Fabrar Liberia CEO Appointed New Agriculture Minister

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Agriculture Minister-designate, Jeanine M. Cooper

On Thursday, January 16, 2020, President George M. Weah named Ms. Jeanine Milly Cooper, chief executive officer (CEO) of Fabrar Liberia Incorporated, a local rice processing company, as Liberia’s new Minister of Agriculture. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Liberian Senate.

President Weah made the nomination Thursday, 16 January 2020, following months of a rigorous vetting process. Ms. Cooper replaces Dr. Mogana Flomo who was relieved of his duties on June 29, 2019.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Cooper served as Managing Director of FABRAR-Liberia Enterprise Limited. FABRAR, Liberia’s biggest rice processing company, which she founded in 2009, specializes in processing and marketing of local rice for domestic consumption and export.

From a micro-milling operation and purchasing paddy rice from smallholder farmers, FABRAR under her watch has become Liberia’s largest rice producer, supplying food products to schools and other institutions, including supermarkets and retailers.

Ms. Cooper, a multilingual, worked for the United Nations System for 13 years—her last posting being Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa. She was also Head of the Liaison Office for the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), posting with the UN-OCHA in Kenya and for the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

Ms. Cooper’s career spanned an additional 10 years of humanitarian work with international NGOs and charitable institutions in Africa. She worked with the first team of Médecins Sans Frontières (Belgium), which worked in Liberia during the civil war in 1990–1996.

The newly nominated Minister of Agriculture founded a local NGO in Liberia, the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP), which has served youth since 1991 and is a leading partner in child development. Ms. Cooper also managed humanitarian programs in northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia with Vétérinaires Sans Frontières-Suisse from 1991-2003.

Ms. Cooper has also supported community-initiated agricultural projects and served on the board of directors of developmental bodies and educational institutions in Liberia and in Côte d’Ivoire.

She graduated from the College of West Africa and holds Master of Science degree in Managing Rural Change from Imperial College, the University of London in 2003. She earlier graduated from Michigan State University, United States of America in 1982 with Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees in Business Administration and French.

Ms. Cooper earned a distinction for her dissertation on “Capitalizing on Liberia’s Rubber Sector to Anchor Post-Conflict Reconstruction”. She completed several certificate courses in Financing for Development and Public-Private Partnerships, as well as Business and Entrepreneurship.

17 COMMENTS

  1. That is a very good appointment mr President. We know you do not know all but give those who know the opportunity to do the job and you take the praises. Kpannn

    • What do you know, about this lady? From what I have just read, I am not convinced, that she is well-suited for the post. Can you please erase my doubt? I don’t see any evidence of her qualification, nor experience, in the field of agriculture. What is your reliance. Selling rice, does not qualify you, for such an important post.

      • I am not a fan of this government but as a credential holder in agriculture, I think this lady has what it takes to serve as minister of agriculture. For example, in addition to being an entrepreneur and years of working experience with many sectors including the UN, she also has advanced degree in Managing Rural Change which is essentially rural sociology, a key pillar for agriculture development..I hope I provided you with some with some basic insights. Have a nice day, bro.. .

        • Mr. Mulbah,

          We appreciate your opinion on the credentials of Ms. Cooper and her work experience she brings to the table as Agriculture Minister Designate.

          As a credential holder in agriculture, we considered your opinion un bias and balanced for the fact that you stated “you are not a fan of this government ” which validates our appreciation as a third party opinion.

          Congratulations Ms. Cooper.

      • Paye,
        What extra qualifications you want Ms. Cooper to have before you see her fit for the job? Haven’t you seen her resume?

      • I can see your points and I do agree with you; not sure if any Agriculture Credentials are there. They should specifically point out her Agriculture experiences or something closer instead of talking about selling rice.
        Again, Agriculture is Science and Engineering. You all will fail like Suacoco because the Know-How is not there.
        Honestly I congratulate Ms Cooper. But her LU students are not getting the right Skillsets, Know-Hows to help her. The Education is NOT.in Liberia since 1980.
        Atleast Tolbert was the Champion of Agriculture and we all Know that.

        God bless Liberia.

        • Mr. Paye Bamakpa et All,
          see above post.

  2. First, Congratulations to Ms Copper.

    Liberian, listen again:
    Agriculture is an industrial food production process which is largely “Science and Engineering”.
    Agriculture is not the same as country food, rice production. We know Suacoco research as being in the Agriculture business since the 1960s?

    Who has any Engineering and Science experience in food production in Liberia. It is very difficult to find countryRice in Monrovia; almost everything is imported.

    Maybe Ms Cooper will start the Agricultural process with our native farmers who can not read and write.
    Do you know how long it takes to become a real good mechanic for agricultural equipments.
    I head that equipments were sometime ago carried to Foya Lofa County?
    Just telling Liberian to be careful about how they look at things because of our massive lack of knowledge about almost everything?

    Liberia IS NOT SET UP.

    My opinion, Agriculture will not work now because the Know-Hows, Skillsets are not in the Country, in any political party, etc.
    Proof me wrong

    God bless.

    Sr Engineer, Geophysicist: Mator, Yarkpajuwur N.
    2017 Independent Presidential Candidate
    Native RiceFarm Engineering (NOT Agriculture)
    HighEnd Computer Engineering

  3. Good for Weah. Miss Cooper’s resume is impressive. It’s my hope and prayer that Cooper will do a great job. Doing a good job is precisely what the good people of Liberia want to see. A protest is good if the demand is reasonable. However, protesting all the time will affect economic activity. On the upside, good government employees will make things work. Once progress is being made, the idea of protesting all the time will minimize. Of course, some protest planners are self-servers and downright stupid. They do not want anything but to please their egotistic pursuits for the heck of it. That’s “business as usual”.

    I am positively convinced that there are a lot of qualified Liberians all over the place. Unfortunately, some of the educated Liberians live in the Ivory Coast while some of them live elsewhere in the diaspora. My suggestion is simple: Weah needs a team of sharp-witted Liberians whose sole responsibility will be to search for the creme de la creme. Once a body of experienced Liberians are on board, Weah will get a space to breathe!

    One of the problems Weah faces is the issue of incompetency in the ranks of some of the so-called Ministers. I watched just a few of them during my visit in 2019. I do not want to go any further because of security reasons. Hopefully, Weah’s appointment of Miss Cooper will be the beginning of replacing or bringing on board a slew of experienced, educated and qualified Liberians in the government.

    We wish you well madam Cooper!

  4. my dad worked with this lady when she was the head of of the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP) located on the old road in the building of the old American cooperative School (ACS). he used to take my sister and myself at times with him when he went to work. there I got to know Madam Cooper. through her kindness my sister and I benefitted from that program. That program saw the detraumatizing of youths affected by the civil crisis and their reintegration into society.

    young as we were then, we remembered her with fondness. A sharp witted, no nonsense lady, but she also had a huge sense of humor, I remembered then.

    yes, she will make a good agriculture minister, in the opinion.

    Peace

  5. Weah should understand in his administration, political appointments are not about qualification. They are about hiring people from one’s own tribe and disregarding any thought about education and training.

    Is he having a change of heart now? If not, then I wonder what is bringing about the thought of including people of all shades of thinking and professional qualifications into the development and political mix of the Liberian society regardless of what political subdivision they hail from or their sexual orientation?

    The hiring of Ms. Jeanine Milly as a minister of agriculture has come as a surprise to me since her name does not comprise over 40 letters. I thought under this administration, an individual does not need genuine education to succeed. All he or she needs to excel, is a name that goes like this: George Oppong Manneh Gbekugbeh Jlarkon Forkay Weah and an arrogant beating of the chest, to prove that he or she is a true Liberian with an unconditional love of one’s country.

    Thank God for allowing me this time in the history of Liberia, to live to see the re-defining of the meaning of “patriotism” within the Liberian context and under Weah’s presidency.

    • Mr. Samolu,

      Brother Weah is getting to understand. Forgive him and let’s move on from here. He’s realized that without education, nothing can be done right. He’s been there for 2 years and is smelling the rat. For once, this appointment is indeed a great one. I hope she will be left alone to work. But also know she is a no-nonsense person, from reading Joe Moses, a person I have come to respect and trust.

      Peace

      • First and foremost, We want to congratulate Ms. Cooper on her preferment as Agriculture Minister Designate. We look forward to a successful senate confirmation hearing. The expectations are high, the task is huge but we encourage you to give it your all and once again make your family and friends, The President of Liberia and The people of Liberia proud.

        To this perpetual naysayer name Dolo, who is on record for saying, “No Liberian have ever or will ever match the accomplishments of Alexander Cummings” and portrays he and Cummings as the only educated persons in Liberia and they both have all the answers to Liberia’s problems ( from 1822 ). REALLY….
        I have called him out on his levels of stupidity and promised to discredit him any time I have the opportunity to.

        Knowing his condescending nature, He writes ‘interesting resume”. Ms. COPPER. ( LOL) COPPER..
        This fool Dolo had been challenged on several occasions to show his credentials and work history for months now so we can have an idea who he really is because he and the coca cola boy Cummings have all the answers to everything that concerns Liberia. what a Joker. He’s such a Coward who will not show any interest in serving the people of Liberia NOW to bring about the change he preaches but will criticize EVERYONE that step up to the plate to be considered and brand EVERYONE who is serving as incompetent.

        Condescending and one of the only two highly educated Liberian Dolo, we will hold you to that esteem by correcting your lil mistakes here and there to show some of your limitations because we expect PERFECTION from you and the coca cola boy Cummings. The Agriculture Minister Designate Name is Ms. Cooper Not COPPER as you stated Mr. know it all.

        For your information , You are the one sitting in the ivory Coast and smelling the rat as usual because you will live there for a long time. The President of Liberia can nominate anyone at his will and pleasure.

        You are such a big inconsistent flip flopper. The same way you got some additional information about Ms. Cooper from Joe Moses that you respect is the same way you should get additional information about other individuals before you come on here to insult or assassinate their character because their relatives might just go after you, its call fair game.

  6. Uncle Aaron,

    greetings from the motherland to you and to your wonderful family trusting that 2020 is treating you thus far. My heart is glad that we all made it into the New year and I know that there is something good ahead for all of us.

    I had thought that you and Uncle Dolo promised Uncle Hney and other to refrain from calling each other’s names on this forum? Or did I read incorrectly? I could have.

    I have a project that I am working on and your input is highly sought. We – my family and I – are planning on writing a book about Uncle Hney and his lost love. So, we want critical voices, yours and uncle Dolo’s included, to critique this piece of work and share with us your thoughts.

    I look forward to seeing you sometimes this year, Sir and stay safe.

    Peace

  7. Unless we put tribalism aside, and look at Liberians as LiberiaMs, and bring the best and brightest to fix our country’s problem, we will not move forward as a people a country. I was actually expecting a Kru, Khran or someone from Gilbrata in that role regardless of education and experience. I didn’t expect a Cooper after the Central Bank Govenor went on a racial tirade.

    I hope I’m the next few years we look at experience, education, and results in fixing our nation’s problem instead of racism and sectionalism. If the president cannot fix it, we need to change him at the poll and elect someone who can do it, regardless whether we are from the same tribe or village. The world is leaving us behind. We have to fix this soon.

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