Monrovia – Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has admonished participants of the Young Political Leadership School Africa Cohort Seven to be steadfast in shaping the destiny of the African continent.
The former Liberian leader made the assertion Monday when she served as a motivational speaker to young participants at the cohort seven of the Young Political Leadership School Africa at the Bella Cassa Hotel in Sinkor.
Representative of political parties, university students and youth-led organizations from five countries across the ECOWAS region are participating in the one-week training.
Madam Sirleaf stressed that governments in Africa should be people-driven, something she says should unmatch the potential of it women and youthful population.
“It’s important because there are 1.2 million people of the age 15 to 25 years that are accounting for 16 percent of our global population. That aspiration says the future belongs to you,” Madam Sirleaf said.
Former President Sirleaf added: “And let me put it in the Liberian way, you are leaders in waiting –we are waiting for you.”
Madam Sirleaf recalled that under her 12 years ruled, she was able to recruit several young people in her government.
“When we started our first administration, we realized that some of us being of aged had to bring in the younger generation to enable them to take responsibility for the development of their country and I am sure that this administration is following the same thing,” she said.
Also speaking, H.E. Alyson Grunder, the Charge’ d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America called on young people to be selfless and humane in aspiring for a better future.
“Do not expect to get be paid for the service you render but you get value benefit from whatever you do as volunteers,” Madam Grunder said.
The USA Charge’ d’Affaires added: “To be an effective leader, you must demonstrate the willingness to learn from others. Strive to be someone who will be missed when you are not there.”
Also speaking, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Liberia, H.E. Neil Bradley, said young people should continue to advocate for their rights. He stressed the need for integrity and commitment to become the next leaders.
Ambassador Bradley: “Young people must continue to speak truth to power and challenge themselves to be better. This can be done by demonstrating integrity and a commitment to solve problems.”
The Young Political Leadership School Africa every year, for one week, convenes young politicians and youth activists with a passion for supporting good governance, policy advocacy and fostering transparency in government.
YPLSA, was established to help address some of the issues on the African continent with the overall goal to contribute to the formation of a new generation of character-driven political leaders that would be accountable, responsive, and accessible to the needs and interests of citizens and help to shape the future of their respective countries in the positive direction.