The city of Buchanan and the Grand Bassa Community College are expected to benefit, in the short term, from a sister relationship with some cities and colleges in the United States of America.
The disclosure was made by Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay recently in a press conference in Buchanan. Kaipay said his recent visit to the U.S. had afforded him the opportunity to hold series of meetings with some city officials and administrators at universities in the US with the aim of establishing a sisterly relationship and to also rally support for his recently proposed Bill which seeks to form special economic zones in Liberia.
Among those he met were an investment broker and one-time special advisor to United States Secretary of Education, Lavaille Lavette, a highly experienced technology consultant, Tim Green; and a lobbyist, Oliver Meissner.
He said they met to discuss the need to rebrand Grand Bassa while creating avenues to market the county as a tourism destination in Liberia.
They also discussed introducing technology in major public facilities, local government departments, as well as within the private sector, and to establish Grand Bassa as a model county for sustainable growth and development.
"Fellow citizens of Grand Bassa County, I am pleased to inform you that Mrs. Lavette has agreed to pay an assessment visit to Liberia, specifically to Grand Bassa, for the first time. The visit is intended for the county to begin work on the formulation of a sister city relationship and a re-branding campaign," the senator noted.
Kaipay said he also visited the University of California in Davis and Cosumnes River College to develop a partnership between Grand Bassa Community College and those colleges and Universities in the United States. He added that the partnership would seek to develop the agriculture college at GBCC in addition to initiating academic exchange programs.
The Grand Bassa senator mentioned that the relationship would also see the utilization of the German Camp facilities in Grand Bassa as an extension of the GBCC Agriculture College.
The German Camp was used by the German government through the Ministry of Public Works before the civil war as a Road and Maintenance Training Center to train people in technical and vocational skills such as plumbing, auto mechanics, and driving.
He also held discussions with the California Black Chamber of Commerce and the Black American Political Association of California, Sacramento Chapter. Those meetings, Kaipay noted, were intended to establish a relationship with the Liberia Chamber of Commerce.
"We have agreed through our Embassy in Washington, DC, to arrange a trade mission conference to be held in Liberia soon," Senator Kaipay told journalists. A 15-man delegation is also expected in Liberia based on the request to do an investment tour.
"We want to explore the possibility of constructing a new seaport in Grand Bassa or expanding the Buchanan Seaport in support of our proposed Special Economic Zone Bill which is before the Senate for passage," the Grand Bassa senator disclosed.
His visit to California was concluded at Sacramento's city hall, where he met officials to arrange and finalize plans to get a proposed sister city relationship started.
"As we speak, the necessary documents leading to the initial process are being finalized," he said. "The registration process was concluded before we departed from the U.S. and follow-ups are currently ongoing. In the end, we will sign an MOU to complete that process."
Kaipay was elected during the special senatorial elections in December 2014 on the Liberty Party ticket, defeating the then-Senate pro tempore of the Liberian Senate, Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, by 16,000 to 10,000 votes. This feat earned him the title the "giant killer" in the Liberian Senate.