Over 500 cross-section of Liberian leaders, students, and drug survivals have received value-based leadership develop training during a just ended African Regional Leadership Development conference, hosted by EQUIP Leadership – Liberia – the Liberian chapter of the EQUIP Leadership, which is the non-profit arm of the John C. Maxwell Leadership Foundation in Monrovia.
The conference, which was held under a theme: Leading with Integrity, Transformation begins with me – brought together leaders from government institutions, civil society organizations, youth groups, media institutions, and faith-based organizations to learn and reflect together on issues affecting national development like integrity, and how each group can take individual action to bring transformation to their sector. It also brought together over 45 leaders, from over 20 nations in Africa and the USA, to develop new strategies to amplify the awareness of issues around leadership on the continent, and leading transformation in their nations through the EQUIP Beyond Success program.
The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation was heavily represented by John Griffin, Executive Vice-President, Maxwell Leadership & Director of Global Programs for Maxwell Leadership Foundation (JMLF) and EQUIP; and Ray Popham, Faculty President of the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team and Deputy Director of Global Programs for EQUIP Leadership – both leading the plenary session of the 5 Levels of Leadership & Developing the leader within you.
Speaking with our reporters over the weekend, Mr. Benedict Tokpa Danuweli, the Liberian Coordinator for EQUIP Leadership intimated that this year’s conference was entirely different from the previous year in Tanzania in a good way. He acknowledges that his local team did not want just another conference, instead they wanted one that was relevant to addressing the every-day people’s realties, and rallying a collective action towards transformation. He said, “That’s why we opened up the opportunity to the public, by introducing the plenary, and break-out sessions for the selected critical sectors we identified.
Our foreign counterparts who had specialty in those sectors led the discussion with our people in a more empowering way. We also considered the student community and drug survivals, and decided to include them in our community service efforts. We have also instated measures for our local team, to continue the engagement with these beneficiaries, in an effort to sustain the change. We had our over 45 John C. Maxwell trained leaders visiting from around Africa and the United States, collaborating with our local team to train them on the importance of having the right attitude on the final day.”
After the plenary, the break-out sessions were done in separate rooms of the EJS Ministerial Complex, led by the foreign delegates and EQUIP Liberia facilitators, as participants had a great time to discuss and reflect on the theme of the conference, and what it meant for their respective sectors of influence. After the time of reflection, each group developed a collective action to take – as their way of leading transformation with integrity in that sector, and made separate presentations with the general conference participant.
Since 2018, EQUIP has been working in Liberia through its Beyond Success Program (BSP), which organizes Round Tables that promote personal growth, organizational and institutional reforms. EQUIP’s work in Liberia has impacted more than 10,000 Liberians across different sectors and is making significant efforts to reach out to more than 125,000 people through its strategic plan in the next five years. Mr. Danuweli believes that the conference reenergized the team’s desire to do more in reaching the Liberian people with the program.
In his final remarks, Danuweli echoed: “It’s a big relief, knowing our team raised the bar, because we planned this conference with everyday reality in view. I have known that nothing stops Liberians, when we want to make history. Before bidding to host this conference, I knew that our team was ready, and so was Liberia. It was not about me, but the team and the different levels of planning and resource mobilization that went on in the background. Our highly committed conference team was led by Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, Chief of staff of the arm forces of Liberia. His leadership, kept the team going.
On this team were Madame Matilda Wokie Parker, who supervised the planning team and went beyond the normal to leave a huge mark on the hearts of our guest and just making things happen. Ame Atsu David did an amazing job, with coordinating our planning. We also had Atty. Decontee King-Sackie, Bishop Matilda Tarr, Chupee W.G Howe, Lamie Sallay, Lawerence V. C Dennis, Vermon Washington, James S. Juwle, Andrew Kuwon, Johanchal Wrobeh, Frances Saah, Stephen Clemens, Daniel Ankra, Finda Harriet Caillendee, Rosa N Doe – Gibson, Sartu Doe, Michael Koilor, Jutonu Youwateh Kollie, Siatta L. A. Gray, Amoblai Sirleaf, Solomon Gueh, Margret Krote, and all the amazing volunteers and team members who made this possible. You are the real deal!”
He also appreciated the African Regional Director, Eric Saah Nyuma for trusting his team with the conference.
Finally, he reechoed his appreciation for having prominent Liberians like Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor at the opening ceremony, who did the opening remarks, and the Attorney General of Liberia and Acting Chair of the Cabinet, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, for gracing the awards night and for his commitments to support leadership development in Liberia; Former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and his wife Mrs. Katumu Boakai,for gracing the awards night, Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, for her support and beneficiaries who made commitments to lead with integrity.