Ebola's silver lining for Liberia's civil service

By Michael Igoe 18 May 2015

Young people have realized that they can play important roles in government, Hh Zaizay tells Devex in this video interview.

Liberia is officially Ebola-free, and now the country’s government — and partners — are asking what needs to happen next.

The Ebola virus outbreak shined a light on deep issues within the Liberian public service. The Liberian President’s Young Professional Program, initiated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, seeks to make public service a more viable, and better-equipped career path for the country’s burgeoning youth population.

Devex spoke with Hh Zaizay, executive director of the program and program director for JSI in Liberia, to learn how placing students in government roles and providing them with the necessary support to be successful can help create a cohort of change agents within the West African country’s public institutions. Those institutions, ultimately, will determine whether Liberia emerges stronger, with a clearer view of necessary changes that need to happen to prevent the next public health disaster.

“Governments will always be criticized, but young people have come to realize … that [they] can play a great role in government and change the way things are,” Zaizay told Devex.

Click on the video above to see an excerpt from our conversation with Zaizay during his recent visit to Washington, D.C.

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About the author

Igoe michael 1
Michael Igoe@AlterIgoe

Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.

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