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President Weah Makes Case For Liberian Women At European Development Days Summit

Brussels, Belgium: President George Mannah Weah has applauded the European Union (EU) for dedicating this year’s European Development Day (EDD) Summit to the development of women and girls.
Delivering a speech on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at the EDD Summit in Brussels, Belgium, the Liberian Leader recognized the progress made by the EU to achieve gender equality, but emphasized that much still needs to be done to confront the challenges.
“In today’s evolving world, there has been major progress made in some countries with the gender equality. However, in other countries, the rights of women and girls remain a major challenge; especially in developing countries,” the President noted.
The Liberian Leader said it would be difficult to achieve total development and meaningful growth when women and girls are not captured into national plans, and/or are excluded from participating in economic activities.
“How can we maintain peace and stability, if our women and girls are being raped and abused,” the President averred. According to President Weah, in spite of global efforts to close economic gabs, eradication of gender-based violence still remains a major problem especially among young people.
“In my own country Liberia, issues of gender equality, sexual abuse and violence continue to be a major challenge. As President of Liberia, it is my responsibility to lead the efforts to address and rectify these glaring disparities in our social and economic environment. But beyond that, I will like to inform you that my commitment and dedication to this cause is also on a personal level. It comes from deep and longstanding appreciation and respect for the value of women and girls in our society which I incurred through my childhood upbringing.”
He also used the opportunity to share the story of his upbringing by his paternal grandmother in Gibraltar, Clara Town.
“I was raised by my grandmother in one of the poorest ghettos in Liberia and under very difficult circumstances, yet she was always strong in her conviction that she was not deterred or defeated by these adversities. She never wavered in her beliefs that she could make something out of living and she never gave up hope in her beliefs that she could win, despite of all the odds,” the Liberian leader reflected.
“I am a product of her belief and teaching, many of which remain with me even up to this day. I will never forget the lessons she taught me,” he added.
Though the country enjoys several years of uninterrupted peace, the Liberian leader intoned that the impact of the crisis on women and girls continue to be felt, as they are finding it more difficult than the rest of the population. He however pledged to make women and girls empowerment a priority of his administration as the country moves forward.
“The return of stability and democratic governance has provided the space to roll out national program to address these challenges, bearing in mind that Liberia cannot fulfill its development objectives if the development of women is ignored as women constitute more than 50% of the population,” President Weah noted.
“As a national leader, I am convinced that one of the most effective strategies to correct these situations is to take affirmative action in the interest of women and girls, such that they enjoy greater participation in national leadership. This is why, for example, when the National Election Commission (NEC) required each political party a minimum of 30% of women candidature in parliamentary election, I raised the bar for my party to 50%; and I am proud to inform you that all of those women who had the courage to run were all successful.”
The President also said he demonstrated his commitment to women political participation when he chose a woman as his running-mate from a short list of possible candidates. “I have also appointed a woman to be the first female Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and also a female as Deputy Inspector General of the Liberia National Police,” he told the audience.
He pledged to conduct a comprehensive review of laws to highlight and eliminate clauses that are obviously against the women of Liberia.
This year’s EDD Summit is being held under the theme “Women and Girls at the forefront of Sustainable Development: Protect, Empower and Invest.”

President Weah’s Europe Trip Pays Off; GoL, EU Sign ‘Moving Liberia Forward Partnership Agreement’

Brussels, Belgium:President George Weah has assured the European Union and other International Partners that every dime invested in Liberia will be accounted for and that projects will be delivered for the benefit of the Liberian people.
The President made the commitment when the Government of Liberia signed a new Economic Cooperation Agreement with the EU, under the theme, “Moving Liberia Forward.”
The signing of the new Economic Cooperation Agreement is a direct dividend of President Weah’s trip to the European Union while participating in this year’s European Development Days (EDD) Summit.
In keeping with the Agreement, the EU has given an initial 27 million Euros towards direct budget support for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
The Agreement notes that the funds will be made available effective within the shortest possible time as of the signing; and it is the first of many contributions to be made to Liberia under the “Moving Liberia Forward Europe-Liberia Partnership Agreement”.
Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica signed on behalf of the European Union.
The EU is one of Liberia’s dependable partners that have over the years made enormous contributions toward peace, security and the overall development and reconstruction of the country.

Liberian President Receives Irish Ambassador

President Weah and Irish Ambassador.
Monrovia, Liberia – President George Manneh Weah has received in audience Ambassador Catherine Campbell, Ambassador of Ireland to Liberia. The Irish Envoy was accompanied by Ms. Fionnuala Gilsenan, Director of Africa Development of Foreign Affairs and Trade. .
The Liberian leader received Ambassador Campbell on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 when she paid a courtesy call on him at his Foreign Ministry’s Office in Monrovia where they discussed major development issues between both countries. The meeting was characterized by mutual exchange of ideas and cooperation between both countries and peoples.
The Irish Ambassador was escorted to President Weah’s Office by the Hon. Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Hon. Nathaniel McGill.

President Weah Performs First Brick-Laying for Construction of 14-Military Hospital

Monrovia, Liberia: President George Manneh Weah has performed the first set of brick-laying for the construction the 14-Military Hospital barely one month after he broke ground for his first milestone project as President of Liberia.
The Liberian leader practically mixed sand with crush rocks and cement before he shoveled the mortar in the foundation to lay the bricks.
The 14-Military Hospital, which reminisces the number ’14 Jersey’ President Weah wore when he played for Invincible Eleven (I.E.) and the National Football Team, Lone Star, is the first to be built in the country. It will exclusively serve members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and Para-military personnel in the country.
Speaking at the brick-laying ceremony on Wednesday, May 3, 2018 held at the Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barrack in Margibi County, President Weah said the government was fully prepared to playing its part in ensuring the completion of the project. The Liberian leader equally challenged members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to play their part in ensuring the smooth implementation of the project.
The over 200-bedroom Hospital, which is being constructed by the Engineering Battalion of the AFL, will have the best medical equipment, according to the President, as well as a specialized Teaching Facility to train medical personnel into specialized fields.
It can be recalled that President Weah on Monday, March 26, 2018 broke ground for the hospital project for the men and women in arms whom he said endure difficulties in getting treatment at private or public medical facilities in the country.
The official brick-laying event was also graced by high ranking officers of the AFL including the Minister of the Ministry of National Defense, Daniel D. Ziankhan, Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson, among others.

President Weah Assures Fire Service of Logistics; Salutes Firefighters

Monrovia, Liberia:  President George Manneh Weah has assured his government’s commitment to supporting the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) in becoming effective and efficient, and declared that the government would provide five fire trucks to enhance its operations.
The Liberian President also saluted the men and women in the service for their selfless sacrifices and bravery they continue to demonstrate to save the lives of those in danger.
President Weah spoke Friday, May 04, 2018 at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) during the observance of International Fire Fighters Day organized by the Liberia National Fire Service.
He recounted how firefighters are often exposed to great danger and suffer grave injuries anytime they are called upon to their ultimatesacrifice in the line of duty.
“They are trained to run towards danger, which does not only take bravery and courage, but also requires selfless commitment to assist others who are in danger of injury or death.”
According to President Weah, the enormity and complexity of the duties of fire fighters demand that they are accorded the highest respect. He said firefighters can only be up to task when they are trained and equipped – especially endeavoring to do their best with the little they have.
“We are aware of the challenges the Liberia National Fire Service face; the most glaring is the lack of serviceable and modern fire equipment, such as fire trucks,” the President noted. “What is obvious is the lack of training opportunities and facilities,” the President added.
President Weah said such inadequacies and deficiencies are a result of national budgetary constraints. However, he pledged to exert every effort to address the situation as the budget will allow – to make the Service more effective and professional.
He then called on the leadership of the National Fire Service to undertake initiatives and to reach out to friendly governments and organizations for assistance instead of looking up to the government alone.
Meanwhile, President Weah was also honored by the Liberia National Fire Service as the “Chief Fire Marshal.”
The program was graced by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, onetime Director of the National Fire Service, Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, Justice Minister, Musa Dean and a host of government officials.
International Firefighters’ Day is observed on May 4. It was instituted after proposal emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters’ Day in many European countries, because it is the day of Saint Florian, Patron Saint of firefighters.