“We are working to enhance youth knowledge and promote inclusive participation in Liberia Extractive Sector,” said FLY’s President Mr. Amos Williams. Amos said it is about time that the young people get fully and totally involved in their natural resource sector of the Country. He said if the young people are fully involved and educated about the how the resources of the country are managed and used respectively, it will go a long way for the sector and the people in general. Williams wants the Liberia Extraction Industries and Transparency Initiative to give the young people the space and provide them with the necessary information that help drive their Agenda through the sector forward.
“ We need to know more about the sector, We need to know what is happening and why are they happening in order for us to make an informed decision,” Williams added. Acknowledging the importance of the sector to the Country in general, the young people’s President is of the conviction that with the full involvement of the young people into the process, what eventually comes out of the sector will eventually triggered down to them. He also encouraged the young people to see the need to work together especially with passion and collectivity to ensure that they achieve their desire objectives.
Launching the platform was the Officer in charge of the Liberia Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative ( LEITI), Mr. Jeffrey Yates, who called for the proper management of the Country’s resources. According to him, it is time that priority be placed on the sector including collective efforts from the people who are direct beneficiaries of their natural resources. “We need to reshape the perception that our natural resources are curse than blessings to us,” he maintained. “Every developed country is proud of its natural resources and depends on it to develop other sectors and the Country in general mainly when it is wisely managed and used for the betterment of the masses, “Yates further indicated. He said at LEITI they are working very hard to ensure that they enhance transparency and accountability in the management of Liberia’s natural resources.
As part of their activities, LEITI is now working on its 9th, 10th and 11th summary report which will be share and discuss with the people as part of their mandate. Yates used the occasion to pledge LEITI’s support to work with FLY and ensure that they are fully involved and will participate in the information dissemination process. Moreover, he committed the institution’s support to also involve FLY and the coalition into the awareness component of their work across the country, saying; “We will use you to help us do more public awareness which we believe is key to the sector and the people in participation.” “ We will also depend on you to help us in organizing our already established extractive clubs while we do the monitoring,” he pointed out.
At the same time, the head of the Publish What You Pay organization, Madam Cecilia Danuwali, underscored the need for more youth involvement and awareness into the proper management of Liberia’s natural resources. “ We need to do more awareness among the young people so our people too can know that our resources have been extracted and are not being replaced while the needed benefits are yet to be realized,” she emphasized. Madam Danuwali said it is time that the young people speak out, talk about the issues at hand so duty bearers will see the need and make the necessary intervention for the betterment of the society. She said if that is not done and done effectively, the Country with an example of Bomi, “Will be left with Bomi holes instead of Bomi Hills.” Young people, she stressed, should now be the fore- runners and help drive the process forward.
Given an overview of the entire project was the Secretary General of the Coalition ,Mr. James Koryor, who pointed out that the Liberia Youth Natural Resource Governance Platform is an initiative managed by the Federation of Liberian Youth in partnership with the Liberia CSOs Anti-Corruption Coalition aimed at increasing youth knowledge, inclusion and participation in the natural resource governance of Liberia. Through the Platform registered civil society youth-led organizations working on resource governance, transparency, accountability and environmental issues in Liberia will be mobilized, trained and equipped to actively participate in Liberia extractive sector, he added.
He added that the Platform also actively supports the development and implementation of international protocols that promote transparency and accountability in the extractive sector such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The platform will, among other things, focused on four areas namely but not limited to Increase youth inclusion and active participation in natural resource governance through adequate research, information sharing and education, Popularize and promote LEITI’s Reports amongst young people in Liberia, Moreover, the program will focus on Forest Governance Integrity Forum (FGIF) aimed at promoting a corruption-free forestry sector and sustainable management that enable increased economic development, poverty reduction and environmental protection. Koryor further stated that through the program young people will learn about laws, regulations and policies governing the sector as well as existing anti-corruption tools that make the greatest improvement on the forestry sector and good governance overall by bringing policy makers, stakeholders and young people together to share experiences and put forth concrete recommendation. The platform also wants LEITI Report Popularized (LRP) by this it aimed at providing citizens especially young people access and proper information on the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) operations, functions and responsibilities as well as provide a space for youth to access the report to enhance their knowledge on resource governance in Liberia among many others.