in agriculture, marketing and logistics.
Madam Glassco mentioned further that Mali is a leading exporter of Mango currently exports 600, 000 metric tons of mango and generates a revenue of 30 million dollars per annum.
‘We need to build a society of creativity and innovation using our available resources thus making us more independent and self-sufficient towards becoming an export-based economy instead of an import-based economy. I strongly believe we can grow enough to feed ourselves and share with the world at large”.
Meanwhile, Madam Glassco has challenged the graduates to explore new opportunities in the private sector so as to expand the growth of Liberia rather than seeking job opportunities in government immediately after graduation.
She urged that nation building is a collective effort from everyone, therefore if Liberians should build a new Liberia, everyone must strive in creating a better Liberia urging with collective skills, resources, and innovative ideas simply “thinking outside the box”.
The Director General of NaFAA spoke to graduates from the combined Thomas J.R. Faulkner College of Sciences and Technology, School of Nursing and Midwifery, William R. Tubman Jr College of Agriculture and Forestry, and Engineering Colleges.