-Says Amb. Cooper-Zubida; highlights achievements
Mrs. Shani Cooper-Zubida, Israel Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra-Leone, says her country remains a sustainable development partner to Liberia, while promising that Israel will continue to stand with Liberia in supporting the health and agriculture sectors, as well as counter-terrorism.
Amb. Cooper-Zubida, who is also a journalist, made the statement on Wednesday, June 27, 2019, during a media engagement held at a resort in Monrovia. She expressed her country’s hopes to see Liberia strong, prepared and ready.
Amb. Cooper-Zubida said since President George Weah last visited Israel in March this year, they have managed to accomplish at least three important activities that were agreed between the two countries.
She said some of the Israeli companies is currently on track of coming to Liberia, as discussed during President Weah’s visit.
During her visit, Amb. Cooper-Zubida said the Government of Israel agrees to continue to invest in agriculture, health and counter terrorism, as well as do business in the country.
“Today, I gave 40 certificates to Liberians who participated in trauma and emergency preparedness training that was done by an expert of MASHAV, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH). We trained firefighters, ambulance drivers, police and immigration officers, as well as health workers. We had four doctors from Israel, which indicated strong cooperation during the training,” the female diplomat said.
Amb. Cooper-Zubida comes with 12 years of diplomatic experience having previously served in Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is also the only woman among the ambassadors representing Israel in Africa.
She said Israel, through the MoH, has provided neonatal training for some hospitals out of Monrovia, because Israel recognized that Monrovia is not Liberia, and believes that those in the rural areas need health support.
“People living outside Monrovia deserve quality healthcare support. We had a doctor from of the best hospital in Israel, who taught them how to take care of emergency, specifically babies during labor,” Amb. Cooper-Zubida said.
According to her, Israel has disclosed that Liberia has entered the agro studies program, which is a program implemented around the world, particularly in Africa. “We are taking students from the field of agriculture in Liberia to undergo training in Israel for eleven months on-the-job training.”
She said the studies will take place in academic centers, while working with Israeli farmers, which will enable them to see some of the fruits, including tomatoes and oranges, as well as aquaculture and other fisheries that will impact Liberia. She said the students selected will also be paid while undergoing the training.
According to her, Liberia will send 20 students to Israel to begin that program, particularly in September. She met with the students on Thursday, June 27, to express how lucky they are and informed them on the responsibilities that come with program, as they will be representing Liberia there for the first time.
On counter terrorism, Amb. Cooper-Zubida said her government will work with the Liberia Immigration Service (MIS) to identify solutions, including saber solutions or technologies that will help Liberia defend itself against evil forces. She indicated that the Government of Israel will not participate in any local politics, but professional work that will move Liberia to another level.
“We talked about development through Israel Development and Cooperation Agency (MASHAV), which came to light through Liberia in 1958, during a visit of former Israel Foreign Minister Gouldom Myers. She also received a title as a queen mother and announced to Israelis that her country will change her policy towards Africa,” Amb. Cooper-Zubida said.
According to the ambassador, since 1958, Liberia and Israel have continued to have a good relationship with both countries exchanging programs, including training people in health and agriculture.
“We began developing energy and innovation that are now leading the world of agriculture. Also counter terrorism, dealing with terror, unfortunately, Israel has a very sad experience. From these experiences, we managed to particularly use homeland security methods and technology in order to not hurt human rights, but to also understand and defend ourselves,” she said.
Due to the unfolding situation, the people of Israel believe that they have to grow everything for themselves and count on themselves for their needs, and have reached to where it’s today.
“In Israel, we are very proud of our capabilities in these sectors. Our capabilities and expertise in these sectors did not come from thin air, but came from scarcity and experience. Unfortunately, Israel had to deal with a lot of energy situation and gradually led to the country becoming expert. The Jewish State was founded 100 years after Liberia was founded.
Meanwhile, Amb. Cooper-Zubida, said journalism is the source of the country and reflects the truth lives of the people, indicating that “you can feel the people talking through the press and you get the agenda of the government.”