President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Tuesday, August 23, received an eleven member delegation from the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, headed by Momodu Kemokai.
The delegation, according to an Executive Mansion release, commended President Sirleaf for her leadership which has kept the country safe for over 13 years, and for the efforts to tackle the country’s development challenges.
They thanked Madam Sirleaf for steps taken to establish a Consulate in Minnesota and encouraged the government to take further actions to open the Consulate, saying it will serve as a relief for the over 35,000 Liberians residing in that part of the United States.
The OLM delegation also called for a special office on Diaspora matters to cater to Liberians abroad by providing them much needed services and assistance.
The OLM delegation further called for measures to be taken for the promotion and advancement of small businesses. “Actions must be taken to eliminate or minimize hurdles that prevent small businesses form progressing. Foreigners are completely in charge of the real estate business and something should be done to change the trend,” the delegation said.
They reechoed calls earlier made by many Diaspora groups for Liberia to accept dual citizenship, because they believe it will help develop the country.
In her remarks, President Sirleaf thanked the delegation for their visit and urged Liberians living abroad to be patriotic and nationalistic about issues that concern Liberia as well as commit themselves to serving the nation. She thanked them for the high level of contributions particularly through remittances and other forms of assistance to families, friends and others at home.
President Sirleaf renewed her support for dual citizenship and informed the delegation that the issue is currently before the National Legislature as part of the constitutional reform process initiated by her government.
On the issue of real estate development, President Sirleaf informed the delegation that several reform measures, including the establishment of the Land Authority and other related policies, will address the disadvantages that prevent Liberians from having access to land and other incentives in the sector.
She concluded by challenging Diaspora business people to get involved with the umbrella organization for Liberian businesses and be more concerned with doing business than politicking.
Other members of the delegation were Sizi Goyah, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors; Henry Kesselly; Stanton Peabody; Alonso Ngumbu; Alfred K. Dele; Jallah Kesselly; Zeor Yaskey; Charles Quitee; and Teresa Goyah.