The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Liberia, Ambassador Oluwatoyin Solaja, has disclosed that as Ebola is over, the African Union Liaison Office in Liberia (AULOL) is now concentrating on post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Ambassador Solaja in his African Day speech at a resort in Monrovia last Saturday indicated that AULOL has implemented several peace strengthening projects otherwise known as “Quick Impact Projects” in the country.
He named the rehabilitation and construction of primary schools, health centers and the establishment of development cooperatives in five counties.
“As I speak, one such project, a 6-classroom block, a library, a toilet facility and a hand pump is nearing completion in the Todee District of Montserrado County,” he disclosed.
He also said the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC) in Buchanan would be supported through the furnishing and equipping of its new premises.
Ambassador Solaja said, AULOL remains committed to working with the Government of Liberia and other partners to realize its national goals and targets towards the elimination of gender violence and abuse, promote gender equity, and empower women.
He recalled the AU’s role in the Ebola crisis in Liberia, noting that when people were afraid to relate to anything that bore the tag of Ebola, African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) came in with volunteer health workers, who sacrificed their comfort and safety, showed compassion, and agreed to go and combat an unseen enemy.
African Union contributed an overall total of 822 volunteer health workers to the three affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with over 300 stationed in Liberia.
The health workers on ASEOWA team came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Among the trainees were 1,245 Liberian clinicians, 115 Liberian hospital interns and 867 international staff made up of the personnel of Ebola teams and local staff from international organizations.
He expressed the hope that the ongoing constitutional reform processes as well as the need to reconcile and promote unity in Liberia would be successful.
Ambassador Solaja said the AU’s goals which began in late 1950s and early 1960s had the objectives of promoting unity and cooperation among African states, upholding self-government and respect for territorial boundaries, and striving to liberate the continent from the vestiges of colonialism and apartheid.
He indicated that this effort has made an impact on the African continent, citing as examples the promotion of unity, cooperation and integration through respective regional economic communities, reduction in coup d’états and the management and resolution of conflicts through experts.
Nevertheless, Ambassador Solaja emphasized that the AU is not unconscious of existing threats to peace and stability on the continent.
He pointed to terrorist acts in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Mali, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and in Libya as issues that concern the AU.