African youth must drive the change they desire

Howard-Taylor says the youth must work together to create the Africa of their dreams

Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has declared that youth are the only drivers for the transformational changes needed to change the status quo.

Speaking on Thursday at the 2019 SDGs Global Youth Summit Held in Accra, Ghana, Howard-Taylor opined that instead of just talking about changing the status quo, the youth are an indispensable part of what needs to be done to transform their respective communities.

She said considering the different actors and the percentages of their contributions which would allow for rapid transformation, the one segment which has the greatest potential is the youth segment.

Howard-Taylor spoke on the theme who “Equipping Young People for Development – A Pathway to Achieving the SDGs”.

She urged youth to sharpen their vision, gain the relevant understanding and knowledge and work together to build frameworks and synergies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She expressed the belief that achieving the SDGs, especially on the African continent, it would require strong political will and the building of collective partnerships across socio-economic and political lines.

According to VP Howard-Taylor, while many advanced parts of the world are already in the process of SDG’s implementation, on the African continent where the stark realities and overwhelming need for change are, the goals are still on the shelves.

She said, “We must accept that the challenges being faced by our World are great – and they can seem daunting; thankfully we have all agreed that the solutions to them lie in the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Thus each of you can make a difference by contributing to building the better world we each seek. Critical to making that difference is your additional role as drivers of inclusive and sustainable development”.

She maintained that youth must rise up to the challenge, roll up their sleeves and work together to create the Africa of their dreams; as they are the beneficiaries of the present and future they seek.

While admitting that social change and redirection is a herculean task which she believes is most often accompanied by the sacrifices of blood, sweat, agony, and tears, VP Howard-Taylor encouraged the youth to remain determined in the struggle to meet their goal despite the challenges.

“If the future the youth seek in order to live the world of their dreams is to become a reality, each of you must use your energies, visions, talents and knowledge to create synergies which would eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities globally, thereby creating synergies which bring about systemic change and break enduring cycles of poverty to ensure that no one is left behind,” Liberia’s first female vice president told the audience.


Solomon Ware