Liberian youths over the years have been used as political stooges; these are the words of the Executive Director of the Youth Network for Positive Change (YOUNETPO), Abm. Leo E. Teah as the institution convene it third annual youth education and leadership conference in Liberia.
In his opening remarks, the chief convener of the 3rd Annual Youth Education and Leadership Conference which convened on December 27, 2019 at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), Abm. Leo E. Teah, said “Youths have long been used as political stooges and it is now time that they take charge of every situation by taking necessary actions that could help them overcome their many challenges”. He stated.
He indicated clearly that youths of today should remain the fountain of excitement, energy and dynamism.
“It is the youth of Liberia who are going to take forward the legacy of this country and will help it gain new heights of growth and achievements” he added.
He pleaded with young people of Liberia to see themselves as change makers and not problem instigators.
He recalled recently that the Government of Liberia launched its Five Year Development Plan towards Accelerated and Inclusive Sustainable Development; the Pro-Poor agenda for Prosperity & Development/PAPD.
“It is therefore important that young people be given the chance by providing the needed support and boost to take charge over this vision (Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development) as future leaders to
ensure it is sustained and all their inclusive implementations”.
He furthered that “we all care about empowering young people and including them in decision-making, which is a great factor to ensuring an all-inclusive growth and progress”.
Additionally, Amb. Teah said the objective of this year conference among other things are to widen and equip participants on the pro-poor agenda for Development, AU’s Agenda 2063, and UN’s Agenda 2030, to identify youth roles and ways young people especially women can be engaged in agenda execution to bring about transformation. Additionally, according to the Chief convener, the 2019 AYEAL Conference seeks to build the capacity of
participants to fully engage in activities in the agenda that affects their development, to also develop a youth driven approach that calls for youth integration and engagement in the employment sector, governance, innovation and democratic sectors across Liberia.
This year’s event is being held under the theme: Youth Being Part of the Solutions and Not the Problem and is held in partnership and collaboration with YOUNETPO, EPA, and Youth Alive Pathway among others. In a special remark, the Executive Director of Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Nathaniel T. Blama Sr. encouraged young people to always look at the positive side of thing and engage them with a great sense positivity.
“Look, you are not small to make the changes the world needs. Your energy can not be disintegrated to find the solution the world needs, but with working together, you all can make the difference the world needs” the EPA boss intoned.
According Mr. Blama, young people have lots of challenges including mountains in their lives that they need to address, but he was quick to remind them that if they are to overcome all their challenges, they need to hold together, work together and find an innovative means to solving problems.
He stressed “I believe in young people, I do not just speak it, but live it.”
The EPA boss in an encouraging tone told the young people who gathered at the event that social media was not a bad thing, what makes it bad is how many young people nowadays use it to instigate violence, incite others on the negative path among others.
He told the young people to make the best use of those facilities at their disposal.
“The things that you have today, I wish I had it 30 years back. We went to school years back with lots of books, spending days in libraries to do assignments, but today you people have all of these at your disposal and you do not want to make the best use of it. You have the obligation to create and develop things at your advantage” he added.
Meanwhile, The two days conference brought together young people from across the 15 counties of Liberia and they are expected to return to their various counties with renew minds that will speak and act in the positive direction.