After becoming the standard bearer of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings made a weeklong visit to his father’s home county, Maryland, to receive the blessing of his kinsmen.
His run for the presidency was endorsed by local chiefs, elders, women, civil society, and youth groups of the county, including those from the districts of Glofarken, Barrobo, Pleebo City, Harper, Karluway, and Rock Town.
In Rock Town, the first town to be settled in Maryland, the Paramount Chief, G. Gray Elliot, gave Cummings his blessing to run for president.
According to an ANC release, shortly thereafter, Cummings’ supporters and his team returned to the Peace Hall, where Cummings accepted the Paramount Chief’s blessing and thanked the people for their support.
The spokesman for the elders who endorsed Cummings’ candidacy, Nyema Neufville, also welcomed Mr. Cummings as a son and a brother. Following the endorsement, a traditional rite was performed in open on behalf of the entire chiefdom, which comprises five towns.
In Worteken Town, one of the six towns making up Yonmonweh Chiefdom, scores of supporters gathered to greet Mr. Cummings, and presented him the traditional kola nut. The elders also blessed him in the traditional manner.
In Harper City, Cummings hosted a public discourse through the Green Street Intellectual Forum, which was attended by Harper City community members.
During the discourse, he answered questions about his vision for the future and also explained what would be his priorities and how they will be accomplished when he becomes president.
“Our priorities are job creation, agriculture, education with focus on vocational training and adult literacy, health and infrastructure. Most of our problems as a nation begin and end with infrastructure. It is the key to providing quality healthcare, education, jobs, and food security. We will also strengthen our private sector by privatizing infrastructure development, and thus attracting investment. By developing reliable and widespread electricity, running water and roads, we will create jobs for hundreds of thousands of Liberians, and most of all provide every Liberian with a better quality of life,” he said.
Speaking on the Liberian economy, he said, “We will ensure that Liberians are at the center and benefit from all economic expansion by introducing a Liberian Economic Empowerment Program, which will benefit Liberians and Liberian businesses to be the key drivers of the country’s economic growth.
“We will prioritize empowering Liberian businesses and will ensure that our government procures from the locals.”
Cummings served most recently as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Coca-Cola’s African operations before announcing his candidacy for president of Liberia in 2015.
Born to Alexander Cummings, Sr., an educator who also studied divinity, and Ayo, a midwife and entrepreneur, Cummings spent his early years in Point Four, Monrovia, before his primary and secondary education in Montserrado district.
He was educated at Cuttington University College before furthering his studies at the Northern Illinois University, USA, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics. He earned an MBA in Finance from Clark Atlanta University. Cummings has over 40 years of experience in international business.
During his tenure at Coca – Cola he created the Coca- Cola Africa Foundation, and subsequently founded his family’s Cummings Africa Foundation, which has funded humanitarian projects in Liberia to the tune of US$1 million, according to the ANC release.