President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf says the responsibility to carry Liberia forward rests with the young people, recognizing that they make up a majority of the nation’s population.
Mrs. Sirleaf was speaking Tuesday, 25 April at the Paynesville City Hall when she delivered a special statement at the opening of the Liberian Youth Peace Building Conference initiated under the auspices
of the Accountability Lab Liberia.
The event held in partnership with the Swedish Embassy and the United Nation Mission in Liberia or UNMIL, targets about 200 young Liberians from the 15 counties here. It intends to deliberate on challenges relating to peace and security, and to generate concrete actions for youth’s engagement ahead of the 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections.
Participants at the conference include young men and women from diverse groups including the physically challenged and the less fortunate. The youth conference is first of its kind here, and it will enable young people to discuss five key areas including economic prosperity, entrepreneurship, diversity, tolerance, reconciliation, and sports and culture, among others.
In her special statement, Mrs. Sirleaf says young Ministers can be seen today in her administration, but there are quite few others who are the ones trying to make sure that they are part of the pillars and part of what enables government to keep going.
She told the conference that young people are going to be the ones that will have the responsibility to carry on the development of the economy, reminding them that they are lucky ones who had gathered to exchange ideas of learning, participate and contribute” to the learning process.
Mrs. Sirleaf has encouraged young Liberians to pursue their dreams with steadfastness, determination and commitment, saying they must be deterred by the obstacles that they will face along the way. She says there are many others who wish to be like those attending the conference.
Also speaking at the conference Tuesday, 25 April in Paynesville, Liberian -born Nollywood Actor Van Vicker cautioned youth here to have self-esteem if the they must be the change they want. Actor Vicker says change doesn’t come with empty talk, but it rather requires actions.
“If we the youth in this country are so desirous of making a change, then there is a need to follow our dreams; that’s the only way we can achieve the change. Our actions will determine whether we want change or not”, Mr. Vicker says.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Winston W. Parley