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    UNIS/OUS/043
    2 August 2010

    Re-issued as received

    Japan Funds UNIDO Project in Côte d'Ivoire on Post-conflict Recovery and Peace Building

    VIENNA/ABIDJAN, 2 August (UN Information Service) - Some 3,000 young people in the Bouaké region of Côte d'Ivoire, including ex-combatants and women, will receive new skills in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors under a new UNIDO project that will be funded by Japan.

    An agreement on the two-year, USD 3.5 million (325 million Japanese Yen) project was signed in Abidjan today by the Deputy to the Director-General of UNIDO, Yoshiteru Uramoto, and the Ambassador of Japan to Côte d'Ivoire, Yoshifumi Okamura.

    The Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training, Atse Benjamin Yapo, and the Minister of Industry and Promotion of the Private Sector, Moussa Dosso, also attended the signing ceremony.

    Ambassador Okamura said that "Japan attaches great importance to the role of UNIDO in the post-conflict countries, notably in the restoration of the damaged economy as well as in consolidating peace. What is needed for the future of those countries is for the young people to acquire qualified skills, aside from humanitarian or basic human needs, so as to involve them in the economic recovery and reconstruction".

    Thanking the Government of Japan for financing the project, Uramoto said that "it was designed to assist the Government of Côte d'Ivoire in its efforts towards a lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable social and economic development".

    "Young people, including demobilized combatants, will benefit from a series of training courses. They will get new skills in the productive sectors, and develop entrepreneurial abilities to set up their own micro-enterprises and income-generating activities," said Uramoto.

    Under the project, UNIDO will rebuild a centre which will offer, depending on the job market, training in fabrication, welding, vehicle mechanics, woodwork, plumbing, building construction, electrics, tailoring, healthcare and food nutrition.

    The project strategy will build on prior programmes for the rehabilitation and restructuring of existing training centres and education systems, in particular the Manu River Union programme on youth employment which was also financed by Japan.

    It will complement the on-going demobilization and reintegration programme financed by other development partners that identify vocational training as one of its core activities.

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