The Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Boima Kamara says the sustenance of 14 years of peace following 14 years of civil war in Liberia came as a result of roles of key players including the international community. As such, European Union Delegation Ambassador Tiina Intelmann is one of the players to remember.
Minister Kamara made the assertions on August 25, 2017 at the Monrovia City Hall where the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and its subset, the National Authorizing Office (NAO) held a farewell program for Ambassador Intelmann as she departs Liberia.
He noted that the appreciation of Ambassador Intelmann did not come as a mere gesture, but an appreciation depicting that Ambassador Intelmann worked hard during her stay in Liberia.
Minister Kamara having had about two years of interaction with the Ambassador Intelmann after taking over from former Minister Amara Konneh, testified that she could not just consider herself as a foreign diplomat to exercise authority in confine of her duty, but she fully identified herself with Liberians.
He said throughout her stay in Liberia, the outgoing EU Ambassador was very frank in discussing with him issues of national concern without fear or sugarcoated words.
“And it gets me to say to those of us of the soil, we must take our responsibilities very seriously,” he added.
Ambassador Tiina Intelmann took over from Antilio Pacifici in December 2014 during the heat of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
In reference to her takeover, Minister Kamara said “Your coming to Liberia as Ambassador of the EU came at the time others were leaving us, and this makes it more appreciative to us to even have this honoring.”
He extended gratitude on behalf of President Sirleaf to Ambassador Intelmann for EU’s role in the development of Liberia, citing road construction and maintenance, energy, education, agriculture, forestry, health and sanitation and art as key areas supported by the EU.
The honoring program organized by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in conjunction with the National Authorizing Office brought a number of stakeholders together to jointly appreciate the Ambassador for the three years of mutual relation and cooperation.
Some of Liberia’s public institutions present at the occasion were the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC) amongst others.
James Dorbor Jallah, Executive Director of the PPCC, recalled the dark days of Liberia far back in 2003 when public and private properties were looted by fighters, leaving Stella Maris Polytechnic, where he taught, grossly affected. According to Jallah, it was a grant from the European Union that helped the institution to restore the losses and to begin operation following the war.
Ambassador Tiina Intelmann was gowned with Liberian country cloth and a sash bearing the national colors (red, white and blue).
Under Liberian custom, a diplomat who has performed exceptionally well and leaving the country can be gowned and given a traditional name. Under said tradition, Ambassador Intelmann was named “Juah,” a Kru traditional name from south-eastern Liberia.
In response to the honoring, Ambassador Intelmann extended her deepest appreciation to the Liberian Government and people, and noted that money was not all to development, but social cohesion and care to bring to reality what the national plan calls for.
She said during her time in Liberia, she was always behind EU’s implementing partners to report progress on what money given them was accomplishing.
Like her Liberian counterparts, Ambassador Intelmann expressed hope that her departure does not bring to a halt the relationship that has been established, but all of them will nurture it to see one another as the same whenever they have the opportunity to meet.