Liberia played host to over 250 youth from West Africa in the just ended West Africa Youth Camp in Liberia at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) from December 12 to16.
The event was organized by the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) with sponsorship from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. A component of the Africa Youth Conference on Democracy and Good Governance, the camp was held for the first time in Liberia.
According to Augustine Tamba, president of Federation of Liberian Youth, the event sought to enable young African leaders to take the lead in the implementation of “Agenda 2063” and also encouraged young people to actively get involved in entrepreneurship.
The Agenda 2063 is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny. The theme for this year’s event was, “Leadership and Development of Africa Youth in Perspective Developing SGDs & Agenda 2063.” About 200 Liberian youths were nominated by their respective organizations, and at most seven persons came from each West African country.
The event was sponsored by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, UNICEF, UNDP, NTA, PCC, and Mano River Union.
Tamba further explained that the event was held at a time when the representation of Liberian youth in the sub-region needed to be as high as that of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who chairs the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS.)
He also hinted that Liberia’s decision to host the event has helped the Liberian delegation to share ideas with other youth in the sub-region and also build their capacity in youth leadership and how to engage national government on youth-related issues.
“There will be easier ways to ensure that youth issues play key roles in national agenda and this is why this camp was vital to Liberian youth,” he added.
The West Africa Youth Camp was climaxed with a communiqué which contained among other things, the setting up of a West Africa Youth Leadership Development Institute, encouraging central governments to provide more funding for youth initiatives in Africa, and working closely with national governments in its quest to reduce youth unemployment in the sub-region.
Speakers at the event included Saah Charles N’tow, Minister of Youth and Sports; Uyero Erarawewho, Junior National Coordinator, WAYC; H. Mardea Peters Magbolah, Chairperson of Liberia National Organizing Committee; Luc Joel Gregoire, Youth Coordinator from Ivory Coast; Sahr Ansumana, National Coordinator, (AYCAH), Sierra Leone; Dr. Peace; Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood; Ouedraogo Mamoudou, President, National Youth Council of Burkina Faso, among others.
The first edition of the West African Youth Camp was hosted in 2013, in Abuja, Nigeria. Another edition is expected sometime this year.