President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Urges African Youth To Be Engaged Positively
By Prince S. Nagbe
MONROVIA, December 12 (LINA) – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged African youths to use their strength, creativity, intellect and enthusiasm to engage each other positively to create a space for youth participation in the regional and continental development agendas.
Addressing the opening of the West African Youth Camp 2016 taking place at the Paynesville City Hall on Monday, President Sirleaf said as Chairman of ECOWAS, she was happy that this generation is demonstrating their support towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
“The gathering today of young people from all over the region speaks in a very loud voice which tells us that they are adequately preparing to take over leadership of the region and the continent; that they are enthusiastic about the growth, development and future of West Africa,” the Liberian leader said.
The ECOWAS Chairperson noted that she was especially proud because the youth from the region have decided to host this all important youth gathering here in Liberia.
President Sirleaf told the gathering that over the last 12 years governments and citizens of the region have worked hand-in-hand to ensure continuous stability in Liberia and the sub-region, put into place strategies to maintain peace, and have designed programs that have impacted and continue to improve the lives of young people.
Among other things, President Sirleaf named the rebranding of Technical Vocational Education and Training Sub-Sector, which includes the development of the TVET Policies, education reform policies and programs and the government job creation programs for young people as efforts by governments of the region towards youth empowerment.
President Sirleaf explained that leaders of the region have also initiated regional dialogues which promote cross-border trade, joint security collaboration to ensure access to free movement which eventually contributes to youth empowerment.
She noted that though there are challenges and gaps, regional leaders remain committed to the process of securing a bright future for their respective countries and region through robust youth development programs, stressing, “We are working tirelessly to improve services to young people and ensure active participation of young people at all levels of national decision-making.”
“As you begin this week long journey, I want you all to remember that you are strong, creative, smart and enthusiastic; enjoy Liberia; our streets are safe, our beaches are beautiful and our people are warm,” President Sirleaf admonished the youths.