The United Nations Development Program’s Goodwill Ambassador and Crown Prince of Norway, Haakon Magnus, has underscored the need for girl’s education and women’s safety to be prioritized if the government would achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.
Crown Prince Magnus said it was significant for women to be involved in order for the SDGs to be achieved. He told women at the Fish Market in Sinkor that he understands the tough times, and their resilience and endurance in bringing peace to the country.
“I understand there have been tough times, risks you have taken and the resilience and endurance to bring peace, something that is good,” Prince Magnus stressed. The SDGs, he told the women, have 17 goals, one of which is to have and reap peace.
Gender equality, he explained, is something good for everyone, and called on men to be ambassadors for equity. The Crown Prince earlier visited the Liberian Market Place, a hub used to showcase and promote locally produced products by Liberian entrepreneurs.
At the Liberian Market Place, Crown Prince Magnus expressed delight with the productivity of Liberian entrepreneurs. “I am very impressed with what I have seen here,” Crown Prince Magnus told local entrepreneurs. He indicated that SMEs are an important part of the SDGs for the alleviation of poverty by 2030.
SMEs, he added, must be sustained and that there should be other initiatives for improvement at all levels. Crown Prince Magnus also spoke with local entrepreneurs about the challenges and progress of their businesses.
He also inquired from entrepreneurs about the market climate and sales of their products on the local market and informed the gathering that he has been working with the UNDP for over 13 years as its Goodwill Ambassador.
Prince Magnus visited the Duport Road massacre memorial site for those killed during the country’s civil war and laid wreaths on the engraved stone at the site and met with victims and EVD survivors.
SMEs, according to Commerce Deputy Minister Andrew G. Paygar, face huge challenges, ranging from access to farms to market roads to training and development, including legal and regulatory module for local entrepreneurs.
Minister Paygar told Prince Magnus that the Liberian Market Place was established in 2014 and since that time, over 60 local entrepreneurs are currently being trained by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
For their part, the women of Liberia through Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and Yvette Chesston Wureh of the Angie Brooks Randolph International Center presented the UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador with kola-nuts, and ‘country rice’ as a tradition of receiving guests into the country.
Minister Cassell said Norway has partnered with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection in fighting sexual gender based violence (SGBV). She said Liberian women are proud to have as guest the Prince of Norway in the country.
However, the women recounting their strides in ensuring peace in the country told Crown Prince Magnus that over 10 women from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have united to call on regional leaders of ECOWAS and MRU to intervene in the crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Madam Elizabeth Mulbah of WIPNET said the women’s quest for peace led to their being part of regional mediation in Abuja, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana which were geared towards bringing peace in Liberia.
“The role of women in bringing peace was not easy, because we engaged regional leaders at mediation meetings in Abuja and Accra for peace to come to Liberia. At the time of the war, women were being raped and people were dying; so Liberian women in particular saw the need for peace to come,“ Madam Elizabeth Mulbah stated.