More than four months after her last nationwide address, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that she will give a major address to the nation this week. The announcement comes right after her return from official state visits to India and China.
The President could not speak to the Executive Mansion Press upon her arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), “because what she has to say would be included in the nationwide address,” sources at the Executive Mansion said.
Earlier during a Thanksgiving service for her 77th birth anniversary and her safe arrival back to the country, President Sirleaf said the nationwide address is intended to effectively communicate and outline what she has achieved or learnt during her official and state visits to India and China.
She will also elaborate on what the country stands to gain from the visits and what is required of Liberians to benefit from the two Asian powers.
President Sirleaf visited India, where she was among 54 African Heads of States that attended the India-Africa Summit. Thereafter, she paid a lengthy state visit to China where she met with that country’s leaders and business communities wanting to invest in Liberia.
She said that the two countries “are long standing friends of ours” and that she had gone there “to reinvigorate and reawaken that spirit of friendship.”
President Sirleaf noted that she used the occasion to learn from China and India how they have gone through the process that we are now in – the process of tackling poverty, the process of setting the desired level of education, and how they have moved from where they were two decades ago to where they are today vying for superpower status.
She observed that even though there is still poverty in those countries, they have the capacities and means to address the situation.
“If I was left with anything from those visits it was, ‘yes we are going to support you; yes Liberia will remain one of the countries that we will remain committed to, but without those who help themselves,” she said.
“And so if that support is going to come,” said the President, “it is not going to come until we seize it, and (show) that we deserve it and can make it work.”
“That is the message I brought back. I will be speaking to the nation sometime this week with much more details on the visits and the agreed commitments. It is the responsibility of every citizen to do his or her part in the forward march of the country.”
She thanked all those who turned out to wish her happy birthday and for finding time to identify with her.
“I want to thank all of you who have turned out on this Friday afternoon, leaving your busy schedules to wish me happy birthday.
“With all of the sacrifices you have made here, especially our pastors who were supposed to be getting prepared for their tasks on Sunday, I want to let you know I highly appreciate you all on this day,” said the President.