MONROVIA – The Executive Director of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, Eddie Jarwolo has urged graduates of the Young Political Leadership School Africa (YPLSA) Cohort 10 to allow their integrity to be their beacon as they return to their respective communities.
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
YPLSA, a program aimed at nurturing emerging young African leaders in political organization, leadership development, and campaign training, is orchestrated by Naymote Partners for Democratic Development with substantial support from its partners.
Jarwolo shared his insights at the end of the intensive week-long YPLSA training, organized by Naymote Partners for Democratic Development in collaboration with its partners.
“As you step out of this hall today with your well-earned certificates, remember that we seek not only a document but also a transformation in your attitude and behavior. The certificate is merely a fragment of what your role entails in your home nations,” emphasized Jarwolo to the assembly of around 100 YPLSA participants.
He highlighted that these graduates represent the potential of the young people of Africa, asserting that upholding the core value of integrity can drive Africa towards greatness. He further acknowledged the youth’s intellectual prowess, energy, and numerical strength as factors that can rectify issues, emphasizing that unity and integrity are crucial in this endeavor.
“You wield the power to lead with distinction; aspire to be ambassadors of positive change,” he said. Following the week-long YPLSA training, participants hailing from several countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria, are poised to return to their communities to engage in matters of elections. These individuals, having received training in various political activities and peace-building, are expected to serve as beacons of motivation for their peers.
YPLS Africa serves as a leadership development institution dedicated to nurturing transformative leaders from all corners of Africa. Established in April 2016 by Naymote, Partners for Democratic Development, the organization has consistently united young politicians and youth activists with a shared dedication to promoting good governance, advocating for sound policies, enhancing government transparency, and mobilizing communities to ensure governmental accountability. The current Cohort 10 has been generously sponsored by the Swedish Government.
Out of a pool of one thousand applicants from 21 countries, Cohort 10 comprises 100 young leaders hailing from nine nations, with 45% being females.
Recalling the 2017 elections in Liberia, where a significant number of ballots were deemed invalid due to insufficient civic education, Jarwolo stressed the imperative of spreading knowledge. He called upon the youth to proactively engage their communities in educational initiatives to curb invalid votes during upcoming elections.
Plans are underway for collaboration with counterparts from Sierra Leone to address these issues among YPLSA alumni in Liberia, Jarwolo revealed. He also expressed gratitude towards partners including the Government and people of Sweden and the US Embassy in Monrovia for their unwavering support of the program.
Mary K. Kerkula, an alumna of YPLSA from Liberia, expressed her enthusiasm for the training and urged her fellow graduates to apply the knowledge they have gained. “Our commitment to positive engagement in our communities is our assurance to the organizers that political issues can be resolved without resorting to violence,” she affirmed. Kerkula, also an activist, asserted that emotional intelligence is the foundational trait of an effective leader, highlighting her pride in being part of the YPLSA training and her newfound identity as an ambassador for the initiative.
Stressing their dedication to justice and peace, Kerkula emphasized that violence has no place in their pursuit of a thriving democracy. “We will persistently engage until solutions emerge,” she pledged. She envisioned a collective effort transcending artificial national boundaries for the greater good.
Avoka Alberta Wuntima, a participant from Ghana, extended her gratitude to the organizers of YPLSA training. “United as a cohesive force, we stand here with knowledge to guide Africa’s political landscape toward a brighter future,” Wuntima declared. She credited YPLS Africa as a transformative platform that harnesses the potential of future leaders across various nations.
Throughout the intensive program, participants were exposed to a wide spectrum of subjects, from campaign strategies and governmental policies to effective communication techniques, emotional intelligence, grassroots organization, and the role of technology in political campaigns. Engaging in thought-provoking political debates and learning from esteemed African political leaders were also vital aspects of their experience.
With humility, Wuntima reminded her fellow participants of the legacy they inherit and the responsibility they carry. “Our leadership role demands high standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability,” she underlined. She emphasized that trust-building and community empowerment are pivotal to their success as emerging leaders.