STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The Liberian community in Sweden came together to celebrate their country’s 176th Independence Day in a spirited event held in Stockholm City.
The celebration, which lasted from July 21 to 23, 2023, was organized by the Liberian Swedish Association, an organization dedicated to empowering and connecting Liberians residing in Sweden.
The festivities brought together Liberians from various European countries, as well as other Africans, creating an atmosphere of unity and shared purpose.
A notable highlight of the event was the presence of Eddie D. Jarwolo, a prominent civil society leader and social activist, who served as the Keynote Speaker.
Jarwolo delivered an impassioned speech focusing on shared responsibility, accountability, and the principles of good democratic governance as essential elements for Liberia’s development and peacebuilding.
In his keynote address, Eddie Jarwolo set the tone for the event by highlighting the significance of shared responsibility in fostering a better future for Liberia.
He spoke eloquently about the current political and social challenges faced by the country, emphasizing the urgent need for accountability and unity to overcome these obstacles.
Jarwolo drew attention to the critical stages of the electoral process, from voter registration to candidate nomination, and highlighted the importance of fair and transparent campaigning, voting, and result announcements.
He stressed that addressing the country’s developmental issues would require a collective effort to hold elected and appointed leaders accountable for their actions and promises, ensuring that the dividends of democracy positively impact the lives of all citizens.
The activist expressed concern over the country’s underdevelopment, pointing to poor leadership, weak political institutions, and widespread corruption at all levels of government as significant obstacles.
He called on Liberians living abroad to unite with civil society in combating corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, and holding leaders accountable for failed campaign promises.
Jarwolo is the Executive Director of Naymote, a leading grassroots organization promoting democracy, peacebuilding, human rights, and civic engagement.
As Liberia approaches the October 10, 2023 elections, Jarwolo urged vigilance, stating that any attempt to undermine the peace could lead to political violence.
He called on the international community and Liberians abroad to closely monitor the situation and be ready to take decisive action against those seeking to disrupt the peace.
While expressing gratitude for the support provided by Liberians living abroad to their friends and relatives back home, Jarwolo asserted that such assistance is not enough.
He highlighted the wealth of natural resources in Liberia and emphasized the importance of effective leadership, transparency, and accountability in managing these resources to create jobs and improve the livelihoods of Liberians.
In conclusion, Eddie Jarwolo called for a collective effort to advance the principles of good democratic governance, emphasizing that it is only through shared responsibility and active contributions that Liberia can achieve lasting peace, security, and prosperity.
His powerful speech resonated with the audience, igniting a sense of purpose among Liberians in Sweden and beyond, to work together for a brighter future for their beloved nation.
Earlier, the President of the Liberian Swedish Association, Mr. David Thomas Ford, warmly welcomed all attendees, emphasizing the importance of standing together as a community to promote the greater good and to contribute to the advancement of Liberia’s national development agenda.
The three-day celebration included a variety of activities, such as a Meet and Greet session, an independence ball, a soccer match, and a cookout, as Teddyride and Stunna, two leading Liberian musicians, added to the festive atmosphere with their performances.
A soccer game between Liberians and Cameroonians living in Sweden was also held, enhancing the sense of camaraderie and friendly competition.