President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Urges PYPP Class To Continue To Excel
MONROVIA, March 27 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged graduates of the President’s Young Professional Program (PYPP) to continue to excel and apply their knowledge and skills, to better themselves and create a peaceful and prosperous Liberia.
“You have come this far. Celebrate your achievements today, but know that tomorrow you must continue on your journey towards excellence, as the cream of the crop, applying your knowledge and your skills for the betterment of yourselves and for peace and prosperity of our nation,” she said.
According to an Executive Mansion press release, President Sirleaf made the remarks at the graduation of Class III of the PYPP at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium on Wednesday, March 26.
Twenty-two young professionals graduated from the program and will be absorbed in the Civil Service.
The Liberian leader expressed delight that the PYPP has emerged as one of the pre-eminent career development and leadership training programs for the country’s civil service, contributing immensely to the capacity building component of Liberia’s national development agenda.
“Today we celebrate your accomplishments, PYP Class III, for having successfully completed two years of service, mentoring and training. We congratulate and thank you for the discipline demonstrated in completing the course,” President Sirleaf stressed.
She added: “Keep the faith, maintain the discipline and integrity; go out and claim that which you have longed for.”
She praised the many persons, government parastatals, institutions, partners who contributed to the graduates’ success and whose generous contributions will enable the program to continue for the next five years.
President Sirleaf also had words of encouragement for the outgoing Program Director Saah N’Tow, who she said had served with integrity, dedication and commitment. Mr. N’Tow has been appointed Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The Liberian leader urged the Acting Program Director, Hh Zayzay, a member of the Inaugural PYP Class I, to continue from where Mr. N’Tow left off and thanked him for his achievement.
Delivering the Keynote Address, U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac challenged the PYP Class III to stay young, remain curious and always do what is best for the future of Liberia.
“Don’t let the daily toil rob you of your energy, and don’t give in to the temptations of corruption,” she warned, urging them to use their knowledge and curiosity to discover better ways of doing things as this will make Liberia a far better place, as well as ensure that development reaches everyone, not just a few.
She said over time, she hears quite often the complaint that government doesn’t have the capacity to accomplish everything that it needs for Liberia’s development. But, said the PYPP is a way for Liberia to use its most important resources, its optimistic and dedicated youth, to tackle the capacity problem.
She emphasized that the PYPP is a Liberian solution for Liberia’s problems, stressing that it is a key to ensuring Liberia’s development continues moving forward. “You are answering the capacity challenge. You have a vital role to play in Liberia’s development. You come into your jobs with better training and skills than have been since before the war. You bring enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to the civil service,” Ambassador Malac reiterated, cautioning, “You have seen the negative effects of a poorly skilled, corrupt workforce, and recognize the need to carry out duties with integrity.”
Ambassador Malac reminded the graduates that they have all seen the ill effects of incompetent and corrupt government officials, who rather than using Liberia’s resources for the good of the country, divert funds for their own benefit, resulting in communities without sanitation facilities, impassible roads, and simply not enough money to go around.
“You came into this program not because of who you know, or how much you paid in bribes; rather, you know the importance of a merit-based civil service. You also know how important it is to be a good steward of the country’s resources,” she emphasized, and urged them to guide those who put personal interests above those of Liberia.
In separate remarks, Ms Rachael MacCauley of the JSI Research and Training Institute, Incorporated, Dr. Theo Lippevel of the Rebuilding Basic Health Service Project, Ms. Vida Mensah of National Oil Company of Liberia and the outgoing PYPP Director, Saah Charles N’Tow congratulated the graduates and admonished them to continue to pursue their dreams to ensure Liberia’s development.
The PYPP, launched by President Sirleaf in 2009, with funding provided by the Hess Foundation, is one of Liberia’s most competitive programs for leadership in civil service.
The PYPP recruits, trains and prepares promising talented Liberian college graduates for a future in public service.
In the short term, PYPs provide additional support to government ministries and agencies by performing a variety of critical tasks as needed, and its long term goal is to create the next generation of qualified professionals, who are able and committed to working for the Government, thereby increasing public sector capacity and contributing to good governance and strong leadership.
The two-year program includes a training and mentoring component, pairing each young professional with a Liberian Fellow or other mentor within a ministry, as well as offering a monthly professional training program, one-on-one training and evaluation, and a monthly stipend.