October 20, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities (CCYA) on Thursday 19th October 2017 organized a one day youth violence prevention and leadership transformation training with the theme, ‘Youth stand up for non-violence 2018 election’ at Kono Lodge in Freetown.
The Registrar of the Political Parties Registration Commission, PPRC, Madam Zainab Moseray said youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow, therefore they should make wise decision for the betterment of the country.
She added that they should engage in promoting political education which seeks to convince political party operatives that elections are won by policies and ideas and not by the use of abusive language, violence, intolerance and disorderly behaviour.
“Political education is an approach aimed at sensitizing the citizenry about positive attitudes, knowledge and skills for effective multi-party governance, thereby curtailing violence, intimidation and indolence. This initiative will help foster tolerance among citizens and will promote inclusivity, “she said.
Giving an overview of the training, Executive Director of CCYA, Ngolo Katta said the training is important as the country is preparing for elections and that young people play major role in the democratization of the country, adding that it is unfortunate that politicians do organize and pay young people to perpetrate violence during election.
He further noted that they brought together the youth so that they could engage them in order to stay away from violence in the forthcoming elections.
“We are talking about leadership, laws around election, the PPRC, conflict prevention among others. These are all the tools we give to the young people so that they can go back to their communities and engage their peers.
“It is important to note that in the citizen’s manifesto, it is very clear that citizens across the country are yearning for young people to take active part in politics,” he said, adding that the training was supported by Action Aid Sierra Leone International .
The Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Antony Koroma also noted that 75% of the country’s population is made up of people below the age of 35 years, and that if the country is to develop, they stand to benefit the most.
He added that Sierra Leone has come a long way in it democratic process and that he is confident that the 2018 election will come and go with no violence.
“We have the first election after the war which was more terrible in 2007 because it was a transition period and everybody thought the country was going to be split apart. The county has now developed systems and civil society members have been engaging people on election matters,” he said, adding that he was happy that CCYA put the training together for the benefit of young people.
“There is no impediment for young people not to participate in political issues. I want to appeal to CCY and Action Aid to consider the platform created in 2012 to bring more youth onboard,” he concluded.
Executive Director of Action Aid International Sierra Leone, Mohamed Sillah, commended CCYA for the effort in working with youth organizations across the country, adding that his organization is contributing a lot in the areas of education, agriculture among others.
“I am so impressed with this development. I want to assure CCYA that I will continue to work with them and also engage other donors to support them because peace is significant in this election,” he noted.