Liberian President Addresses Parliament


By Petronella Sibeene


Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, says Africa has no luxury of toying around with democracy and thus should embrace peace and stability at all times.

The Liberian leader made these remarks yesterday when she addressed a Joint Session of Parliament where she stressed the need for African nations to ensure they take count of happenings in neighbouring countries, adding that any instability in one country simply threatens peace of a given region.

At a time when democracy started thriving on the continent, the Liberian president said, “unfortunately, recent developments in a few countries have reversed the process”.

Based on that, she said, national policies should take count of what happens in other countries as hardships can easily cross borders.

Johnson-Sirleaf expressed appreciation for Namibia’s assistance during the time of war in that country, adding that the performance of the Namibian troops was exemplary.

She added that each nation should have a sense of moral obligation and should always remember that freedom and justice are fundamental human rights.

Meanwhile, the Liberian president says her country is ready to tackle challenges of a food crisis, oil, environmental degradation and climate change among others.

Liberia is proud of its role in the emancipation of Africa. With the war over, the country is busy with the promotion of national reconciliation, stamping out corruption and ensuring the availability of basic services such as electricity and water supply.

The president added that the country needs the participation of all its people, including those that are in the Diaspora.

During her three-day visit, Johnson-Sirleaf observed progress made by Namibia in its 18 years of independence.

She said the highlight of her stay in the country was the visit to the Moses van der Byl Primary School where over a thousand learners warmly welcomed her.

“Students showed their eagerness to learn and I treasure all these memories.

We look forward to the return visit by President Hifikepunye Pohamba,” she said.

Speaker of Parliament, Theo-Ben Gurirab, said female members of the Namibian Government revere her as their beloved heroine and illustrious role model.

“We, men folk, share fully in this veneration and celebration. You are Mother Africa indeed,” the Speaker praised her. He said Namibia is proud of the bilateral relations between the two countries and that future prospects for bilateral ties between the two countries look promising.

The Liberian president concluded her visit yesterday and left for her country.

She arrived in Namibia on Sunday afternoon after visiting South Africa where she delivered an inspiring keynote address at the Sixth Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Cape Town.

While in the country, Johnson-Sirleaf held talks with Pohamba, which culminated in the signing of a Framework Agreement on Economic,
Technical, Scientific, Cultural and Tourism Cooperation.

She also visited NamCot Diamond Cutting and Polishing Company as well as Namport and Etale fishing.

The visit followed an expression of interest from that country to learn from Namibia’s marine management and operations in the diamond sector.


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