Liberia: Ellen's U.S. Trip Benefits Outlined

19 September 2006

The Executive Mansion has outlined several benefits that are expected to be accrued by the Liberian people as the result of President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf 's current visit to the United States.

According to Deputy Press Secretary to the President, Charles Nelson, Liberian students and teachers will soon benefit from scholarships, professor exchange programs, etc. at the Clark Atlanta University, (CAU).

A memorandum of understanding is to be concluded between the Liberian government through its embassy in Washington D.C and the Clark University based in Atlanta, Georgia. Liberia's Ambassador to the United States of America is responsible to ensure that this arrangement materializes.

The scholarship scheme and professor exchange program with the Clark University is the result of a visit paid to that institution by President Sirleaf where she had the opportunity to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law from that institution and later where she also delivered the keynote address at Clark's commencement convocation.

Giving an up-date on President Sirleaf 's current visit to the US, Mr. Nelson said from the Emory University based in Georgia, retired professors are to consider a short-term assignment with Liberian universities. He said that the Carter Center is also to be reopened in Liberia to support programs aimed at strengthening the justice system in the country and its rule of law. The Carter Center is affiliated with the Emory University.

During President Sirleaf's visit to that high institution of learning, she had the privilege to also deliver a keynote speech to Emory's faculty, students and visiting opinion leaders in Atlanta.

At the Georgia Tech University where President Sirleaf again delivered another keynote statement and where she held talks with the university's president and key leaders of universities in America, Mr. Nelson said a commitment was made by Microsoft to establish ten communication centers in the country that would train trainers in information technology. Mr. Nelson said the Liberian chief executive and the American educators discussed issues regarding information technology, policy and strategy.

Mr. Nelson said the Liberian chief executive has been holding discussions with some prominent Liberian lawyers including Cllr. Philip Z.B. Banks, Evert Chesson Wureh, among others on matters important to the Liberian judiciary. She also had the opportunity to meet some Liberians residing in the US; including Ambassador Charles Minor, former US senators, the former ambassador of the US to Liberia, Mr. Edward Perkins, among others.

Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is expected to fly to New York this week to address the United Nations General Assembly. At that gathering, according to the deputy press secretary, President Sirleaf will put forward Liberia's agenda for reconstruction and development. While en-route to Liberia she will make a stop-over to France to hold talks with officials of that country's government.

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