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Liberia: Build accountable institutions

-Accountability Lab inspires young people

By Lewis S Teh

The Country Director of Accountability Lab Liberia Mr. Lawrence Yealue has urged participants at a one-day peace stakeholders’ conference to become active citizens and build accountable institutions.

“Before I close let me end up by urging each and every one of you to be active citizens, be responsible leaders and let’s build accountable institutions”, he challenged.

Speaking over the weekend at Boulevard Palace hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia during the start of the day-long national stakeholders’ workshop – a  UNDP youth and peacebuilding project hosted under the auspices of Accountability Lab Liberia, Mr. Yealue said every time the Lab engages in a program, they pick up three critical portions of the work, saying “we ask ourselves are we supporting active citizens, responsible leaders, and accountable institutions as we do this in all of our engagements, we work to ensure that the minds of young people are staying positive.”

He explained that the idea is to have a new narrative about the way Liberia was constructed, not physically but the mindset has to be re-orientated and get on the path where citizens can be more active in raising critical voices on what to do, not just to raise them, but turning those voices into actions by being responsible citizens.

He noted that the Lab has been running the program for about six months, engaging young people from various counties to demonstrate how they have been working to impact society.

He underscored that every aspect of the country matters and that at Accountability Lab what matters most is how people can stay positive, engaging, and be accountable for their own actions. “We can use transparency, the rule of law, as good governance to move our country from one generation to another.”

Also speaking at the day-long event, UNDP Head of Governance Mr. James Mornibah, extolled Accountability Lab for conducting the peace initiative that he termed as great steps in maintaining peace across the country.

Mr. Mornibah said UNDP enjoys continuous partnership with the Lab especially, in initiatives that promote good governance, peace, transparency, and accountability.

“Youth constitutes a huge portion of our population, and as such, we can’t ignore them, there’s no way we can make progress as a nation if we ignore the young people”, he noted.

He then called on national government to include youth in any form of conversation, especially the decision-making process, adding that it was against such backdrop that UNDP thought to partner with the Lab to acquire from the youth and to know the level of impact they are making in their respective counties.

Nimba County Electoral district# 7 Representative Roger Domah, whole also chairs the House Committee on Human and Civil Rights,  thanked Accountability Lab for the stakeholders’ workshop, saying the initiative will go a long way in strengthening peace in Liberia.

Rep. Domah said young people play a cardinal role in the rebuilding of the country, so there is a need to pay key attention to them by building their capacity as they prepare to lead.

“Most of [you] young people are already national leaders, and decision-makers in your respective counties, but there’s a need to build your capacity further, and to do will entail the government to strengthen its policy that will guide the young people”, the Nimba Lawmaker continued.

“Today we want to commit ourselves to work with you Accountability Lab in whatever way at the Legislature to push the issues confronting youth.”

He urged the institution to continue these kinds of initiative to curtail challenges facing young people, including drugs, mob violence and sharpen their low interest in education something, he said will give young people hope and enthusiasm to work with government.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders, including donors, officials from government line ministries, and agencies with youth groups from various counties making presentations about works they did and are currently doing in their respective counties to promote good governance, peace, and transparency across Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne

NewDawn

The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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