Diaspora Liberians Head to Washington DC for Historic Confab

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Amb. Stephen Rapp, Cllr. Seward Cooper and Dr. Anthony Chan

Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large leads powerful list of speakers 

The leadership of the “All Liberian Diaspora Conference” has announced the list of major speakers, who will address key issues ranging from economic development to Dual citizenship, immigration protection for Liberians abroad, war crimes, and Women Empowerment.

According a dispatch from the office of the Chairman for the All Liberian Diaspora Conference, Emmanuel S. Wettee, leading the list of speakers is former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large, Stephen Rapp, who will serve as the Conference keynote speaker. Amb. Rapp is renowned for his role in the past decade as the U.S. Special Envoy on War Crimes.

Major guest speakers at the event include former USAID Mission Director to Liberia, Dr. Anthony Chan; Former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Advisor, Cllr. Seward M. Cooper Sr.

Other speakers include former Swiss Banker and Liberian Diaspora leader, Michael G. Mueller; Brooklyn Park MN. Councilman Wynfred Russell; Liberian Educator, Dr. Emily Erskine; and former ULAA President Wilmot Kunney, along with the Washington DC-based Liberian Community President, and Chair of the Liberian Women’s Initiative, Madam Lucy Wilson Kear, and the Reverend Canon John T.W. Harmon, who will open the occasion.

The Conference, slated for December 6- 7, 2019, 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 join officials of U.S. government, and international agencies in a bid to unite the Liberian Diaspora on major issues affecting Liberia.

According to the dispatch, 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 organization are united under the aegis of the All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), representing over 500,000 Liberians in the Diaspora.

Discussions will also be geared towards fostering collaboration amongst the various Liberian Diaspora organizations, relief groups, and related non-governmental organizations to forge a united approach in the effort to help rebuild Liberia.

The two-day Conference which begins with a major immigration conference at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6, will be held at the St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Center located at 15100 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, Maryland.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Liberian Diaspora,

    Thank you very much for this brilliant initiative. Please hold professional and cold-headed discussions on every topic to be treated.
    However, I would admonish you to treat the question of war crimes with delicacy. Let’s all join hands to strategize and vote out culprits from elected positions before dwelling on this subject profoundly and without passion.

  2. Coming together in order to build bridges and not burn them is noble. Liberia has had a development illness for a very long time. It’s about time that something had been planned in order to deal with some of the developmental illnesses that seem incurable in our country. Thank God for the astute people amongst us who came up with an idea like this. Despite the tremendous odds that are stacked up against us, we Liberians will prevail under God’s command.

  3. Correction;
    Liberia has a lack of developmental illness. What I mean is that not enough progress is being made. If any progress is being made, it is elusive. It seems as if we’re stuck. Our inability to make a visible progress is seen as an illness in my view.

    Education:
    Students do not have enough textbooks.
    Students do not have enough desks or chairs at most public schools in the country.
    Some public schools in the city of Monrovia and it’s greater areas are overcrowded. Very shameful for me to say this, but the truth must be told…. some public school teachers are not not qualified. But yet, it seems as if the “big people” think it is okay to go on like that. The big people are silent. Their silence can be interpreted as “it’s okay to do business as usual”.

    Roads:
    During the rainy season, most roads cannot handle cars because of potholes and mud. When asphalt has been used on the roads, two years later, the asphalt begins to wear off.

    Agriculture:
    The soil of Liberia is good. But, because there aren’t good roads, bigger farms cannot be made. The sad news is if a farmer makes a huge pepper farm in Loffa county, he or she will be unable to transport her pepper to Monrovia. Why? No good roads.

    Politics:
    Legislators continue to rake in megabucks. Representatives rake in $15,000 per month.
    Senators rake in $16,000 per month. Add in the perks which they receive, you have a caseload of problems.

    Electricity:
    It’s a daily occurrence. Every day, electricity comes and goes, thereby playing the cat and mouse game. Don’t forget, Liberia declared independence in 1847. Not making progress is a typical example of”business as usual”. But we want”business as of now”.

    Water and sewer:
    Warning…..
    If you do not have a well close by in your neighborhood, you will suffer.

    Judiciary:
    Be sure to bribe. You will be able to breathe a sigh of relief if you learn how to deliver an envelope that has money in it.

    This is an ongoing thing. It didn’t start with Weah. Are people blinded by greed in Liberia? Will this century go by once again without making a visible progress in Liberia? Are we cursed? Have we drifted far off from the US, our traditional friends? Have we lost our moral compass? Or have we had any moral compass?

  4. Liberia is NOT set up.
    Only the best of our educated with the needed Know-Hows can set up Liberia for the 21-Century.
    God bless the nation.

  5. What we need in Liberia is Liberians with cool heads, common sense, and with patriotic hearts. What is also needed is a government where Liberians go to serve and put into practice the best of their talents and expertise for the common good.

    Common sense, over the years, has also taught us that it takes people in good faith to come together and exchange ideas in order to solve common problems and positively deal with common challenges. For the love of country and fellow compatriots, every Liberian is challenged to put on the cap of contributing to country and not expecting personal benefits or gains in return – greed for positions, material wealth, or power and influence in society – as is so pervasive in the characters and DNA of most of our compatriots who have occupied the upper echelons of national government.

    Nation building takes all of these mundane acts carried out by good old ordinary folks, in good faith. For success to materialize in such undertakings, an atmosphere of transparency and altruism is required. All of this should be crowned with a never-giving-up attitude by Liberians for the good of Liberia.

    We do not need another round of “experts” and “intellectuals” gathering in Washington, D. C., USA, in order to identify and find solutions to an age old problem in the governance of the oldest independent Republic on the continent of Africa. We have already had the Ellen Johnson-Sirleafs, Amos Sawyers, and many other eloquent speakers, lecturing to Diaspora Liberians at similar settings and venues in the 1980s and 1990s! In this very circumstance, history is our best judge.

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