Liberia: In Paris, Weah Scores Opportunities for Education, Healthcare, Investment

President George Weah delivering a speech in Paris.

Following a successful state visit to Senegal and a working visit to Morocco, President Weah arrived in Paris, France on Tuesday, Feb. 20. He was officially welcomed at the Palace de Elysée yesterday by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, where Weah presented his agenda for development and sought France's assistance in implementing his goals.

On Wednesday, President Weah paid a courtesy visit to a network of French businesses under the banner, Movement des Enterprise de France (MEDEF), that consists of over 750,000 members and firms.

The MEDEF, which promotes entrepreneurship by defending free enterprise, also places job-creation and sustainable growth at the heart of its action, a dispatch from Paris has said.

Earlier at the meeting, according to the dispatch, the President informed the group that Liberia is open for business and therefore he is encouraging French businesses to come and invest in Liberia.

President Weah outlined the construction of roads, agriculture, healthcare, education and sports, coupled with the need for Liberia to fly its own airline under the banner of Air Liberia, as some of the immediate investment opportunities in the country.

He then invited members of the French Business Network to send a delegation to Liberia within the "shortest possible time" to assess various investment opportunities.

Upon arrival, President Weah paid a visit to Conservatoire National Arts et Métiers, a Technical University in Paris, where he addressed over 400 students and authorities of the institution.

He used the visit to inform the university authorities of challenges confronting the education sector in Liberia, including the need to assist Liberian students and the education sector in general.

Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley with authorities of the Conservatoire National Arts et Métiers at the MOU signing ceremony

President Weah's visit to the university culminated into the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Liberian government and the university authorities, where both parties declared their common intention to cooperate in the field of vocational training and apprenticeship for the benefit of Liberian students.

Foreign Minister, Gbehzohngar Findley signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia.

A Broke Country

Meanwhile President Weah, who took over as President from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on January 22, said he inherited "a country that is very broke, depleted, and a political malfeasance," reports AFP news agency.

The former footballer said he ordered a complete audit "to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government."

Weah, who spoke on his first official trip abroad as President, said healthcare and education are lacking: "I believe in education. Yes, I didn't have the opportunity in my early days, but after my carrier, I went back to school. Today, I can boast of a Masters degree."

"[Liberia is] the oldest African country, but we don't have an engineering school. We don't even have a diagnosis center to tell if someone has Ebola," the President said.

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