The Analyst (Monrovia)

7 January 2013

Liberian Diplomat Donates Books to Three Universities, Others

A Liberian diplomat and author has paid special homage to the Chief Architect of Liberian Foreign Policy, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, for confidence reposed in Liberian youth to occupy important offices of public trust in her administration. The commendation comes from the Political Counsellor at the Embassy of Liberia in France, Mr. Josephus Moses Gray, went he spoke at a major media gathering in Monrovia.

Speaking last Thursday at the Headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) on Clay Street, during the program marking the formal launched of the book title: Liberia's Emerging Democracy, the role of Liberian Women and the Media in the obtainment of peace, Mr. Gray complimented the President for her achievements and vision to empower Liberian youth to adequately prepare them stand future challenges.

During the program, Mr. Gray presented copy of the book to the Press Union of Liberia, University of Liberia Mass Communication Department through PUL, IBB Graduate School of International Relations at the University of Liberia, Cuttington University and William .S. Tubman University and the Gabriel Dennis Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also presented copy each to the Minister of foreign Affairs through his proxy, the Minister of Information, Cultural and Tourism, through his proxy, while few journalists also received copy each. He promised to donate copies to other universities in the country and all member institutions in the country very soon.

Giving a detailed synopsis of the book, Mr. Gray recounted the numerous achievements of the government since its ascendancy to power seven years ago, and disclosed that President Johnson Sirleaf's exceptional and outstanding diplomacy has helped to shift the country's foreign policy and international relations.

The Liberian diplomat said unlike the past,  Liberian passports and other travelling documents are highly respected, adding that nowadays you can present a Liberian passport at any port of entry anywhere in the world and be accorded the needed positive reception by immigration or policy officers.

He used the occasion to thanks President Johnson-Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in him to serve his country through the Foreign Service, something which he said motivated him to go undertake other self-initiatives to author his new book and pursue his doctorate studies in International relations and diplomacy in France.

Speaking further, Mr. Gray also paid tribute to Foreign Minister His Excellency Augustine K. Ngafuan for visible achievements at the Central Office and some levels of gains in the Foreign Service. He also used the occasion to applaud his colleagues in the foreign services who he described as professionals.

The colorful ceremony was well attended with several high profile individuals of the media and the government attending. Among dignitaries attended were Mr. Peter Quoquo, president of PUL; Mr. George Barpee, ex-president, PUL; Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, Managing Editor of The INQUIRER and Mr. Gregory Stamn, a renowned Liberian photographer and author.  Almost the entire media houses in Monrovia and its environs were represented at the program; something which Mr. Gray said exceeded his expectation, and expressed joy over the large turn-out.

Other dignitaries of government who attended include Dr. Augustine Konneh, Director General of the Foreign Service Institute at the Foreign Ministry; Dr. Joseph SayeGuannu, former Liberian Ambassador to the United States of America, Mr. AlphonsoSocretesNimene, Counsellor at the Embassy of Liberia in the Kingdom of Kuwait; Mr. Isaac C. Yeah, Minister Counsellor for Press and Public Affairs at the Embassy of Liberia in France; Mr. William Blamo, representative of the William V.S. Tubman University in Harper, Maryland. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Augustine KpeheNgafuan, and Minister of Information, Cultural and Tourism were represented by proxies.  A host of well-wishers, family members and employees of the Foreign Ministry of Liberia also attended.

A veteran Liberian writer and historian, Professor Guannu delivered a special statement at the occasion and welcomed the author of the book, Josephus Moses Gray into the club of Liberian writers. He lauded the author for the publication which he described as unique and exceptional.

According to Dr. Guannu, Mr. Gray's book raised two important questions focusing on how Liberians need to know their history, and the significant role played by Liberian.

According to Dr. Guannu, book's writing requires time, resources and determination, saying that people who are engaged in writing books should be respected and commended. Dr. Guannu who is also a veteran author and professor of political science and international told the gathering that for one to write a book, the person must be prepared to make lots of sacrifices.

Speaking earlier, the president of PUL, Mr. Quoquo said the Press Union was impressed to be part of another formal launched of a book authored by a former member of the Union and praised Mr. Gray for the achievement.

According to Mr. Quoquo, in recent time, there has been consistency of Liberian journalists to write books and named others Liberian journalists including Kenneth Y. best, Frank Sanwoula and Gabriel I.H. Williams who have similarly written books.

The unveiling ceremony was performed by Mr. Philip N. Wesseh who expressed his satisfaction and praised Mr. Gray for the book. Calling for the re-writing of Liberia's history, Mr. Wesseh encourages other Liberian journalists to emulate the exceptional displayed of Mr. Gray who he said was trained by The INQUIRER Newspaper where the author has worked for 14 unbroken years from 1992 to 2004 before taking up other challenges.

"I am the happiest man today", Mr. Wesseh noted, stressing that Mr. Gray is the four former employees of The INQUIRER to publish a book. He named others as Gabriel H.I. Williams, Gregory Stemn and James Fasukai.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Foreign Minister Mr.Ngafuan's proxy applauded Mr. Gray for the publication and disclosed that the Minister and the staff of the Ministry are proud of Mr. Gray's achievement.  He challenged other Liberians to match the fine visible accomplishments of the author.

Speaking further, the Minister's proxy assured Mr. Gray of the Ministry support, stressing that Mr. Gray has made the Foreign Ministry and the people of Liberia proud. The Minister's proxy who was well eloquent than congratulate Mr. Gray for the milestone. "I am happy that someone has taken up the task to document the role of Liberian women and the media in democratic dispensation, adding that the initiative is laudable and should be applauded by all Liberia.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Information, Cultural and Tourism, Mr. Lewis Brown through his proxy, Mr. Isaac C. Yeah, thanks Mr. Gray for the accomplishment and called on other Liberians to emulate the good works of the author. Both Mr. Gray and Mr. Yeah are working at the same mission in France but with different roles and duties.

In a brief remark, Mr. AlphonsoSocretesNimene, Counsellor at the Embassy of Liberia in the Kingdom of Kuwait praised Mr. Gray for what he described as an exceptional achievement. He said despite of Mr. Gray demanding and busy schedule as Counsellor for Political Affairs at the Paris Mission, he was able to author a book which recorded the substantial contributions of Liberian women and the media, and gives details on democratic dispensation in the country.

Speaking further, Mr. Nimene called for the re-written of the Liberian history, thus challenging Liberian writers to undertake what he described as a formidable task to correct the past. He said there are other great men and women of Liberia whose names are excluded in current text books which bears the pages of history. He made specified reference to JuahNimene of Sasstown and other great men and women.

Meanwhile, during the program, Mr. Gray presented copy of the book to the Press Union of Liberia, University of Liberia Mass Communication Department through PUL, IBB Graduate School of International Relations at the University of Liberia, Cuttington University and William .S. Tubman University and the Gabriel Dennis Foreign Service Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also presented copy each to the Minister of foreign Affairs through his proxy, the Minister of Information, Cultural and Tourism, through his proxy, while few journalists also received copy each. He promised to donate copies to other universities in the country and all member institutions in the country very soon.

In his reviewing of the publication, the author said book discusses how Liberian women played a crucial role ingetting warlords to the negotiating table eventually culminating to the attainment of peace and stability in the country.

In general, the book discusses the central role of Liberian women and in particular comments on the vigorous contributions of several Liberian women including our dynamic President, Mrs.  Elle Johnson-Sirleaf who is making efforts to rebuild her country ravaged by years of war and improves the livelihood the population and gives hope to the hopeless and restore the nation's image abroad.

The book, he said highlights Liberian women as actors and not merely victims of conflict and discusses the strategies the women used effectively and points to their role in building bridges across society through grassroots peace building initiatives and in bringing former warlords to the peace table.

The book shows how Liberian journalists performed a critical role in bringing mayhems and atrocities committed during the heat of the war to light but also document how the journalists paid a greater price. The publication, however, indicts some local media and journalist of biased reporting by siding with the status quo, treating some candidates who contested elections with favor and giving less coverage to others.

Mr. Gray has authors several journals on national and international contemporary issues that border on foreign policies, international affairs, political and economic situations. He has also written extensively about the Practice of Diplomacy and the Balance of Power, the Critical Role of the Liberian Media in Enhancing Democracy.

He formerly worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia as Assistant Minister for Public Affairs. He formally practiced as a professional and acclaimed journalist for 15 years before taking up governmental post five years ago to serve his country at the state level.

The Book is a real fascinating and compelling eyewitness account of the author and gives true insights of Liberia's dark days of 14-year turmoil and the amazing role of Liberian women and the local media in the obtainment of genuine peace and the restoration of law. The publication also highlights the immense contributions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the enormous sacrifices made by Nigeria and loses sustained to bring peace and stability to Liberia.

The publication covers a wild range of issues including the current status of the emerging democracy in Liberia and catalogues the key role of three of the nine ECOMOG Force Commanders, especially the three courageous Nigerian Generals including Maj-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro,Brig-Gen.AdetunjiIdowuOlurin andBrig-Gen Victor Malu. These three generals leave an irreplaceable mark in the history of Liberia.

The other women whose contributions highlighted in the book are Mary Brownell, a respectable woman and peace campaigner; Senator Ruth Sando Perry, former chair of the Six-man Council of State and Madam Roberta Leymah Gbowee, peace campaigner and a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize .

According to Mr. Gray, in his research, he has discovered how several young women resorted to fight to protect themselves from abuses such as rape, violence, murder and a harsh labor regime while other war affected women were held hostage and used as 'combat-wives' of warlords and fighters against their will. This act, according to the book, was widely practiced in areas controlled by rebel forces.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The Analyst. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.