• As she contests for Presidency of the Federation

By Jerromie S. Walters

Monrovia, Liberia, on the 20th of October, 2022: As the Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY) election begins, it appears that no stone has been left unturned for women’s participation, as Banica S. Elliott enters the race with the intention of rebranding the federation as an accountable institution and leveraging potential resources and partnerships to promote the space for active youth engagement, welfare, programs, and policy development.

Banica S. Elliott confirmed her candidacy for the presidency at the 9th general assembly of the Federation of Liberia Youth, where new executive officials are expected to be elected, in an interview with our reporter on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

She has a strong desire to become the next president of the Federation, which she says is fueled by her desire to serve and, by extension, disprove the notion that women cannot serve in certain positions and make a significant change and impact on our society.

Banica highlighted the following weaknesses in the Federation that she wishes to transform: the lack of innovation of the institution to cater to youth issues; the absence of traditional programs that cater to or address youth issues; the inactivity of youth structures across the country; the absence of internal motivation; the absence of branding or institutional image at the national level; the lack of staff capacity development across all structures; and the lack of budgetary support.

She highlighted the thematic areas she intends to address. She spoke extensively about youth empowerment and the ability to obtain a job. She believes this will help reduce the high unemployment, crime, and drug use rates.

She asserts that it will enable youth to take responsibility for their futures and create young change agents through real-world impact.

Banica pledged, among other things, to advocate for a law requiring all senior high school students to take technical vocational education in order to graduate or enroll in college.

Also on her agenda is the introduction or enforcement of a decentralized national youth and student internship program in the public and private sectors (volunteerism) and the launch of a FLY scholarship fund drive to expand students’ access to international opportunities.

She stated that she would work through MYS to convince the government to assist in reactivating and expanding the marathon and cycling associations in Asia, which would be beneficial to youth development.

She placed a great deal of emphasis on Youth Programs and Innovations, stating that they would help close the gap, accelerate young people’s access to opportunities, enhance their sense of self, and assist them in acquiring personal and social skills.

She proposed establishing a “National Startup Fund Competition” for young people who wish to launch their own businesses in order to address the various issues.

Among others, the establishment of “National Youth Agriculture Farms” in at least two countries, the formulation of the FLY Annual “Youth Development and Icon Awards,” which will evaluate and recognize youth efforts, and the implementation of the “National Youth Policy Dialogue” on a regular basis in order to inform stakeholders and inform decisions are also proposed.

Banica S. Elliot was the second Vice President of the Liberian Youth Federation (FLY). providing insightful service in youth and community development, gender protection, policy, and political campaigning

In 2019, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and has since pursued professional and advanced certificates in institutional development, program planning, and advocacy, among others. She is pleased with her accomplishments as a Peace Mediator, Youth Developer, SGBV Advocate, Change Agent, Community Organizer, Trailblazer, and team player.

She is an advocate for sustainable change and believes in transformational leadership, just and equal representation, and contemporary youth and gender development-oriented policies. As one of the most influential activists for women and children, she has led and facilitated significant community-based projects that aim to keep the community safe and provide everyone with more and safer space.

The Federation of Liberia Youth is the umbrella organization for all Liberian youth institutions. In January of 1974, an Act of Legislation established FLY.

Since then, FLY has played a significant role in the transformation of Liberian society through its advocacy and dialogue with the national government.

Every three years, FLY organizes and conducts elections for its leadership in accordance with its constitution. In accordance with FLY’s Articles 14 and 10: Qualification, Functions, and Conditions to be an Officer, “Once every three years, the General Assembly shall elect a President, Vice President for National Affairs, Vice President for International Affairs, and three Regional Coordinators for the three (3) Regions who shall serve as Executive Officers of FLY.

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