(July 19, 2021). The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has awarded a one-year grant in the amount of US$141,810 (One hundred and forty-one thousand eight hundred and ten United States dollars) to Naymote Partners for Democratic Development. The general objective of this project is to contribute to the formation of a new generation of character-driven and socially active young leaders that would be accountable, responsive, and accessible to the needs and interests of their citizens and help to shape the future of their respective countries under the Young Political Leadership School Africa.
The project is expected to increase collaboration, partnership, and networking among 100 young political and socially active leaders in Liberia and Sierra Leone through a Young Political Action Committee (Young-PAC) for peer learning and political integrity dialogues to be held across the MRU. In addition, the project will include One Mano River Union regional dialogue meeting to be held in Liberia to develop political action plans on how to strategize, mobilize peer support and resources for leadership roles within the two countries, an effort expected to be replicated within the sub-region in subsequent years.
In Liberia, the project will strengthen local accountability mechanism in three Liberian counties including Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa to advocate for quality public service delivery by the Liberian Government and monitoring the implementation of social development projects by the local government administration.
Eddie D. Jarwolo, the Executive Director for the Naymote Partners for Democratic Development said he is excited about the grant support, expressing his hope for an expanded civic space and increased integrity in the democratic processes that enhances political accountability in the region through active youth participation.
Eddie further said, his institution will host 100 emerging leaders from the region in Liberia from October 18-22, 2021, as part of the project where young people will learn about campaign planning, electoral management, communication, public speaking, and leadership development. He said the YPLS Africa has become an excellent platform for young people to learn new skills and tools to improve their leadership abilities, expanding youth networks with a diverse community of youth leaders and leadership/electoral management experts - something helpful to solidify peace, development, and accountability within the region.
The October event is expected to deliver an array of engaging sessions through exceptional speakers including the Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed J. Jalloh, former President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and the Ambassadors of the United States of America, the European Union, and The United Kingdom, among others
To date, 630 young leaders have benefitted from the program and are serving as change-makers working as government officials, political parties' youth leaders and social activists in their respective countries. Eddie exerts that this is the best and innovative ways to groom middle-level professionals into politics, governance, and helping them become transformational/servant leaders.
It is worth reminding us of a quote from Joe Biden, President of the United States of America: "If you do politics the right way, I believe, you can actually make people's LIVES better. And integrity is the minimum ante to get into the game”. Eddie hopes for a new Africa in the next 15 years where the dividends of Naymote’s contributions to transforming the continent has realized a transformed citizenry, especially the youth. The focus is committing to improving political integrity, inclusive governance, defending democratic principles and strengthening accountability in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the continent at large.