Prez Sirleaf Seeks Advance Training for Young Liberians

President Sirleaf poses with interns following interactive discussion at Texas Instruments

 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Texas Instruments (TI), a leading global technology company, to provide young Liberians aspiring to a profession in technology the opportunity to benefit from the company’s training programs.

A dispatch from Washington says President Sirleaf made the request last week when she visited the headquarters of TI in Dallas Texas. TI was founded in 1930 as  a global Fortune 500 technology company.

During a meeting with TI Executives, President Sirleaf indicated that as the company plans to expand its presence in Africa, Liberia is an ideal place to establish an operating center. She added that Liberia is ideal because English is spoken in Liberia and many young Liberians returning home from surrounding countries speak fluent French, which is also widely spoken in the region.

President Sirleaf expressed the hope that young Liberian professionals in  technology would be afforded the opportunity to benefit from TI’s internships and other training to better prepare them to perform quality services. She also suggested that by affording Liberians training opportunities and establishing a presence in Liberia TI would create a market for it’s technology and products in the region.

The President also participated in a live interactive discussion on the TI Diversity Network (TIDN), the company’s television channel, in an auditorium crowded with employees and mostly interns. During the event hosted by the TI Women’s Initiative and the TI Diversity Network, President Sirleaf briefly recounted the story of her life and how she has managed to succeed by setting goals and working hard to accomplish them.

She urged women and young people to remain focused in the pursuit of their goals  as they strive to realize their dreams, irrespective of the challenges they may encounter.

The live interactive event, moderated by Ms. Cecelia Smith, TI Vice President for Analog, was marked by questions and comments from the audience, mostly interns, some of them from different countries. Among the interns was a young Gambian, who thanked President Sirleaf for her role in peacefully resolving the leadership crisis early this year in The Gambia.

President Sirleaf was accompanied to the TI Headquarters by Liberia Education Minister George Werner, Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Lewis Brown, and the Charge’ d’Affaires at the Liberian Embassy, Jeff G. Dowana.

In another development,  President Sirleaf and her delegation attended one of the most important sessions of the Dallas 2017 Megafest, hosted by Bishop and First Lady T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House and T.D. Jakes Ministries. Bishop Jakes was the featured speaker conducting an electrifying, spirit-filled worship service attended by  tens of thousands of people who crowded the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center downtown Dallas, according to the dispatch.

Taking the stage after award-winning gospel music artist TyeTribbett thrilled worshipers, Bishop Jakes delivered a soul-searching message on the theme, “A Grip on Grace.” He said anyone who cannot get a grip on what God has done for them will remain unfulfilled.  He said God has blessings in store for everyone but individuals must get a grip on what they want. “Anything you don’t get a grip on – you will lose.”

On Friday, June 30, President Sirleaf concluded her visit to Dallas with a reception hosted in her honor by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of the 30th Congressional District of Texas.

President Sirleaf thanked Congresswoman Johnson for the very warm reception and for the many years of friendship. She also reflected on the special historical relationship between Liberia and the US dating back from the founding of Liberia by African Americans.

President Sirleaf also thanked the city leaders and citizens of Dallas for the warm hospitality accorded her. She said coming back to Dallas provided her the opportunity to also say thanks for the good coordination and support that obtained between Liberia and Dallas during the Ebola epidemic when a Liberian infected with the disease came to Dallas. President Sirleaf said that she looks forward to the deepening of ties between Liberia and Dallas.

The highlight of the reception was the presentation to President Sirleaf of the Seal of Congressional Records by Congresswoman Johnson. In return, President Sirleaf  presented to Congresswoman Johnson, a large quilt hand-woven by Liberian women.

During the presentation of the quilt, Liberia’s Deputy Chief of Protocol, Mrs. Ethel Toles, gave a brief history about hand-woven quilts being reserved as presidential gifts in Liberia. According to Mrs. Toles, the practice dates back to the 1800s during the era of Liberia’s first President Joseph Jenkins Roberts, who used quilts hand-woven by a group of women as gifts to visiting dignataries.




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