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President Weah Urges Dialogue to Resolve ECOWAS Single Currency Deadlock

(Monrovia, Liberia) - The President of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Maneh Weah has called on West African leaders to continue to work in the spirit of African solidarity and unity in order to resolve differences over a new single currency program amongst member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).


He said the only way out of the current deadlock is through "informed and cordial dialogue" between the francophone and anglophone blocs.


The Liberian Leader was speaking on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, during a virtual conference of heads of state of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The meeting was convened by WAMZ Sierra Leonean President, Julius Madaa Bio to discuss differences that have emerged following a decision by countries that make up Francophone West Africa to go ahead with adopting a version of the ECO as their official currency ahead of a planned date agreed upon by regional member states.


President Weah believes negotiations and diplomacy can resolve the apparent misunderstanding. "We must open those channels now to de-escalate tension", he said.


President Weah recounted Liberia's recent history when the country benefitted from the unity of ECOWAS at the height of the country's civil war: "It was this solidarity that brought both English-speaking and French-speaking countries under the single banner of ECOWAS to Liberia to save lives".   


The President told his colleagues that the story reflected the solidarity that the founders of ECOWAS left with succeeding generations to cherish and protect.  "As we meet at this highest level", he said, "we must use this legacy wisely to preserve and protect the unity of our sub-regional organization"'.


He suggested that a special committee be set up to discuss with President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, who made the adoption pronouncement on behalf of the Francophone bloc. 


President Weah said the goal of this committee would be to prevent the francophone West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) from implementing its version of the ECO in order to win the organization some time to continue to resolve this matter and "get the ECO back on course". He said the special committee should also seek an audience with French President Emmanuel Macron. 


The Liberian Leader's suggestion for a special committee was in sync with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who stressed the importance of regional integration. President Akufo-Addo said it was critical to the Peoples of West Africa that the differences were settled as quickly as possible and the ECO made operational. He said the decision making of Francophone nations should have been more inclusive.


Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari urged the need for regional countries to "come together on this issue". He highlighted the importance of the ECO and the progress that has been made - including the adoption of an exchange rate regime. He said it was a "matter of concern" that Francophone countries will go ahead with the adoption without consulting the rest of the union, but called for more engagement.


Tuesday's summit was attended by Anglophone West African countries, Liberia, Nigeria,  Ghana, Gambia, and Sierra Leone  joined by francophone Guinea.

President Weah Wants Investors Take Advantage of Liberia’s Rich Natural Resources

President Weah Wants Investors Take Advantage of Liberia’s Rich Natural Resources Monrovia, Liberia:His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah who on Thursday, November 28, 2019 gave the keynote address at the opening of the Liberian International Mining, Energy and Petroleum Conference & Exhibition, dubbed SEMICA LIBERIA 2019, called on investors to explore and take advantage of Liberia’s vast natural resources. The President said though Liberia is the oldest African Republic, much of the country’s natural resources remain virgin, untapped and it would be mutually beneficial for national and international investors to partner with Government to make prudent use of the countries’ rich resources. “I am delighted to be here this morning to welcome all of you to this historical international event – SEMICA LIBERIA 2019 – an international convention and exhibition intended to showcase Liberia’s potentials in the field of mining, energy and petroleum,” the Liberian President asserted. He named some of Liberia’s resources as gold, diamond, bauxite, uranium and prospective oil & gas, and told the gathering of experts that these endowments can only transform the economy and bring prosperity to the country and people when used appropriately by “trustworthy international investors.” In order to tap these natural resources to transform Liberia’s economy and bring prosperity to the Liberian people, the President said, “I will need international and trustworthy investors to come forward to make meaningful investment.” He reiterated his usual declaration since taking over state power that Liberia is open for business “to all of those who are willing to participate on fair, honest and equitable business in the development of our resources.” President Weah emphasized that such business coordination and partnership must be on a win-win basis, where the parties involved are respectful of the mutual interests of all. The Liberian Chief Executive said he was hopeful and confident that the conferees would have a better appreciation of Liberia’s available natural resources, particularly the full potentials of the mining, energy and carbon sector. President Weah noted: “I am hopeful that the interactions among you here at this forum between potential investors and relevant officials of our government will be fruitful and productive to our mutual benefit.” The two-day event, which draws experts from Liberia and Burkina Faso, will be characterized by panel discussions on several thematic areas such as, Investing in Liberia’s Mineral Energy & Petroleum Resources to Stimulate National Economic Growth; How to Finance African Energy Sector; How to invest in Liberia, Investment opportunities in Liberia’s Mining and Energy Sectors; among many others. SEMICA is an annual international platform used by experts to brainstorm on the possibilities and challenges of unlocking Africa’s bustling mining, energy and gas and oil sectors

Liberia Elected Vice-Chair at the UNESCO Education Commission

(UNESCO -Paris, France-November 25, 2019-) Liberia has been elected as Vice Chair of the Bureau of Education Commission at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) for the next two years. Liberia's Gbovadeh Gbilia was elected overwhelmingly along with representatives from Pakistan, Qatar and Jamaica as Chairman, Vice Chair and Rapporteur respectively. Mr. Gbilia serves currently as Head of the Education Delivery Unit at the Ministry of Education of Liberia. In his new role, as Vice Chair of the UNESCO Education Commission, Mr. Gbilia will work in tandem with the Chairman from Pakistan to lead the Education Commission on education related issues such as; preparation of a medium-term strategy accompanied by programs and a budget financed adult literacy program. Mr Gbilia will also deal with matters related to TVET Education, Higher Education, Framework design for the Implementation of Education Sustainable Development (ESD), developing international standards for Teacher Training Programs, establishment of a future International Bureau of Education, and coordination of and support for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030. Gbilia earned his MBA in International Business from the Howard University School of Business in 2011. He was awarded one of the highly coveted Trustee Scholarship in 2010, working as a graduate assistant in the Office of the Dean of the School of Business. He later went on to obtain a post-graduate diploma in Project Management from Galilee International Management Institute in Israel. He served as Deputy Education Minister for Administration in the past government, where he also served as chair of the Education Sector Development Committee being responsible for coordinating all donor-funded projects. Mr. Gbilia expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Liberian Government for his nomination, their support and promised to work in elevating global education standards and well as his home country Liberia.