The Liberia office of the World Bank Group yesterday launched a nationwide youth essay competition in Monrovia under the theme, “Youth and Sustainable Development.”
The youth essay contest is targeting Liberians aged 18-25 years with the objective of giving young Liberians the opportunity to voice their ideas and visions for their country’s development.
Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Romelle A. Horton, who officially declared the competition launched, said the exercise is welcomed, adding, “It will open the minds of Liberian youths.”
“This competition will open the minds of young Liberians so that they will seize the opportunity to improve on their learning for the development of the country,” Horton said.
She meanwhile urged Liberian youths to participate in the essay competition in their numbers rather than making themselves spectators of the process.
“Liberian students, we know what you can do in terms of academic performance. Come out and win. You are on street corners talking. It is now time to write,” Horton challenged the students.
Madam Horton promised the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) “fullest support” for the competition.
“We at the MOE will give all the support. We are very proud of this initiative,” she said.
According to the judging criteria, the first, second and third winners will receive cash prizes of US$750, US$500, and US$250 respectively, including internships with the World Bank Group.
Resident Representative of the International Finance Corporation, Frank Ajilore said, “It is our goal that writing on the topic, Youth and Sustainable Development, will raise awareness, encourage our youth to start thinking about issues affecting them and use this medium to propose new insights that contribute to the ways we think in making development decisions that are more sustainable.
“This essay completion will assist in promoting the development of good writing and critical thinking skills and encourage excellence among the youths of this country.”
Mr. Ajilore said that entrants will learn the process of research and express themselves in a more logical way, thus building skills necessary for academic success.
“It is imperative that they begin to think critically about all levels of development decision making, for they will be impacted by the trickle down effects,” he said.
Yesterday’s launching ceremony brought together high level individuals including WBG Liberia Country Manager, Inguna Dobraja, deputy Education Ministers for Administration, Aagon F. Tingba, and Research, Anthony Nimely, among others.