H.E. President George Manneh Weah Address to the Nation on COVID-19

MY FELLOW CITIZENS AND FOREIGN RESIDENTS:
I would like to speak directly to you today concerning the Coronavirus Pandemic, which is rapidly spreading around the world.
The spread of this virus represents the greatest threat to the health and well-being of the people of Liberia since the Ebola epidemic suffered by our country from 2014 to 2016.
Let me assure you that Government is taking every precaution and action to protect our borders and ports of entry. However, in spite of these arrangements, I regret to inform you that Liberia has recorded a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.

The infected person is Mr. Nathaniel Blama, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, who arrived in Liberia on Brussels Airlines on Friday night, the 13th of March. Along with several other officials
of Government traveling on the same flight, Mr. Blama chose not to be quarantined, in keeping with the health protocols that were in place at the
airport.

An intensive tracing exercise is underway to identify and test all persons with whom he came into contact. Meanwhile, all other persons who traveled on that flight and by-passed the mandatory screening protocols, are being made to report to the health authorities immediately and without any further delay, for testing.
Any other persons who attempt to by-pass screening at any port of entry will be arrested and taken into compulsory quarantine.
I want to assure the Liberian people that the situation is under professional management by the health authorities, who have adequately prepared themselves well in advance for this eventuality. There is no need to panic. I ask that all of you should remain calm, and report any suspicious medical behavior to the authorities for our own safety.

It is very important that we all follow the guidelines set out by the health authorities, and adapt our behavior accordingly.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
In view of the above, it is necessary to take certain immediate actions in response to this threat.
1. There must be a strong focus on hygiene from every individual and organization.
2. Everyone should wash their hands often, several times a day, with soap and running water, and use hand sanitizes, wherever available and affordable.
3. All offices, businesses schools, churches, and places of public gatherings should provide hand-washing facilities at their entrances.
4. There should be NO HANDSHAKING whatsoever. Use a nod of your head for greeting each other.
5. My impending national county tour is hereby postponed due to this new development on the coronavirus situation.

6. All travels to and from all countries with over 200 or more Corona Virus cases are hereby banned
7. All citizens and residents are urged to avoid public gatherings and large crowds, and try to keep a minimum social distance of at least 6 feet from people with fever, cough, sneezing, and difficulty in breathing.
8. Non-essential travel by all officials of government is hereby banned
9. All non-essential employees of the government are hereby granted a paid leave until further notice. The Civil Service Agency will announce the roster of employees in this category
10. Minimize your travel within Liberia, and to and from abroad, to that which is absolutely necessary. This refers specifically to cross-border traders and travelers coming to Liberia from infected countries, and applies particularly to all Government officials.

As President, I will remain focused at the highest level of leadership and concern, until this threat has been neutralized. However, as Liberia has now moved from the precautionary stage, to a containment stage, we will need your fullest support and cooperation as you change your behavior to follow the simple guidelines and measures that have been recommended above.

We will also be relying on the cooperation and support of our international partners as we work together to eliminate this deadly virus from our country.
Please take note, and govern yourselves accordingly.

God bless you all.

I thank you.

HON. GEORGE IN SUPPORT OF INSTITUTIONAL BUILDING

Hon. George accompanied the co-founder of Uniting Distant Stars, Heather Cannon to South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota to build a “Sister School” relationship. Uniting Distant Stars™, Inc. mission is to link future leaders and global innovators to educational resources and vocational training to influence positive changes in the world. The School located in Monrovia, provides technical skills training to individuals.
As Liberia continues to rebuild from the civil war, technical training is pivotal to rapid growth. Hon. George visited the institution in Liberia and admired their work. For more information about the institution, visit their web at www.unitingdistantstars.com.

The delegation included Mr. Branko Tambah a long-time donor and Mr. Yakasah Wehyee member of the Board of Directors. The South Central College was represented by Tracy Murphy (Communication Studies Instructor) and John Nehemiah Harper (Enrollment Advisor).

HON. GEORGE AT THE MINNESOTA AFRICAN UNITED SUMMIT 2019

It was an honor to have been present at the Minnesota African United (MAU) Summit. Africans coming together in unison for a common purpose is the beginning of prosperity. MAU is a coalition of African Immigrants in Minnesota that is centered on closing the opportunity gaps in education, healthcare, the economy and employment with the mission of creating awareness and increasing access to resources for African Communities.

www.mnafricanunited.org. (Hon. George serves on MAU board).

Global Minnesota CEO Mark Ritchie Visits Consulate

The Former Secretary of State of Minnesota (2007-2015) and President and CEO-USA Expo Mark Ritchie paid a courtesy visit at the Liberian Consulate in Minnesota today to acquaint the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Liberia, Hon. Jackson K. George, Jr. about his organization’s activities concerning the public-private partnership to host the 2023 World Fair Expo in Minnesota and its current pursuit of the 2027 bid. Hon. George who is also the President of the Liberian Business Association in the Diaspora discussed the economic opportunities the Expo will have on the state and the role of Liberian businesses in the diaspora and Liberia. He said, Liberian products being put on such world stage is uplifting and rewarding to Liberia. He thanked Hon. Ritchie for the update and informed him of his support

Global Minnesota is a nationally known nonprofit that promotes international education. It has created compelling programs statewide on important global topics, advancing international understanding for thousands of Minnesotans and is one of the top World Affairs Councils in the nation.

Global Minnesota is a membership organization with more than 2,000 individual members and 50-plus corporate members. Formerly the Minnesota International Center, it was founded in 1953 as a welcoming organization for international students and scholars. Since then, it has connected 15,000 international visitors with Minnesotans from all sectors.

Global Minnesota (www.globalminnesota.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member-supported organization that connects individuals, organizations and communities to the world. Through a unique series of programs offered across the state, Global Minnesota takes relevant and timely information on global issues, foreign policy and cultural topics and provides the space and opportunity for Minnesotans to engage and discuss. Programs are designed for Minnesotans – from the 2nd grader to the CEO – to connect with others from around the globe, serve as citizen diplomats and gain a deeper understanding of the world. Global Minnesota is in the top-ten World Affairs Councils of America

African Union Seeks Qualify Liberians for positions in the Continental body

The African Union is encouraging qualify Liberians to apply for positions in the AU Commission as well as other organs of the continental body.

The call comes in the wake of Liberia’s under-representation at the AU Commission and other related organs of the organization.

During its Twentieth Extraordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 14 through the 15 2018, the AU in its Executive Council Decision highlighted the need for qualified Liberians to apply for positions with the AU.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the AU has observed Liberia’s under-representation at the AU Commission and its related organs.

The release quotes a communication from the AU to the Liberian government, as saying there are only three (3) Liberian nationals in the current staff configuration at the AU and they are in the professional category only in Ethiopia.

The AU furthered in its communication that all indications point to the fact that Liberians need to be encouraged to apply for positions in the AU Commission and other AU bodies; especially now with the institution of new measures to prioritize under-represented countries in the recruitment process

The AU says it is setting up a working mechanism through diplomatic channels in other to attract qualified candidates from Liberia to ensure the full representation of the country at the Organization.

Meanwhile, The Director General of the Civil Service Agency of Liberia Laurine Wada Johnson has been asked by the AU to coordinate the process in a timely manner.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also calling on qualified Liberians to take advantage of the opportunity by applying for various vacant positions at the African Union.

The African Union is encouraging qualified Liberians to apply for positions in the AU Commission as well as other organs of the continental body.

The call comes in the wake of Liberia’s under-representation at the AU Commission and other related organs of the organization.

During its Twentieth Extraordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 14 through the 15 2018, the AU in its Executive Council Decision highlighted the need for qualified Liberians to apply for positions with the AU.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the AU has observed Liberia’s under-representation at the AU Commission and its related organs.

The release quotes a communication from the AU to the Liberian government, as saying there are only three (3) Liberian nationals in the current staff configuration at the AU and they are in the professional category only in Ethiopia.

The AU furthered in its communication that all indications point to the fact that Liberians need to be encouraged to apply for positions in the AU Commission and other AU bodies; especially now with the institution of new measures to prioritize under-represented countries in the recruitment process.

The AU says it is setting up a working mechanism through diplomatic channels in other to attract qualified candidates from Liberia to ensure the full representation of the country at the Organization.

Meanwhile, The Director General of the Civil Service Agency of Liberia Laurine Wada Johnson has been asked by the AU to coordinate the process in a timely manner.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also calling on qualified Liberians to take advantage of the opportunity by applying for various vacant positions at the African Union.

President Weah Consoles Grieving America Over former President Bush’s Passing

Monrovia, Liberia – President George Manneh Weah expressed heartfelt sympathy to the government and people of the United States and the Bush family over the demise of that country’s 41th President, George H. W. Bush, who passed Friday, November 30, 2018.

The Liberian leader said the former US President was a great statesman and patriot whose passing has left deep void and hurt in the hearts of many Americans and the world at large.

President Weah said the contribution of the fallen American statesman left in the sand of time incredible contributions to world peace and human development that make the world a better place for all.

He noted that people of Liberia were grateful for the leadership role the former US President played in the restoration of peace and stability during Liberia’s fratricidal civil conflict.

“As Americans mourn the loss of one of their greatest sons,” President Weah said, “let them, particularly the Bush family, know that the people of Liberia and my Government are fully with them and share in their grief, deep distress and sorrow during this difficult moment.”

President Weah expressed the hope that the Bush family and the people of the United States would find fortitude and solace in the Lord in their time of bereavement, challenged by the ideals of world peace and justice for all for which the former President fought during his lifetime.

President Weah Urges Liberians to Unite, Heal and Pray for Peace on Thanksgiving Day

The President of the Republic of Libeia, His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah extends heartfelt felicitations to all Liberians in observance of National Thanksgiving Day today, November 1, 2018.

The President hopes that Liberians will use this day to give thanks to God for keeping us safe and protected as a Country since our inception as a sovereign Nation, despite the many challenges that have confronted us.

The President further wishes that Liberians will observe this day to heal, unite and reconcile the Country back to God, and pray for God’s bountiful blessings to continuously abound, and for perpetual peace to reign.

In the spirit of oneness and nationalism, and as we gather to offer thanks in one accord, Happy Thanksgiving Day to all Liberians on behalf of H.E. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.

The Liberian Consulate in Minnesota is CLOSED in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

‘Liberia is Ready to Forge Quality Partnerships for SDGs: Ambassador Kemayah Tells UN Second Committee’

Ambassador Kemayah, Sr.

New York, October 9, 2018)Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations has told the UN that Liberia is ready to forge quality regional and international partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Addressing the Plenary Session of the UN Economic and Financial Committee commonly referred to as the Second (2nd) Committee on Monday, October 8, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. said the achievement of the SDGs would depend on both an enabling international environment for development, and domestic resource mobilization.

Ambassador Kemayah who tailored his statement around the theme of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly: “Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”, said the theme embodies the 2030 agenda and is a call to action to restore hope to the world. “For us, this mandates us to galvanize concerted efforts, to restore hope to the people of the world through our actions; and to consolidate these efforts to stamp out poverty, disease, hunger, and provide sustainable means of livelihood for us all. In the token, we are obliged to protect our vulnerable populations, preserve our environment, not just for ourselves, but for succeeding generations.” He emphasized.

According to a dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Kemayah informed the global body that nationally, a robust domestic resource mobilization strategy was being strengthened to include expanding Liberia’s internal revenue generation and collection. “We know our continued commitment to transparency and accountability in public financial management; as well as capacitating and strengthening national oversight institutions will be the measure of our resolve in driving these processes”, he said.

He also spoke of the Government’s  national development plan–the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) which overarching goals include, empowering the people through reducing developmental inequalities so that the people can prosper; stimulating economic stability and job creation through effective resource mobilization and prudent management of economic inclusion.

The chief Liberian diplomat at the United Nations however cautioned that while there was sufficient political will, Liberia lacked the available resources to achieve the full implementation of the SDGs, hence the need for partnership.  “…while we the Government of Liberia and People believe in ourselves to be sufficient in political will, we are insufficient in the available resources we so desperately need. We are therefore availing ourselves to the quality of partnerships, regionally and internationally, to assist us achieve the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ambassador Kemayah also identified efforts to address infrastructure gaps and debt vulnerability as essential to the implementation of the SDGs and looks forward to Liberia’s participation in the upcoming meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which will focus on Infrastructure and Debt vulnerability in  developing countries; especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The Second (2nd) Committee commenced its main session for the seventy-third (73rd) General Assembly last week, and is considering issues relating to economic growth and development such as macroeconomic policy questions; financing for development; sustainable development; human settlements; globalization and interdependence, and eradication of poverty among others.

The Committee is also considering issues relating to groups of countries in special situations such as the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.

Pres. Weah Peddles Pro-Poor Agenda At Maiden UNGA Appearance

Monrovia, Liberia: President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has just eloquently peddled Liberia’s flagship development framework, “the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity” with hundreds of world leaders and representatives from nongovernmental organizations looking on.

He underscored determined efforts by his government aimed at uplifting the people of Liberia from the claws of poverty to the bright days of prosperity and happiness.
Speaking on Wednesday at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, the Liberian leader outlined government’s plans for national renaissance.

He said the wellbeing of the Liberian people, coupled with the transformation of the state, is a monumental priority for his government, as articulated in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

The President acknowledged the enormity of the mantle leadership he assumed about eight months ago, but said he was determined to deliver on the mandate given him by the Liberian people.

He declared: “The challenges of leadership are enormous, but I see opportunities to make things better and to bring permanent improvements to the lives of all Liberians, as we devise policies and programs that will have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of our citizens.”

The Liberian leader used his UNGA address to portray the positive image of Liberia and Government’s pro-poor agenda, which he noted is not only an agenda for the poor, but also for the benefit of all Liberians.

“It is a policy framework that gives priority to the alleviation of poverty, with the core objective and focus to reduce the marginalization of the most vulnerable, whilst at the same time creating a conducive atmosphere for the middle and upper income Liberians to grow and prosper,” President Weah assured his audience.

“We want to build a harmonious society, based on the goal of economic empowerment, especially for the underprivileged. Our Pro-Poor Agenda is therefore designed to give power to the people, promote economic diversification, protect sustainable peace and encourage good governance.”

Realizing this Liberia is confronted with such a huge development goal that is not achievable without outside support, the President appealed to Liberia’s friends, bilateral partners, and private investors to support this agenda.

The Liberian leader did not forget to account for the wellbeing of Liberian youth, and the dire need to have these future leaders of his country capacitated and incorporated into the national theatre of productivity by providing them education opportunities.

President Weah said his government is determined to reverse the “unfortunate situation” facing Liberian youth by making them productive citizens through the provision of adequate educational facilities at the high school and college levels.

He averred: “For those youths left behind due to the disastrous civil crisis and who have outgrown their school years, my government is investing in Technical Vocational Education and Training programs to build their entrepreneurial and marketable skill-sets.”

President Weah also presented an intertwining picture between youth empowerment and national development as it relates to the impact of infrastructure on social and economic development.

In order to achieve this goal, the President told the world body that his government had “identified investment in roads, energy and ports as our key Priority, and it is therefore soliciting funding and other technical expertise to undertake these projects in pursuit of our goal to connect our cities and towns and strengthen our economy.”

He also did not lose sight of the treacherous long road Liberia so peacefully trekked since the guns went silent in 2003, and the role of the international community has played to overcome years of division and anarchy;  a stark reminder of the need to put peace at the front-burner.

He continued: “Madam President, My country has finally turned the corner with more years of peace than preceding years of war guided by our peace agreement signed in Accra 15 years ago. We thank the members and Security County of the United Nations for the UMNIL Peace-keeping Mission which brought stability and helped us rebuild our institutions and communities. We are a peace-keeping success story and we are grateful for the support given.”

He however indicated that there was still a strong need for Liberia to remain on the path of peace in order to realize its development programs.
The president said: “But the nation which has experienced civil war must never take peace for granted and forget the long shadow years of conflict still cast over people’s lives. We must realize and appreciate that ours is still a fragile peace. Our people across the country still bear the scars of conflict, we therefore intend to initial series of national peace dialogues.”
Instead of pursuing actions that endanger the peace and security of the nation and thwart development efforts, President emphasized the importance of dialogue and national conversations.
He declared: “Throughout Liberia, we must restart those difficult conversations at the local level and include our youths so that they and we do not repeat the costly mistakes of the past. It is clear to me that these frank exchanges are an initial step in bringing lasting healing, reconciliation and unity to our people.

While Liberia is now in charge of its own security, the President thanked the United Nations for the sacrifices that you have made in securing and maintaining the peace after our prolonged civil crisis.
He made specific reference to Mr. Farif Zarif, former Deputy Representative Secretary General (DRSG) who headed the United Nations Mission in Liberia from 2015- 2018 and supervised an orderly withdrawal of troops, while simultaneously securing the peace environment for peace that allowed for the robust political campaign to take place without incidence.

He reaffirmed Liberia’s support for the work of the United Nations in striving to achieve global peace, counter terrorism, UN reform, security, good governance and advancement of the principle of universal human rights.

The President also reiterated his government commitment to the rule of law, alleviation of poverty, gender equality, elimination of gender-based violence and empowerment of women, girls and young people.

Most importantly, he reiterated assurances to end corruption in public service in line with mandate he received from the Liberian people in 2017.

President Weah Says a Stable World Calls for Peace, Reconciliation; Urges World Leaders to Honor Nelson Mandela by Promoting Peace

New York, USA – The Liberian President, Dr. George Manneh Weah has called on leaders and people of the world to honor the immaculate life and legacy of former peace icon and South African President, Nelson Mandela by promoting global peace because the world will not be stable in the absence of peace and reconciliation.

President Weah said the late President Mandela demonstrated the highest sense of selflessness, forbearance and commitment to the peace of South Africa and the world when he chose to forgive his captors and oppressors following his release from detention and subsequent election to the presidency of South Africa.

Dr. Weah’s comments were contained in a special statement he delivered on Monday, September 24, 2018 at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“It is an honor today to stand before you to pay homage to Africa’s greatest hero, Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birth,” President Weah indicated.

According to President Weah, the late South African icon fought to free his people from the shackles of apartheid; enlightened the minds of South Africans and gave them courage and hope to stand against racial discrimination.

“He was a man whose enemies kept him for decades but did not break his spirit,” President Weah reflected, adding: “When he was freed and given the mantle of authority, he united South African of all races.”

The Liberian leader also declared that the former Nobel Prize winner was a role model and hero to many and served as an inspirational reservoir of courage in the face of many diversities.

According to him, Mr. Mandela pursued the reconciliation of South Africa and South Africans because he believed a reconciled nation brings about development and prosperity for its people.

“His example was emulated by many including myself. I followed his philosophy and accepted the role as UNICEF Peace Ambassador to help humanity. This helped me to have travelled around the world in the quest for peace and true reconciliation,” President Weah noted.

Dr. Weah also recalled how the life of the late Mandela inspired him to tirelessly work toward disarming child soldiers in the Liberian civil war and bring peace to Liberia.

He then reminded world leaders of Mandela’s favorite quote: “Courageous people do not fear forgiving for the sake of peace.” He called for peace and reconciliation to flourish around the world.

On Monday, a Statute donated by South Africa unveiled at the United Nations in commemoration of 100 years since Mandela’s birth.

Speaking separately at the mind-moving occasion graced by world leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the statue will serve as a reminder of the values of Mandela.

As South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist, Mandela served as the country’s first black Head of State and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, as well as the first elected leader in a fully representative democratic election.

The late Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa and died on December 5, 2013.

President Weah Launches US$8 Million Modern Rural Housing Project

Monrovia, Liberia: President George Weah has launched an $8 million modern Rural Housing Project in Margibi County to lift rural inhabitants out of poverty and end years of outmoded domicile, not representative of 21st Century modernity.
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) is implementing the initiative named and styled “Special Presidential Pro-Poor Housing Unit Project,” targeting 568 housing units across the 15 sub-political divisions.
President Weah launched the project Wednesday, June 20, 2018, few kilometers from the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia where LACE built a prototype of the housing units.
According to him, the project is in fulfillment of promise he made to the Liberian people during the 2017 campaign period.
President Weah has expressed the hope that the rural housing project will bring joy and happiness to the vast majority of Liberians who have been dwelling in outdated huts in different parts of the country, and reemphasized his determination to bring development to the country.
“My promise to the Liberian people is to perform, to do the things they want done. I made a campaign promise that when you make me your President, I will do my best for you. Everything I am doing today is what I said I will do,” President Weah said.
Meanwhile, although the project is expected to kick-start in  President Weah’s home of Sasstown, Grand Kru County, he assured Liberians that all the 15 political sub-divisions will benefit from the project, stressing: “This is my promise to them.”
He said: “I lived in Sasstown from 1975 to 1979; I never had the opportunity to live in decent house. Today, in this 21st Century, I see that my parents, the people and my friends are still living the hut life. Now, we are in a modern era; it is time to change that.”
“This is the Pro-Poor we talk about; it is meant for everyone to be served – the rich, the poor and the middle-class. There will be affordable housing for our people, but this one is to lift our people from poverty to sustainable development,” the Liberian leader assured.
President Weah acknowledged that there would be criticisms of the project, but said he remains focused to do what he promised the Liberian people.
He stressed: “170 years, we continue to criticize and nothing changed; those who are criticizing should go ahead; no matter what you say, I will do what I am elected to do for the people of Liberia”.
He thanked the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) for constructing a Prototype of the rural housing unit, and for embracing the project in the interest of the people in remote villages.
He also urged LACE to speed-up with the Project and to ensure that it is durable.
The rural housing project coincides with an ambitious nation-wide roads construction and pavement projects the President Weah-led government has embarked upon to ease traveling impediments and enhance trade and economic activities.