The African Union (AU) Commission has contributed US$50,000 for the procurement of furniture and office equipment for the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC) near Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, the Head of Mission at the AU Liaison Office in Liberia, Prosper Addo, made the disclosure at the launch of the project at the college Paynesberry campus on the outskirts of the port city, Buchanan at the weekend.
A few days earlier, on the margins of the 28th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on behalf of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Foreign Affairs
Minister Marjon V. Kamara signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the contribution to the GBCC within the framework of the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy (PCRD) and African Solidarity Initiative (ASI).
The MoU established the terms and conditions under which the Commission and the Liberian Government will cooperate in implementing the project.
Mr. Addo, hoped that students will benefit from the gesture and prepare themselves for the future. He encouraged students to make good use of whatever skills are imparted through the contribution, especially towards the preservation and consolidation of the peace and stability of the country as well as to promote development.
“This project we are doing is part of the post-conflict reconstruction process to consolidate peace,” he emphasized, adding that if we strengthen peace in communities it would give the stability Liberia needs to develop. He noted that as partners they are working with the Liberian Government to ensure that all this happens.
Mr. Addo reflected on the special request made by former president pro-tempore of the Senate, Gbezongar Findley to his office a few years back that resulted into the AU Commission’s present contribution to the college. He commended Foreign Affairs Minister Kamara for her proactive approach to issues and the support she always gives the AU Commission.
In Liberia, he highlighted a number of peace strengthening projects supported by the AU Commission including the construction of a primary school in Todee District, Montserrado County; renovation of the maternity ward of the Soniwen Clinic; renovation of the Paynesville Community High School; as well as providing US$50,000 for development cooperatives in four counties including Grand Bassa.
The interim president of the GBCC, Ms. Augurie E. Herring termed the AU Commission’s contribution to the college as “significant and timely” considering the need for an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) lab at the school. She praised the efforts of her predecessor, Dr. Levi Zangar, who initiated the discussion that is now being realized.
The acting deputy minister for international cooperation and economic integration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Munyeneh, said the need to strengthen the country’s education sector cannot be over-emphasized.
He reminded students that the only passage to success in life is through education and hoped that the gift from the AU Commission will be used for the intended purpose. Mr. Munyeneh, promised to engage other institutions across the globe to assist the GBCC.
Grand Bassa County Superintendent, Levi Demeh noted that the primary focus of the GBCC is capacity building, but also demand driven where a student will readily be absorbed upon graduation.
Mr. Demeh, also acting chair of the GBCC Board of Trustees, stressed that at their level, they took a decision to ensure that career choices – nursing and ICT – be incorporated in the college curriculum.
On behalf of Grand Bassa County and the Board of Trustees of the college, he thanked the AU Commission. He assured that the project will be guarded and that their dream of creating a premier ITC center will be realized. He also thanked the faculty and staff for the splendid work and admonished the
students to upgrade their skills especially in the ICT for their own benefit in the future.
Items to be procured include: desktop and laptop computers, photocopiers, printers/scanners, computer desks, projectors, projector screens, uninterrupted power supply (UPS), among others.