17 November 2012

Liberia: President Sirleaf Meets With Canadian Baptist and Amez Church Delegations

Two religious groups, the Canadian Baptist Ministries and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church, have held separate meetings with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on what their institutions can do to contribute to government’s recovery program.

In the first meeting, the Canadian delegation expressed interest in commercial farming, in support of government’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the head of the delegation, Rev. Blair Clark, said as a demonstration of their interest in food production, they have already acquired 25 acres of farmland in Koindee, Nimba County, and have begun farming activities which have mass production potential. He said his organization is working with the National Investment Commission to transform an agreement into a pilot project for possible expansion across the country.

Responding, President Sirleaf welcomed the group’s agricultural initiative and called on the Ministry of Agriculture to work with them in their undertaking. The Liberian leader said that government is aware of the challenges they face in getting them to their area of operation, especially the bad roads, but informed the delegation of actions being taken to address the situation. The President blamed the difficulty in road rehabilitation on the heavy rains, and that the problem would be addressed during the dry season.

The meeting with the AMEZ Church delegation served as an opportunity to officially introduce the new Presiding Prelate of the West African Episcopal District, Dr. Seth Larty, to President Sirleaf. Bishop Larty is the first Liberian to occupy this position in several years. He informed President Sirleaf that the AMEZ Church will soon begin the distribution of solar panels to learning institutions that are still not connected to the electricity grid.

Sister Jacqueline Williams Larty, the Bishop’s wife, expressed pride and satisfaction at President Sirleaf’s leadership. Not only was she the leader of Liberia, Madam Larty said, but leader of women across the world who are all proud of that leadership.

Addressing the delegation, the Liberian leader recounted the numerous contributions of the AMEZ Church, especially in education, and called AMEZ University a partner in the educational and security sectors where students are schooled in criminal justice.

“All of us have a collective challenge to change the attitude of some Liberians who are bent on saying negative things against their country,” the President stated. Despite these unpatriotic thoughts, her administration has managed to keep Liberia’s international partners engaged and always ready to assist the country whenever they’re called upon.

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