Liberia Ambassador to the United States, George S.W. Patten, Sr., has called on his compatriots to unite and work together for the good of the country, a dispatch from the embassy has said.
According to the dispatch, Amb. Patten spoke to members of the Liberian community at a town hall meeting on April 26, 2019 in Brooklyn City Park, Minnesota, U.S.A. He described unity of purpose as essential to ensure sustainable development and progress in Liberia.
The town hall meeting was held under the auspices of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), the umbrella Liberian community organization in the State of Minnesota.
“In order for more businesses to develop and prosper; to create more jobs and reduce poverty, it is imperative for Liberians to unite and focus on the process of nation-building,” Patten said.
According to the dispatch, Amb. Patten cautioned that despite political and other differences, Liberians must unite to sustain the peace and stability of the country.
“We must try to change our attitude and instead show love to our country,” he said, adding that division will only tear the country apart and hamper progress.
Patten spoke of the need for Liberians to work together to ensure that the country remains peaceful. During the town hall meeting, which was characterized by questions and answers, Amb. Patten also called on Liberian entrepreneurs and professionals of diverse backgrounds to invest in the country; and to be positively engaged in the country’s development.
Amb. Patten was in Minnesota on his first visit to engage with the Liberian community, as well as to further enhance the relationship between Liberia and the State of Minnesota, especially in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, transfer of knowledge and skills.
Among highlights of his three-day visit, Amb. Patten met with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz during which he lauded the State of Minnesota and Governor Walz for the strong support to the Liberian community in Minnesota, especially in the effort to find a solution to the immigration challenges faced by many Liberians on Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED).
He used the opportunity of the meeting with Governor Walz to appeal to the State of Minnesota to undertake a trade mission to Liberia with a focus on health, education, tourism, agriculture, and job creation. He also expressed the need to further strengthen and expand sister-city relationships between cities in Liberia and Minnesota.
In response, Governor Walz welcomed the proposal for a trade mission to Liberia, noting that there are many areas in which Liberia and the State of Minnesota can partner, which would be mutually beneficial to both sides.
Governor Walz described the Liberian community in Minnesota, which is estimated to be about 40,000, as a critical part of Minnesota economically and professionally, thus assuring that his administration would do all that is necessary to develop close partnership with Liberia.
Amb. Patten also had a meeting with members of the growing Liberian business community in Minnesota, during which he noted that the government of President George Weah is focused on efforts to bring about infrastructural and economic development.
Accordingly, Patten said the government is focused on road reconstruction, agricultural development, health and education to improve the conditions of the Liberian people.