Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has presented a colorful quilt bearing the flag and cultural symbols of Liberia to British Ambassador, David Belgrove for onward presentation to Queen Elizabeth II on her 92nd birthday.
In her energetic and detailed speech delivered in Monrovia at the Mamba Point Hotel on June 14, 2018 during the observance of the Queen’s birthday, VP Taylor on behalf President George Weah and the government said Liberia was especially appreciative to the Queen and the people of the United Kingdom for the long existing ties that both countries have enjoyed.
Great Britain is one European country that recognized Liberia’s independence in 1848, following which both countries established diplomatic and bilateral ties.
Though there were some instances where Liberia suffered setbacks in the relations especially when Britain and France encroached on its territory in the east, north and west, the British Government was the first to provide an armed vessel and later some gunboats to Liberia.
In 1963, Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Liberia in consolidation of the friendship.
Vice President Taylor, recalling these events said, “It is difficult for our Government and people to find any gesture abundant enough to fully convey our nation’s appreciation of the friendship and partnership with your nation,” adding, “Yet, as a symbolic token of the mutual bond between both peoples on this auspicious occasion, it is my humbling duty to present this gift of a quilt to you for onward presentation to the world’s beloved QUEEN, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.”
She further added that government continues to acknowledge with gratitude the supportive role the British government plays in Liberia’s development through the Department for International Development (DFID).
She said DFID is proactive in fostering Liberia’s development agenda in priority sectors of health, security, good governance, reconstruction, capacity building, water and sanitation, and rule of law.
British Ambassador to Liberia, David Belgrove received the gift with delight and also extended gratitude to the Vice President and the Liberian people.
He also extended appreciation to Liberia for what he calls, “Supporting a rules based international system, along with ourselves and other like-minded countries in
Outlining some activities Britain is doing in Liberia, Ambassador Belgrove said since 2015 the embassy here has sent 12 students on fully funded Master’s degree programs with 50% of the beneficiaries being women.
This high figure of females, Ambassador Belgrove said, did not come on the basis of preferential treatment in selection, but by actively encouraging more women to apply.
He then commended President Weah for the commitment he made recently in his statement to protect women’s rights.
Meanwhile, the British Embassy is engaged in supporting other programs including promotion of entrepreneurship.
One of such non-governmental institutions supported by the embassy is the Business Start-up Center (BSC).
At the Queen’s birthday reception, the BSC having earlier conducted ”The British Idol Business Competition” came out with five winners who are to receive financial and technical support from the embassy to enhance their businesses.
The winners included four females and a male, and they are engaged in provision and service businesses.
The competition required participants to suggest business ideas that will enhance their businesses and from which others can learn.
One of the winners, Rachlee W. Leeway of the Wonseh Designs said support from the British Embassy will be a great help to her to expand her business, and will enable her create employment opportunities.
Ms. Leeway who is a former civil servant said the business provides not only money, but stress-free health because she is able to manage her own business without pressure.
Wonseh Designs, according to the young Liberian entrepreneur, is engaged in designing cloth in various forms for use.
Samuel James Kpator, the only male among the winners, said his business is purely service, and they go about providing services for people who have engagements in workplaces.
Kpator said, “We take to school children whose parents are unable to take them to school; perform domestic services for people who are not chanced, and other services that people are not just chanced to perform because of job engagement.”