In Paris, Weah Scores Opportunities for Education, Healthcare, Investment

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President Weah (center) flanked by First Lady Clar and French President Macron

Following a successful state visit to Senegal and a working visit to Morocco, President Weah arrived in Paris, France on Tuesday, Feb. 20. He was officially welcomed at the Palace de Elysée yesterday by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, where Weah presented his agenda for development and sought France’s assistance in implementing his goals.

On Wednesday, President Weah paid a courtesy visit to a network of French businesses under the banner, Movement des Enterprise de France (MEDEF), that consists of over 750,000 members and firms.

The MEDEF, which promotes entrepreneurship by defending free enterprise, also places job-creation and sustainable growth at the heart of its action, a dispatch from Paris has said.

Earlier at the meeting, according to the dispatch, the President informed the group that Liberia is open for business and therefore he is encouraging French businesses to come and invest in Liberia.

President Weah outlined the construction of roads, agriculture, healthcare, education and sports, coupled with the need for Liberia to fly its own airline under the banner of Air Liberia, as some of the immediate investment opportunities in the country.

He then invited members of the French Business Network to send a delegation to Liberia within the “shortest possible time” to assess various investment opportunities.

Upon arrival, President Weah paid a visit to Conservatoire National Arts et Métiers, a Technical University in Paris, where he addressed over 400 students and authorities of the institution.

He used the visit to inform the university authorities of challenges confronting the education sector in Liberia, including the need to assist Liberian students and the education sector in general.

Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley with authorities of the Conservatoire National Arts et Métiers at the MOU signing ceremony

President Weah’s visit to the university culminated into the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Liberian government and the university authorities, where both parties declared their common intention to cooperate in the field of vocational training and apprenticeship for the benefit of Liberian students.

Foreign Minister, Gbehzohngar Findley signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia.

A Broke Country

Meanwhile President Weah, who took over as President from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on January 22, said he inherited “a country that is very broke, depleted, and a political malfeasance,” reports AFP news agency.

The former footballer said he ordered a complete audit “to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government.”

Weah, who spoke on his first official trip abroad as President, said healthcare and education are lacking: “I believe in education. Yes, I didn’t have the opportunity in my early days, but after my carrier, I went back to school. Today, I can boast of a Masters degree.”

“[Liberia is] the oldest African country, but we don’t have an engineering school. We don’t even have a diagnosis center to tell if someone has Ebola,” the President said.

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28 COMMENTS

    • Top(The opinionated Patriot)

      Seems like most of you commentators are doing this for a living…but, if you are genuine posters, that’s even more worrisome

  1. Keep the touch of light burning Mr President, so that our partners can see it and light other places of our country that have been forgotten. Passion is the greatest strength of success in life. It drives you innerly and keeps you going crazy to get things done. You got the blessings of all Liberians and God’s wisdom and favor is with you.

  2. Well done Mr President, I am impressed with your movements, Liberians always believed in America but at the end of the day they never contributed to any development in our country, but instead, makes mockery of the Liberians, we will get there if we create love for each other and work together to rebuild our country, may the almighty provide you and your administration with the required wisdom to lead the country in the right direction.
    We are planning to come back home, nowhere is never like home.

    • I disagree with you on this point that America has not done anything for Liberia . The fact is bad governance over the years. That is corruption which is the common enemy of our country.

    • Eric; you are so wrong. No other Nation have done more for Liberia; than the United States America. It was/is up tp Liberia, to make the best of what The U. S has to offer. Liberia needs to strengthen the BONDS with the U.S.A. Be grateful to the U. S. A. Stop ” The Rhetoric”.

  3. Mr President Weah, congrat for your advocacy on behalf of our nation Liberia. May the lord give you more
    wisdom

    Thanks

    Herrick Carmo

  4. I certainly hope and pray that Weah will follow up on the things he talks about. So far, he’s talking about good things that are in Liberia’s best interest. As an example, Weah sincerely believes that schools in Liberia need to be more structured than ever before. That’s positive. Also, Weah has proposed that diagnostic center, staffed with trained Liberians, be constructed in Liberia. Again for the record, that’s phenomenal.

    Schools
    In order for schools to function well, many things are needed. Students need a full set of their textbooks, teachers need a full set of teacher edition textbooks, lesson plan books, grade books and attendance books for teachers. Now what’s about the school buildings as well as the campuses of the schools?
    Well, as it relates to the school buildings, school administrators and students need up-to-date latrines, well-painted buildings, dictionaries, encyclopedias, a computer lab and a good little library. All school campuses must be fenced in and chain-linked.

    What motivates teachers and school administrators?
    There’s something called “extended pay”, it’s an American idea that works.
    A school year consists of 9 months. But, full time teachers get paid throughout the year in the US. That’s because teachers’ incomes are stretched throughout the year.
    Let’s do the math for a Liberian High School teacher who earns $200 a month for 9 months.
    In nine months, a typical H.S. earns:
    200.00 ×9 =$1,800.00.

    In America, the $1,800.00 will be extended throughout the year according to the following way:
    1800.00 ÷ 12 = $150.00. Okay, so instead of being paid $200.00 per month for 9 months, the H.S. teacher will now earn $150.00 per month for 12 months. In this scenario, there are no deductions made. It makes no sense for a teacher to sit out for 3 months without a paycheck. This method is an incentive.
    May the best ideas prevail.

  5. I am highly delighted and overwhelmed with joy to seeing you scoring the business world seeking opportunities for investors to come to our aid….. This is one of the ways of jobs creation and overall promoting development….. Well done you will make a difference, keep it up and “don’t mind the people”

  6. Well done Mr. President, thank you very much for putting the well being of Liberia and its people first and I hope something good comes out of your visit to France.

  7. As we go around seeking for investment, let us not forget that no amount of lobbying for foreign investment will yield the desired results if we do not put our house in order.
    I humbly suggest we start by creating that enabling environment which is a recipe for the private sector to flourish. Mr. President, here are a few pointers: Minimize corruption, improve the roads, get stable electricity and water supply and some level of security and see if the investors don’t come.
    You don’t need to go overseas to market Liberia. All the investors have to do is log onto the information super highway (internet) and they will know what is going on in Liberia. Start from here and prove me wrong!!!

    • ToP(The opinionated Patriot)

      Thank you Sayzay,
      hopefully, more Liberian see thinks your way–otherwise…
      Anyway, following his inauguration speech, Pres. Weah is trying to do exactly that:
      like all his predecessors…continuing to sell out the country cheap, while at the same time he pretents to appear as a head of state with international flair, which benefits whom…?
      But here’s the reality check:
      since Tubman’s “Open Door” policies, it should have become abundantly clear to Liberians why our country went down the drain in the first place. During this crucial chapter of Liberia’s history, the one important thing that should have happened, never transpired: i.e., knowledge transfer!
      That’s were we got stuck! So…,
      present day problem #1: there’s nothing more to sell that would attract FDI, ‘cos the interesting pieces are already sold to: Firestone, ArcelorMittal, Severstal (Russian steel company) and China Union.
      problem #2: Gov. propaganda (e.g., the NOCAL scam) in order to survive politically…we all know that oil was never discovered…in other words: the Sirleaf administration came up with BIG lie only to create the illusion, that there’ll be change…’cos a new industry sector had been established.
      problem #3: believing in FDI: fact is, FDI has never ever contributed to the development of a country–for instance not in China, Russia, Vietnam or elsewhere. WHY? Because corporations won’t invest unless they only have to pay a penny in order to make a dollar. The only reason certain Arab countries were able to raise the living standards of their people, is for historic reasons–for instance, the House of Saud, Qatar, Dubai…etc. These countries had become geostrategic allies for the West not only for the oil…yet, they got still stuck in the Middle ages…’cos it was foreign engineers who build their roads and skylines with the help of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian slave laborers.
      problem #4: in the moment Liberia sort of started to recover and showed growth in GDP…it was attacked via biochemical warfare…i.e., Ebola! In other words, like during Tubman times, certain forces still don’t want the country to develope.
      problem #5: Liberians are still there own worst enemies. E.g., electing a President who’s English is so embarrassingly clumsy–what does that tell about ourselves? Isn’t English the official language of the country? Commentators don’t even realize how bad their English is, or worse, they don’t care.
      problem #5.1: the diaspora–in particular the American and British–gives a damn
      problem #5.2: education–people study law, public administration and business, when we need scientists and engineers more than everything.
      problem #6: how can a dual passport holder become a public servant or even a the President of Liberia?
      problem #6.1: how can a dual passport holder vote in a Liberian (general) election
      And please…, stop God blessing this and praying that ‘cos first of all, God was invented by the White man to imprison your minds and second (cynically speaking), God helps only those who can help themselves. So, please, if you really have a sense of responsibilty for yourselves and your country, wake up and get out of the prison of your mind.
      Apparently, I could go on and on…but I guess I leave it for now

  8. I am enthralled with this significant business visit made by Pres. George M. Weah to France. His primary priorities were emphasized on ROADS, AGRICULTURE, HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION and SPORTS AND AIRLINE TRANSPORTATION. All of these will increase employment and help improve the living conditions of our people. We cannot continuously export raw materials and do not expand Liberia’s economy. This President heading Liberia is structured and thoughtful about development. We look forward to have the Legislative and Judiciary branches readiness for development. Also, ambassadors must participate more with countries they are designated for services.
    In the USA, our past ambassadors have not engaged its people very well. Take for an example, Liberia’s Independence Day celebration. With all of these advanced high schools and universities, medical facilities and other incremental businesses, our ambassadors lack the resolution of proper planning and engagement. Our Independence Day celebration must be held at facilities that are spacious and convenient. Those simple things have never been done. Seriously, we need real discerning leadership.
    Thank you President George M. Weah and your current executive leadership for the initiative in establishing resolutions through coordination for development of Liberia and not just bountiful with unnecessary trips organized by ministers and or directors to employees or have them deskbound fantasizing to be productive, which reduce revenues and increase expenditures.

  9. i am elated by the initial promises of President Weah and the steps being formulated to achieve his promises to the Liberian people. Certainly the case made in Paris, France through the different channels are geared towards improving the lives of the Liberian people. I especially appreciate the open mindedness of our President in reaching out and making the case for Liberia. I join other Liberians to say thank you Mr. President, we are with you to the end. May the Good Lord grant you wisdom, and the passion to carry on.

  10. President Weah’s appeal for assistance is on time and in place. However, let us not forget where we are coming from. The almost two decades of civil crisis devastated our country infrastructure, economy and human resources. President Sirleaf took the country from beneath the mat. Like all leaders, she made her mistakes, but did her best. We pray that President Weah mobilizes all resources, puts Liberia first, and with God’s help, he will be successful.
    May God bless Pres. Weah and save our beloved Liberia

  11. How do we put our house in order? Number one is money! How do we start
    to look for the money. Now we know that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf depleted the
    nation revenue. But how she did it? Can list those areas where she committed
    malfeasance, deliberate neglect and caused losses of revenue? Are all the
    revenue lost or bulk of them can be traced and reclaim for the national revenue?
    If these questions can effectively be answered and efficiently pursue with the
    view and determination to reclaim them, then I can say forward Liberia, you
    are on the right and straight road to recoup the national revenue.

    I am sure with the kind of calibre of the Commissioner General of the Liberia
    Revenue Authority, Mrs. Tamba, she needs only teeth to go after those stolen
    Government’s money from Audit Findings of former Commissioner of the General
    Auditing Commission Mr. John Morlu. All Morlu’s Audit Findings are pregnant for
    recovery.

    Then too, look into the conduct as it affect the money of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    administration the economy; the NOCAL, the Liberian Maritime Authority (formerly
    Liberian Maritime Bureau) fund generation in New York, USA. Be determined to look
    at how many times Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf called the Minister of Finance to make
    available several funds to this or that accounts abroad. Additionally, President
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the first official of Government from the Executive
    Branch who initiated bribery of the Legislators, against her own Oath of Office
    she took, just remove the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives- Hon.
    Edwin Melvin Snowe. Thereafter, she made it her habit to continue to bribe the
    Legislators to pass and ratify her questionable agreements with so-called foreign
    investors that yield little over 85% unemployment and left the Liberian people
    hopeless. These are things that the Weah Government MUST LOOK INTO if we
    are begin putting our house in order so as to demonstrate to those whom we
    are asking to come to help us!

    So, if President Weah Government is serious to get money, starting to put our own
    house together, this is how it should start.

  12. I congratulate President Weah for such an appeal to the French Government and a positive response by his counterepart, President Macron of which we are thankful as Liberians.We hope these amounts given Will be used for the intended purpose ,thus having some impacts that will help to improve the prevailing condition that the country is faced with. Appealing for grants or loan is one thing and using it for the intended purpose is another thing.I kindly suggest to you Mr.President the amounts be monitored to the latter because there are still vampires around.

  13. Mr. Observer Editor, you can not have it the both way. You either give me back my
    comment since you do not want to publish it. You are not compelled to publish it
    at all. Just give me back my comment. It is my intellectual property. I went through
    research to gather those informational pieces into it.

  14. Please don’t use the money you beg for to pay high salaries. And do not depend on donors for everything. Be creative in Liberia.

    • What part of road maintenance you do not understand? Weah will make all you doubters shame. Go tell Ellen to enjoy her 5 million because we will rise without her.

  15. I believe in God, therefore I trust him to lead this president. Many of us are praying for Liberia. Because we were driven here, doesn’t mean we have to die where we are. I am depending on you to do right by your oath and for the Liberian people. There can only be one President at a given time. You are in charge now, so do the job you were put there to do. We want to come home. Read everything before you sign it. If the late President Tubman had not read requisitions placed in front of him for his signature, he would have approved the payment to purchase one Bulldozer and a Dozerbull. What is a dozerbull? This is how money within a Ministry gets gone. Please read. Also auditing your staff is a good thing. Follow your gut, and keep praying.

  16. I believe in God and also ur president George Weah. I pray that every saturation he is going through will be effective with he. Just like a story of a great nation is about people who quit one get tops.

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