President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to perform the dedicatory ceremony for Chief Suah Koko Center for Rural Women’s Empowerment on Monday, June 9, at the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security.
The ceremony is part of a number of activities commemorating the five-year anniversary of the ABIC.
The event will take place at the newly constructed edifice of the Chief Suah Koko Center situated on the campus of Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County and will be graced by senior government officials, traditional leaders, local authorities, national and international partners including the Executive Director of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), Dr. Theodosia Sowa.
The Suah Koko Center will be ‘first-a-center’ that will provide for the exclusive training, development and empowerment of rural women in Liberia. It is named in honor of Madam Suah Koko, a prominent and renowned Liberian female paramount chief in the 1800s. She is known historically as a legendary peacemaker and stateswoman, when women were rarely seen and even more rarely heard. Her diplomatic forays to get warring chiefs to join the Republic of Liberia and establish a strong nation is still unsurpassed.
The completion of the physical structure of the Chief Suah Koko Center fulfills a promise by President Sirleaf at the launch of the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security in Fendell during the International Women’s Colloquium on March 8, 2009.
During that event, President Sirleaf praised women, whose contributions to Liberia remain of great historical significance, pinpointing Madam Suah Koko, as a national hero. The President stated that whereas, Angie Brooks was Liberia’s icon, admired and respected within the international circle, Madam Suah Koko was an emblem of peace and was hailed nationally for her numerous contributions to the Republic of Liberia. The Liberian leader noted that based on these contributions, a center specifically for the empowerment and capacity building of rural women would be constructed in honor of Madam Suah Koko.
The Angie Brooks International Center then committed itself to secure funding for the construction of the Chief Suah Koko Center with the intent to create linkage between the two entities and to support the Liberian Government’s endeavor to empower women through the Ministry of Gender and Development.
The project started since 2010 with support from national and international partners including the Government of Canada and ECOBank Liberia. The government through the office of the President provided the remaining funding for the successful completion of the Center.