FLY Calls For Full Youth Participation Into The ARREST Agenda Of President Boakai By: Julius Konton

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The Federation of Liberian Youth has commended President Joseph Nyuma Boakai for the State of the Nation Address and commends the President for laying out his plans and agenda for his administration and the year.  “We look forward to seeing the full framework of the “ARREST Agenda” as we also emphasize the need to include young people in all policy conversations and discussions”, FLY noted. The young people group said their involvement should be a fundamental matter of principle rather than a plea for representation. FLY indicated that while they acknowledged the collaborative and inclusive approach outlined in the President’s message, they advocate for a shift where youth inclusion will be integral to good governance. ” Young people should not be perceived as beneficiaries seeking benevolence; instead, their participation should be a prerequisite for comprehensive policymaking”, FLY added. President Boakai FLY noted in his speech emphasis on collaboration and inclusivity which is align with FLY’s vision, yet FLY asserts that youth involvement should transcend occasional consultations, becoming a norm in governance. ” FLY urges that young people’s presence should be anticipated and valued as an inherent aspect of national development”, the umbrella youth group said. At the same time, FLY  commends and appreciates the President for the appointment of the Minister of Youth and Sports and expresses keen interest in working collaboratively with the appointed minister.  However, FLY calls for the appointment of more qualified and experienced young individuals to key positions within the government.  Additionally, FLY calls for the consideration of former youth and student leaders, especially former Presidents of Statutory youth organizations, highlighting the wealth of experience and insights they can bring to the decision-making process.

 In echoing President Boakai’s call for a mindset shift and selfless service, FLY emphasizes that engaging young people is not a charitable act but recognition of their energy, creativity, and dynamism. “We support the President’s commitment to prioritize economic reforms for sustainable growth and job creation and the current economic challenges, as highlighted, necessitate urgent attention to address unemployment and economic instability”, FLY pointed out. The young people umbrella group also welcome the President’s initiative to train 10,000 young people in various digital skills in the first half of 2024 and  looks forward to collaborating with the government to ensure the success of the program and recommend the establishment of a comprehensive Youth Empowerment Fund to further support youth-led innovations. At the same time, FLY shares the President’s concern about corruption and pledges to actively support efforts to fight corruption. ” We call for swift and non-discriminatory enforcement of anti- corruption measures, ensuring that anyone caught in the act should faces the full weight of the law. Speaking more on the President’s State of the Nation Address, FLY acknowledges the declaration of a Public Health Emergency regarding drug abuse and used the ocassion to join President Boakai to mandate all his nominated officials to take a mandatory drug test as a way of buttressing the President’s Statement and leading by example, President Elliott will lead the Leadership of FLY to take our drug test, FLY added. Moreover, FLY’s alignment with the proposed legislative agenda hinges on the principle that young people’s participation is non-negotiable and  commits to engaging with the legislature as stakeholders demanding a rightful place in the decision-making process, not as supplicants seeking representation. FLY stands united with the government, emphasizing the need for a paradigm shift where the integration of young people in all policy conversations is not a concession but a matter of principle, FLY noted.

 FLY stated that it will also continue to constructively engage the Government on issues affecting the well-being of Liberian youth as collective efforts, FLY added will lead to a Liberia where youth participation is an integral component of a prosperous and inclusive Nation.

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