“All Liberian Diaspora Conference” Set for December in Washington DC

4
1439

Dual Citizenship, Economic Improvement, War Crimes High on the Agenda

Washington D.C.– Liberians from all regions of the world will be gathering near Washington, D.C., on December 6-7 for the first “All Liberian Diaspora Conference”.

The Conference is expected to bring together dozens of Diaspora organizations, international organizations, Local, and state officials, recognized Liberian experts and notable friends of Liberia. They will will join representatives of U.S. government as well as international agencies in a bid to unite the Liberian Diaspora on major issues affecting Liberia.

The summit is a joint venture sponsored by the leading umbrella Liberian Diaspora organizations representing the various regions of the world, including the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA),  The European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA),  The Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA),  Conference of Liberian Organizations in the South Western United States (COLOSUS), the United Liberian Association Ghana (ULAG), and the Coalition of Concerned Liberians (CCL). The major Liberian Diaspora organizations are united under the aegis of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), representing over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora.

Conference Chairman, John F. Lloyd, has announced that high on the agenda will be Diaspora’s involvement in the economic improvement of Liberia with focus upon dual citizenship and immigration protection for Liberians in the U.S. Also on the agenda is the issue of war crimes and women’s empowerment. He noted that the discussions will also be geared towards fostering collaboration amongst the various Liberian Diaspora organizations, relief groups, and related non-governmental organizations to improve the coordination of their many initiatives for Liberia.

The two-day Conference will be held at the St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Center located at 15100 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Okay. Everything that’s being planned sounds pretty good so far. Diaspora Liberians have a moral responsibility to unite. It is hoped that the egos of the conference planners will not get in the way. Furthermore, it is hoped that politics will stir clear of everything that’s being planned. Lastly, such meetings do not go on or conclude without money changing hands.

    It will be nice for the conference planners to let diaspora Liberians know in advance how much will be charged at the door of entrance. (You don’t want to be told to pay $100 at the door when you have only $50 in your purse or wallet. People ought to be told how much is going to be charged in advance.)

    Sadly, when diaspora Liberians return home, they’re often rejected or discriminated against in many ugly ways. Those who are rooted, meaning the very ones who run the country, do not open up! Maybe, the rooted Liberians are uncomfortable to “open up” because they are insecure. Or maybe the rooted Liberians feel inferior. In so many subtle ways, the rooted Liberians create stumbling blocks. Such a tyrannical behavior is unhelpful to the development process of our country. That must change!

    Liberians have got to change, whether they’re rooted or not or whether they are politicians or not.

    It’s an absolute must for the institutions of government to change. The Ministry of Education needs to take an activist role. Most students do not have textbooks. Most schools in the country do not have a library or even a flushable toilet. Not having the basics has nothing to do with poverty. If the administrators call for a change, a meaningful change will occur!

    The Ministry of Public Works is in disarray. Roads in the Point 4 area as well as in the Red Light area are messed up. To go from Ganta, Nimba county to Zwedru, GG, one needs a motor bike. But because bikes are the only means of transportation, prices on the bikes are hiked and uncontrolled. Every biker sets his own price. It’s a situation of take it or leave it.

    What’s about the Legislature?
    More trouble. The ladies and gentlemen of that club have decent incomes, they’re provided with automobiles, free telephone air time, 480 gallons of gas every month, but teachers, doctors and University professors are paid nickels and dimes.

    The judiciary? It’s a complete mess!
    Bottom line? Liberians have to change. If the entrenched or rooted Liberians do not want to change, maybe the diaspora Liberians will force change democratically. It’s about time we had moved our country forward!

  2. Phil,
    It’s not impossible for diaspora Liberians to force a meaningful change on the state actors of our country. I do not want to sound like Costa or any of the rabble-rousers who call for mass demonstrations just because they are fed up with our country’s leadership. Yet, I don’t blame anyone for expressing him/herself. God knows that I am not calling for ways in which our elected government can be toppled. Never!

    In order for your question to be properly answered, allow me to give an example:

    The issue of diaspora Liberians is a hot topic in Liberia today. I know this factually because I was there from July 15 to October 15 of this year. The reason the Liberian legislature as well as the president bothered to discuss the vital issue of dual citizenship for diaspora Liberians had to do with outside pressure. So, although we are not yet allowed to vote, efforts like the planned upcoming conference that’s going to be held in Silver Spring MD in a few weeks will definitely send an unmistakable message that
    we mean business. When the conference is held in Silver Spring, there will be reverberations. It will be hard to ignore back home by the top brass. A meeting such as the above is a form of pressure. The conference will be convivial, but it will bite a little bit.

    Phil, I totally understand why Liberians are frustrated. A change is needed every where in Liberia. A change is needed in the three branches of government. For instance, in the Executive branch, some appointed Ministers (no names please) don’t seem to have a clue. It seems that some appointed people like “titles”, like Honorable this or Mr. Big stuff! The Liberian legislature has a money problem. It’s incredulous to entertain the idea that a member of the legislature earns $15 – $16,000 per month when schools are not functioning properly because there’s no money. How in the world do the legislators feel about this? The judiciary is a joke. Remember the Nigerian banker who bloodied up his Liberian surbordinate?

    It’s our country. We need Liberians who will farm on a large scale. We need auto parts stores that will be Liberian-owned. We need “total involvement” as president Tolbert used to say. Every meaningful effort will be considered as a form of pressure.

Leave a Reply