A renowned Liberian Diplomat and advisor to the President on Foreign Affairs, Ambassador George W. Wallace, Jr., has hailed the deployment of 20 ECOWAS volunteers from four countries to Liberia to share knowledge and expertise with their Liberian counterparts as a show of African solidarity and fraternity, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Ministry has said.
Amb. Wallace told the gathering that Liberians will forever remain proud and grateful to the volunteers and to their various governments.
Wallace also noted that the transfer of knowledge and other policies that enhance regional integration have always been placed at the heart of Liberia’s foreign policy, which supports South–South Dialogue that is aimed at promoting social-economic development and regional cooperation.
He currently serves as the Officer-in-Charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the release, he made the remarks yesterday when delivered the keynote address at the Induction Training of ECOWAS Volunteers in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Wallace represented Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, who is currently out of the country on official matter.
He expressed extreme gratitude to welcome the newly deployed ECOWAS volunteers to the country on behalf of President George Weah; adding, “I hasten to tell you that Liberia is a place of peace, hospitality and friendship.”
Wallace further asserted that as Liberia goes through the process of post-conflict reconstruction, the ECOWAS Volunteers Program will enhance the country’s development agenda, noting that the coming of the volunteers is timely as the country strives to address its postwar challenges.
He also stated that Liberia has had a long experience with volunteers, dating back to the early 1960s when President John F. Kennedy of the United States dispatched the US Peace Corps Volunteers to teach in schools across Liberia.
The Peace Corps volunteers took assignments in various technical areas, including agriculture extension, conservation, and health. “We are pleased to welcome the second deployment of 20 ECOWAS volunteers from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Sierra Leone, who arrived in Liberia, since Saturday, February 10, to serve their brothers and sisters in promoting ECOWAS’ vision: moving ECOWAS from boundaries to ECOWAS peoples.
Wallace used the occasion to thank the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel A. de Souza, for including Liberia into the pilot project, and called on him to extend the program across the length and breadth of the sub-region so as to enable West Africans benefit from this laudable initiative.
Francis Njoaguani, Director of ECOWAS Youth and Sport Development Center, expressed delight over the occasion and on behalf of the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS, officially welcomed the new volunteers.
Njoaguani emphasized that the workshop marking the induction training of the volunteers was the second of its kind for Liberia to receive a group of young, patriotic, enthusiastic and energetic West Africans, who passionately volunteered to come and render services to their fellow West African brothers and sisters in Liberia.
The ECOWAS Youth and Sports Director then thanked the Government and People of Liberia, for availing all necessary supports and assistance for the second cycle of the ECOWAS Volunteers as they carry out their mandate.
Mr. Njoaguani reassured the volunteers of ECOWAS’ unflinching support toward their stay in Liberia.
The ceremony was attended by Ghanaian Ambassador, Representatives of AU and ECOWAS offices in Liberia as well as the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps and various line ministries and agencies.
Through the ECOWAS Volunteer Program, the organization Commission aims to facilitate the engagement and participation of its young citizens in peace and development initiatives through volunteerism.