Young Political Leaders Challenged to Stand Tall against Ills in Society (Daily Observer edition 08/25/2023)

— As YPLS Africa cohort-10 school opens

The Swedish Ambassador to Liberia and Sierra Leone, Urban Sjostrom, has challenged young political leaders to stand tall against the ills in their societies.

Sjostrom, who spoke at the opening of Cohort 10 of the Young Political Leadership School of Africa (YPLS), told the participants that citizens need to be more aware of the social contract, which is critical to a successful democracy.

YPLS Africa is a political organizing, leadership development, and campaign training program for emerging young African leaders organized by Naymote Partners for Democratic Development with support from its partners.

“We all need to be activists for democracy, and that is the only way to keep the peace sustained and contribute to sustainable development goals, so let’s keep on,” he urged.

The Swedish Ambassador to Liberia and Sierra Leone stressed that democracy must be based on the rule of law and not by law because it is something that everyone needs to cherish, commit to, and defend.

According to him, democracy is a system that needs to work for everyone, not just individuals, be they men or women. “I think your role as a young person from individual countries is key.” stressed the importance of scrutinizing to be able to make a real democracy work in Africa.

Sjostrom’s cautious YPLS participants uphold the principles of democracy in Africa.

He, however, underscored the need for democracy to be a system where freedom of speech is possible. “It should be a system where freedom of thought and different types of views can come together to make a difference.”

Sjostrom maintained that democracy is always possible if it is based on the rule of law.

The Swedish Ambassador to Liberia and Sierra Leone, who early stood tall on the possibility of how democracy can work for Liberia and other African countries, acknowledged that everyone knows that democracy is always the majority, which is overruled by the minority, and there are human rights for everybody all of the time, and we also need gender equality.

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