— Charles Phillip Taylor, III says as YPLS Africa graduates 1st batch
On Friday, October 18, 2019, the Young Political Leadership School (YPLS) Africa climaxed its training in a heated electoral process as the son of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Charles Philip Taylor, III and his team emerged victorious against female candidate Ora Barclay-Keller.
The YPLS Africa program, which ran from October 14-18 in Monrovia, aimed to groom middle-level professionals into politics, governance and transformational leadership in Africa.
Since its inception in 2016, the Young Political Leadership School (YPLS) has produced over 400 leaders who are currently contributing to radical social and economic change in their communities across Liberia, according to NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development, the creators of YPLS.
For the sixth semester, NAYMOTE expanded the opportunity to participants from around West Africa.
In his inaugural address, Charles said that it was past the due time of young people taking over, and a person like him shows that things are changing in this country for the better.
“Sometimes people are judged by what others have done, especially marginalized people like me with last name being “Taylor,” Charles said to his supporters, who responded with a long round of cheers.
“As a visionary young leader,” Charles added, “this win means more presentation for Liberia from a proactive person like me. The past is the past, and the future is now. I am going to focus on making a change in society.”
President-elect, Charles P. Taylor, III has meanwhile promised to work alongside NAYMOTE/YPLS Africa in achieving its goals and projects.
“I am here to work for you, the things you believe in are what I believe in, therefore, I will be a selfless president. My policies and actions will be what you guys what, and not what I want,” Charles said.
Semester six leadership includes Charles Philip Taylor III (Liberia), President; Mariam Alhassan (Ghana), V. President; Samuel J. Kpaetor (Liberia), Secretary General; Benesicta Chukwuyem Uweru (Nigeria), Network Coordinator; Darcess Dossen (Liberia), Program Coordinator, and Musu Kamara (Liberian), Financial Coordinator.
YPLS Africa aims to increase knowledge and skills among young people in planning, organizing and implementing political events; increase in the number of young people stepping forward to seek political offices at different levels of the governance structures; increase knowledge among young people to strategize the mobilization of other young people to support their peers during political campaign processes; and to increase the representation of young people in elected bodies.
Vice president-elect, Mariam Alhassan, said a significant change has taken place since she enrolled at the YPLS Africa, adding, “I have seen a very big change in me. I used to have a problem with public speaking, associating with people, but with YPLS Africa, I am now able to stand in front of people and speak with a high level of confidence.”
Mariam is from Northern Ghana, and owns a company called MARISKY Entertainment. She also works on youth empowerment in different groups.
In spite of Mariam’s role as an entertainer, she said her desire to form part of the YPLS Africa is solely about good character as a leader.
“Politics and entertainment are alike, because they all deal with people and, being an entertainment personnel does not deny me from being a politician. Also, being a chief executive officer (CEO), you have to have a leadership skill in you. It is not just all about politics, but how to handle the people you work with.”
Mariam said she is taking to Ghana all she has learned over the week-long training at YPLS Africa in Liberia, noting, “As I have learned about leadership and politics, I realize that I have to form a leadership association from lower to upper, and tertiary education level. Therefore, I thank YPLS founder for the big initiative.”
Meanwhile, Mariam called on more people, especially African leaders to support YPLS Africa, “because it is a transformation program that will change the youths.”
Dr. Akpem Terese Shadrach, from Nigeria, described the program as highly commendable, as the training has made him fit to go back, and enlighten fellow young people, and live by example and prepare for something great.
“This initiative is a brilliant one. We don’t have any of this in Africa, because bringing people from across the continent to learn how to run a political space is highly commendable. The problem of Africa is not about scarcity of resources, but lack of good leadership,” Dr. Akpem said.
“The best way I will repay Mr. Eddie Jarwolo is to apply this knowledge positively, not just in my country, but the entire continent,” he added.
LINSU President, Mohammed Ghandi Kamara, who also participated in the training, expressed gratitude to YPLS Africa for training him to obtain a certificate in Political Leadership, and Campaign Management.
“I think my leadership credential has… throughout the training I really learned networking, and shared visions which Mr. Jarwolo taught the students,” Kamara recalled.
At the end of the elections, YPLS Africa certificated 75 emerging young leaders in Political Leadership and Campaign Planning. International participants include Mariam Alhassan – Ghana, Dr. Akpem Terese Shadrach – Nigeria, Benedicta Chukwuyem Uweru – Nigeria, Oseh John- Sierra Leone, Kabore Arnaud – Burkina Faso and Kla Gosso Oliver -Ivory Coast.