US Envoy Says Leadership Must Inspire, Influence People

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MONROVIA, June 26 (LINA)  - The Charge d’ Affairs at the United States Embassy in Monrovia, Ms. Sheila Pasikman, says being a leader is not about holding a particular position but having the ability to inspire and influence people.

She emphasized that leadership is about organizing people to achieve their goals and having a vision of the possible future that helps to motivate everyone.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Ms. Pasikman’s statement was contained in her keynote address at the opening of a two-day Africa Youth Leadership Conference (AYLD) on Wednesday held in Paynesville City outside Monrovia.

She indicated that leaders should not wait until some future date to act, but should reach out and engage in self-help initiatives like cleaning roads and other social works in order to transform Liberia.

“You can work with your colleagues and friends to raise political awareness among young people or help to organize a neighborhood to clean it or have a crime watch forum,” Ms. Pasikman pointed out.

In remarks at the ceremony, the president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Mr. Augustine Tamba, assured that Liberian youths will put to practice what they acquire at the two-day forum for the development of the country.

Also in remarks, the head of Transformation International in Liberia, J. Luther Tarpeh noted that Africa is lagging behind in development and progress because of lack of leadership.

Ambassador Tarpeh, who is the UNESCO Ambassador for peace in Liberia, emphasized that Africa needs leadership not only in politics, but in education, business and even in communities.

He stressed that there is “a big relationship” between leadership and national transformation, noting, “It takes good leaders to drive national transformation.”

The, two-day AYLD Conference, which was held under the theme: “Raising New Leadership for National Transformation,” was organized by Transformation International with support from the UNESCO Center for Peace.

The conference brought together the leaderships of all of Liberia’s higher institutions of learning including the University of Liberia, Cuttington University, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, United Methodist University, among others.