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False! Government ICT training for 10,000 youth has not commenced

Claims: A viral link suggests that the government of Liberia has started enrolling some 10,000 youth for training in information technology.

Verdict: False! The presidential press secretary, Kula Fofona, said the process has yet to start. They are waiting for the new team at the Liberia Telecommunication Authority.

Full Text

A viral link making rounds on social media, particularly WhatsApp, suggests that the government of Liberia has rolled out a policy to recruit some 10,000 young people for training in information technology.  

The link follows a pronouncement made by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the joint legislature (the House of Representatives and the Liberia Senate) of the 55th legislature on Jan 29, 2024. 

The link, captured under the name, Liberia Digital Transformation Project, had a message attached to it, saying, “Call for Application! The President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E Joseph Nyuma Boakai, during his State of the Nation Address to the National Legislature on January 29, 2024, made a policy statement on the training of 10,000 young people in different areas of technology in the first half of 2024.”

With the high level of unemployment in Liberia, the youth are anxious to take advantage of programs like this to start a new career. This could be the reason why the link has gone viral. But is the content of the link genuine? DUBAWA decided to fact-check it.  

Verification

In verifying the claim, the researcher first called one of the contact numbers that shared the link on WhatsApp to ascertain the veracity of the claim. However, there was no  reply, as seen in the screenshot below:

The researcher again contacted the office of the President through the Presidential press secretary, Madam Kula Fofana, but she did not respond, as can be seen below.

However, when she appeared on a local radio talk show, Okay Morning Rush, aired on OK 99.5 FM, she disclosed that the 10,000 youth training in information technology had yet to commence.

Madam Fofana stated, “This is doable, but there have been issues with the team at the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), and the team has said some things to the president about how this is achievable.” 

The Liberian Presidential press secretary clarified during the two-hour live interview between  2:15:15 and 2:16:10 on March 11, 2024.

From the interview, it is clear the government is not behind the viral link, asking for 10,000 to apply for training in ICT.

Conclusion 

Based on the clarifications by the presidential press secretary to the Liberian president, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, information circulating that the government has commenced the recruitment of young Liberians for training in information technology is false.  

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