EU Ambassador Echoes EU Support to Youth Development in Liberia
Monrovia – The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann has echoed her organization commitment to helping young Liberians in the areas of education and empowerment.
Report by A. Macaulay Sombai, [email protected]
Ambassador Intelmann spoke last Wednesday at the close of this year’s Youth Education and Empowerment summit held at the Paynesville Town Hall.
The EU Head in Liberia declared that her institution has invested about 300 million Euros in Liberia and about 30 million of this amount has gone to youth empowerment.
She described young people as cardinal decision makers in the transformation of Liberia and urged them to critically examine those they will elect in the 2017 elections.
“This symposium is not only a Liberian meeting, it is an international event and as ambassador of the European Union, we want to appreciate you young people for turning out to discuss issues of national concern and we encourage you to make maximum use of what you have gathered, particularly in the elections process,” Ambassador Intelmann said.
Ambassador Intelmann noted that young people need to play their critical role by electing their leaders and make sure that people that they elect are in their interest and in the interest of the state.
As prime sponsor of the annual youth symposium, she promised that the EU will continue to support the event.
The Chief Convener of the summit Beyan F. Pewee who gave an overview of the three days strategic gathering said the conference brought together over 100 youth leaders from around Liberia and Africa.
The symposium was held under the theme, “Re-imagining Education across Africa; Liberia a Must.”
The summit was the first ever international youth focus meeting on education and empowerment held in Liberia.
Pewee said the delegates deliberated on various issues ranging from education, youth empowerment, youth involvement in electioneering processes in Liberia and Africa, globalization and citizenship, among others.
The participants called for the active participation of young people in the elections, and also called on the National Elections Commission to involve young people in the electoral process.
Pewee who is also Executive Director of the Youth Coalition for Education (YOCEL) commanded Education Minister George Werner, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Saah N’Tow as well as the Swedish Ambassador to Liberia and other professionals who inspired the young people during the three days conference.
He added that the summit will also provide opportunity for young African leaders to collaborate, share best practices and challenge their thinking during the interaction.
The Summit which will convene between November 21-23 in Monrovia will be held under the theme “Re-imagining Education across Africa; Liberia a Must”.
He also commended the EU, IBIS-Liberia, YMCA, Action Aid-Liberia, COMAX, Embassy of Sweden, Green Cities as well as Pro-designs and Light TV for sponsoring the event.
Pewee also announced that next year summit will take place in Buchanna City, Grand Bassa County.
YOCEL is a Liberian non-profit organization that promotes quality education and provides a supportive platform challenging the creativity of young people.
YOCEL also emphasizes community mobilization and engagement as a means to address the needs of young people and promote change.
The Youth Coalition for Education (YOCEL) says Liberia needs a robust education strategy that will holistically revitalize the sector for a sustainable future.
Pewee who differed with the ongoing reform education strategy said the challenges faced by Liberia’s education needs a bottom to top approach that can cut across for efficiency and effectiveness.
He noted that until the right approaches can be taken to revamp the country’s education, Liberian will continue to underperform in international exams.
The YOCEL Executive Director added that despite the ongoing reform activities, there is a need for a hand on approach that will re-enforce the ongoing programs to produce favorable results.