Strengthening and sustaining democracy in Liberia has never been as crucial as now when the country is currently at a crossroads, with the impending 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
It is in this context that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will next week address the Young Political Leadership School (YPLS) forum that intends to address some of the challenges that are experienced during an election cycle.
The forum, which is part of the YPLS’ second semester training, is organized by a local non-governmental organization, NAYMOTE.
The training, according to a NAYMOTE release, runs from August 8-12. About 75 young political leaders from the various political parties, university student leaderships and independent candidates, who are passionate about improving Liberia’s democracy and electoral politics, will undergo five days of intensive training in campaigning. The training will focus on campaign planning, campaign communications, voter contact and message development particularly creating powerful and persuasive messages. Participants will also benefit from coaching in citizen engagement, participatory decision-making, leadership styles and skills.
The training will also feature a mock election campaign event. President Sirleaf will serve as the keynote speaker at the ceremony.
NAYMOTE’s executive director Eddie Jarwolo said the YPLS aims to strengthen and contribute to Liberia’s democracy through building young political leaders’ competencies that can make their political institutions more effective players in the political system of the country.
He emphasized that the initiative is a part of NAYMOTE’s democracy enhancement program for Liberia.
President Sirleaf’s will address the participants on the topic, “Young Political Leaders and the Transformation of Liberia,” while the ambassadors of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Sweden and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Liberia are expected to also address the opening ceremony.
Jeff Fox, Political and Communications Strategist of Conflict to Peace International Consulting based in the USA, will serve as lead facilitator, the release added.