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Govt says its aware of youths plights

By Jos Garneo Cephas
President Sirleaf in a pose with FLY after the meeting
President Sirleaf in a pose with FLY after the meeting

(Mylbsonline/Liberia)-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says government is quite aware of the plights of Liberian youth.

President Johnson-Sirleaf made the comment Monday April 22, 2013 at a meeting between a cross section of concerned Liberian youth and the Liberian Leader at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.

The meeting between the Liberian President and the young people was previously scheduled for last week, but could not come on due to the President’s desire to meet with rather a cross section of the country’s youth.

Speaking at the Monday gathering, Vice President, Joseph Boakai, described the meeting as ‘necessary,’ because he said: “It provides an opportunity for government to get acquainted with problems Liberian youth are being faced with.”  “The meeting needs to be held frequently,” he said.

Youth and Sports Minister, Egune Nagbe, was charged with the responsibility by President Johnson-Sirleaf for the strategizing and the realization of the meeting.

“Every effort is being exerted to ensure job creation and the provision of quality education for the youth, because youth empowerment is government’s foremost priority,” Minister Nagbe said.

Meanwhile, several Liberian youth leaders have described their meeting with the President was fruitful.

Following the meeting, the Liberian National Union’s Secretary General, Benedict Williams, told mylbsonline that President Johnson-Sirleaf has impressed them by her desire to begin frequent meetings with the young people of Liberia to address their plights.

Mr. William mentioned that they want government address bad labor practice, youth unemployment and poor educational system.

The youth also commended President Sirleaf’s willingness to address the issues affecting all Liberians irrespective of their social, economic or political status.

Two youth groups, ‘Citizens for Change’ and the ‘Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia early this month planned an April 12, 2013 street demonstration in Monrovia. 

In their recommendations, the groups called on government to address what they called: “Nepotism, massive corruption, increased poverty, high unemployment rate, and the high cost of living” now prevailing in Liberia.

Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution guarantees every citizen or group’s fundamental right to freedom of expression and assembly. 

An interventions made by Liberia’s Inter-faith religious body, the National Traditional Council of Liberia, and Vice President, Joseph Boakai at the time, helped the organizers of the abortive April 12 demonstration be called off then.


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