New Democrat (Monrovia)

Liberia: Youths to Decide Ellen's Fate

Liberian youths are expected to decide the fate of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the maiden edition of the Grand Africanist Gold Award of the African Union Youth Council (AUYC) for which she stands as the lone female head of state amongst five Africa Presidents nominated for the award, a local youth leader has indicated.

Mr. Franklin Armah Sharp, president of AUYC told journalists in Duport Road over the weekend that the award is engraved on a plague of pure gold valued US$1 million.

It is intended to honor an African president who has made distinguished contributions to the 'development and promotion' of youths in their country from 2006 to 2012.

African leaders nominated for selection for the award are Presidents Sirleaf, Teodoro Obian Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin.

The selected leader will receive the award later this year in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea.

There are reports that all of these leaders have in various ways impacted on the development of youths in their national policies.

However, Mr. Sharp told journalists that youths from each of the five countries have been tasked with the responsibility to convince the award committee how their head of state developed and promoted youths through national policies during 2006-2012.

He said youths from each of the five countries are expected to defend the nominations of their respective heads of state and evidentially convince the award panel on why their leader should be awarded.

"The youths from each of the nominated countries would provide and defend reasons why their President should be given the award.

Nevertheless, Mr. Sharp revealed that a more comprehensive and critical scrutiny were adopted in the nomination process that led to the selection of the five finalists amongst the 54-heads of state of the African Union.

The chairperson of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and heads of state and government of member countries are expected to grace the Award Night later this year in Malabo," where a 'Virgin Youth' would present the award to the winner to demonstrate its 'sacredness' to the world.

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