26 June 2014

Liberia: Pres. Sirleaf Off to AU Summit

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has departed the country to attend the African Union's 23rd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Summit runs from June 26 to 27, 2014.

Hosted by the President of Equatorial Guinea, His Excellency Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the Summit is being held under the theme: "Year of Agriculture and Food Security," with emphasis on "Transforming Africa's Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development."

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, as Chairperson of the High Level Committee on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, will deliver a report during the Summit.

Also, in keeping with tradition, the newly elected Presidents of Malawi, His Excellency Peter Mutharika; His Excellency José Mário Vaz of Guinea Bissau and His Excellency Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt will be welcomed by the Assembly and will address the opening session on June 26, 2014. Special guests of the summit are United Nations Secretary General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and Spain's Prime Minister, His Excellency Mariano Rajoy Brey, along with other invited guests.

In a related development, President Sirleaf returned to the country late Monday, June 23, 2014, where she participated in this year's Kiel University's Global Economy Prize ceremony in the Federal Republic of Germany.

During the ceremony, the Liberian leader was one of three recipients awarded the 2104 Global Economy Prize in the category of Politics from the Kiel Institute for World Economy and its partner organizations at an impressive ceremony on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Other winners of the award were Indian biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in the category of Business and U.S. professor Richard Thaler in the category of Economics.

The Global Economy Prize is intended to encourage people to find creative ways and means of coping with important global economic challenges. It has been awarded annually since 2005 by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, in close cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the City of Kiel to an economist, a politician, and a business person.

The prize is meant to honor those who have made outstanding contribution to establishing a society that stimulates people to assume personal and social responsibility for their own actions. By honoring the accomplishments of the prize recipients, the Kiel Institute seeks to promote the free market and its efficiency, social responsibility, and creative voices in the debate on the future of the global economy.

The winners of the Global Economy Prize are selected every year in a three-step procedure. First, the Kiel Institute's Fellows are asked to propose a list of outstanding personalities belonging to the category of Politics, Economics and Business. Then the Prize Committee meets to produce a ranking of names on the list and finally, the candidates who have been selected by the Prize Committee to occupy the top positions in the ranking are nominated for the Global Economy Prize.

The head of Kiel Institute which is part of the University of Kiel, Dennis Snower, said the three "had helped us to understand how sustainability can evolve from globalization."

Meanwhile, while President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr., will serve as Chairman of the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President Dr. Joseph N. Boakai, Sr. The Liberian leader is expected to return on Friday, June 27, 2014.

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