Dr. Sawyer Envisions E. W. Blyden Chair of Public Affairs at UL

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Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Amos Sawyer, has said that over the years he has dreamed of holding the Edward Wilmot Blyden Chair of Public Affairs at the University of Liberia, but has not been able to achieve that dream.
“I will dedicate myself in part to establishing such a chair at the University so that future Liberian scholars may benefit from it,” said Dr. Sawyer and invited other Liberians to join him in establishing the chair.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in response, said she will ensure that Dr. Sawyer achieves his dream, although she did not know the legal implications or the academic requirements of establishing the chair. “Dr. Sawyer, we commit to you. You will sit in that chair,” she promised.
President Sirleaf made the remarks at an international symposium held at the Monrovia City Hall last Thursday to celebrate the 70th birth anniversary of Dr. Sawyer, who also served as Interim President of Liberia during the civil conflict.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf described Dr. Sawyer as a consistent diplomat and a patriot of good governance.
She said his consistency in Liberian politics and his willingness to serve his compatriots in any capacity should be emulated by all Liberians as the nation strives to solidify its democratic credentials.
The symposium, held under the theme: “The State of Democratic Governance and Development in West Africa and Challenges of the Future,” was organized by well-wishers of Amos Claudius Sawyer (WACS).
President Sirleaf observed that Dr. Sawyer in his political quest has not only been able to display exemplary leadership, but was also able to serve as a motivator and a leader who was able to simplify the most complex situations during his term as Interim President.
“The former interim president has over the years also been able to demonstrate a spirit of humility as well as exhibit carefulness of thought, rationality and good reasoning. He is an outstanding thinker; promoting peace, security and democracy has always been his interest,” President Sirleaf noted.
For his part, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General in West Africa, who delivered the keynote address, said Liberia lost a responsible leader when Dr. Amos C. Sawyer stepped down as Interim President and added, “No politician could provide such leadership as Dr. Sawyer did especially during those difficult days in the history of Liberia.
Dr. Chambas, who was deeply involved in resolving the Liberian civil war while serving as ECOWAS mediator, described Dr. Sawyer as a politician of ‘sound mind’, consistent [and] principled. Under his leadership as Interim President, Dr. Chambas added, Dr Amos C. Sawyer signed 13 peace agreements and kept the peace in Liberia.
Responding, Dr. Sawyer thanked President Sirleaf and all symposium participants, including his special guests, for taking time from their busy schedules to join in celebrations marking his 70th birth anniversary.
“I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and am deeply grateful of your presence.”
The event also featured presentations on Governance and Development Challenges in Africa and challenges of the Future by Professor Adele Jinadu, Professor of Political Science, University of Babcock, Nigeria; the Rule of Law and Democratic Governance in Liberia: The Role of the Judiciary by His Honor Justice Kabineh J’aneh, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Liberia; and Empowering Local Businesses as Engines of Growth and Development in West Africa by Samuel Tweah, Lead Economist, National Millennium Challenge Development Program.
The program brought together an array of individuals from government, academic institutions, civil society and the private sector. Also in attendance were opinion leaders in the public and private spheres and individuals who at various times worked with or otherwise associated with Dr. Sawyer.

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