On the Margins of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, President Sirleaf holds Breakfast Events for President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP)

23 September 2016, 3:42 am Written by 
Published in Press Release
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(New York, USA – Thursday, September 22) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf participated in a Special Breakfast Event for the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) in New York on the margins of the 71st Session of the

UN General Assembly. The Event was organized by Miss. Betsy Williams who chairs the International Board of the PYPP Program and brought together over a dozen of actors including foundations, private donors, philanthropies with the hope of solidifying and deepening financial and political support for the PYP Program and solicit feedback on expansion through emerging public leaders.

According to a dispatch from New York, President reflected on a broken country she inherited, a reason for the introduction of several capacity development programs such as the Senior Executive Service, TOPTEN, Scout Fellows and the President’s Young Professionals Program, among others.

“There were many without proper skills, particularly young people and so the PYPP Program was initiated to target young Liberians at home and develop their talents for placement in the civil service to enhance and improve performance and eventually replace the older ones as they retired. It actually represents a pipeline of young people to replace people at all levels where the real work is done”, President Sirleaf pointed out.

The Liberian leader acknowledged that the program has made a big difference in a civil service that has been influenced by political rewards over many decades. She indicated that the transition has been good with over 100 PYPPs placed in the civil service with huge cost efficiency. “They are now in the position to serve as institutional memory and institutional contents, taking a greater responsibility and benefiting from mentorship. The program has helped changed the nature of the civil service and promoted meritocracy”, President Sirleaf said.

She congratulated the two PYPPs who were selected for the President Obama’s YALI Program including, J. Alben Greaves, Director of the Child Justice Section at the Ministry of Justice who was present at the Breakfast Event in New York. Mr. Greaves has grown through the ranks and files of the MOJ as a PYP and risen to the rank of Director with impressive performance record, leading to huge donor assistance to the division he manages. President Sirleaf also spoke of the intention to expand the PYP Program to the ECOWAS region and have more integration at the national and sub-regional levels.

For her part, the head of the International Board of the President’s Young Professionals Program, Betsy Williams reflected on the history and journey of the PYPP and recalled the contributions of many to the success of the program including Education Minister George Werner and Youth and Sports Minister Saah N’tow who served as the first Coordinator of the PYP Program. She also acknowledged the contributions of the Government of Liberia and international friends who have immensely helped to ensure the success of the PYP Program.

Miss. Williams noted that the key objectives of the event were to encourage attendees of the urgent need to build strong public service opportunities for young leader Africa, and of the success to date in doing so in Liberia; solicit feedback on best resourcing model for PYPP, to help sustain through the upcoming transition in Liberia; solidify relationship with new Ambassadors, who will help close 2017 funding needs in pledges and commitments

She told the gathering that the concept to expand the PYP Program was generated by President Sirleaf and now U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas Greenfield. She stressed the need for financial capacity and independence as President Sirleaf transitions after the end of her tenure, thus the need for fundraising ideas and strategies.

Institutions and individuals that attended the event with expressed commitment to support the PYPP, included Adele Faure of Covington and Burling, C.D. Glin, U.S. Africa Development Foundation, Cynthia Ryn- Schooner Africa Fund , Daniella Ballou-Aares -U.S Department of State and Darin Kingston- Global Development Incubator . Others include Joanne Ke- Global Development Incubator, Kofi Appenteng -Ford Foundation , Mellissa Bukuru, Soros Fund Management, Michael Hess -Hess Foundation, Michelle Gavin- Africa Center. Also present at the event were Raj Panjabi-Last Mile Health, Randy Newcomb, Humanity United, Suprotik Basu, Big Win Philanthropy and Temp Keller of Templeton Learning.

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