West Africa: President Weah Departs for Dakar, Senegal

The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, leaves the country today for Dakar, Senegal, as a guest of both his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The Liberian Leader will join his colleagues, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Adama of the Gambia and host president Macky Sall for this year's CAF awards ceremony in Dakar.

As a guest of the Government of Senegal, President Weah will on Monday tour the historic Goree Island and will also address the famous Mariama Ba School popularly known as Lycee d'Excellence Mariama Ba.

The Lycee d'Excellence Mariama Ba, named after Mariam Ba, a prolific writer, feminist and social advocate, is an all-girls school which draws from outstanding students with an 'A' average across Senegal. The Goree' Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a major hub of the horrible Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Liberian Leader is also expected to hold a closed-door meeting with his Gambian and Rwandese counterparts along with host Macky Sall on Tuesday. The meeting will focus on improving ties among the four countries.

The 27th edition of the CAF awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at the Centre international de conférences Abdou Diouf (CICAD), a newly built state of the arts conference center in Dakar.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon (Arsenals), Sane Mane of Senegal (Liverpool) and Mohamed Salah of Egypt (Liverpool) are the three finalists for the CAF 2018 Player of the year. Mohamed Salah is the current holder of the title.

The award ceremonies will be preceded on Monday with a CAF-organized match dubbed Senegal Legends (famous 2002 world cup squad) which will feature a horde of Africa's soccer legends at the Leopold Senghor Stadium.

The match, which will be witnessed by dignitaries including President Weah, is aimed at paying homage to Senegal's fallen soccer star, Jules François Bocandé, regarded as one of West Africa's best footballers of all time and was named an African Football Legend by CAF in 2009.

Africa's legends will also parade with former stars like Roger Milla and Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Kwame Ayew (Ghana), Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire), Nwankwo Kanu and Jayjay Okocha (Nigeria), Hossam Hassan Hussein and Mohammed Aboutrika (Egypt).

President Weah, the only African Ballon d'Or awardee, will be gracing the ceremonies. He won World's Best, European and Africa's Best Player of the Year in 1995. He also won the African Player of the Year thrice and runners up twice.

The President will climax his visit on Wednesday with a one-on-one meeting with his Senegalese counterpart, President Sall.

While President Weah is away, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Nathaniel Farlo McGill will chair and coordinate the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President and in telephone consultation with the

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