Details Released on U.S. Secretary of State's Visit to Liberia

Monday, 3rd August 2009
Members of the Press:

United States Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton arrives in Liberia on Thursday, August 13. The visit is part of a seven-nation trip to Africa which will include stops in South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.

During her visit to Liberia, the U.S. Secretary of State will hold discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  The discussions will cover bilateral relations between Liberia and the United States and highlight Liberia's progress in national reconstruction and development.  The President will use the occasion to thank the United States for its continued support for Liberia’s development agenda and renew her commitment to the principles of good governance.

While in Liberia, Mrs. Clinton and delegation will also hold bilateral discussions with select members of the President's Cabinet to review progress and challenges in Liberia’s recovery process.  The U.S. Secretary of State will also tour a number of sites in Monrovia, including the John F. Kennedy Hospital and the Police Academy in Paynesville.

The President welcomes the visit of the top American diplomat which she believes is another testament of the strong bond of friendship between Liberia and the United States and a manifestation of the United States Government’s continued support for Liberia.
Mrs. Clinton and delegation will depart Liberia later during the day.

•    Three days following Secretary of State Clinton’s visit to Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will host another delegation from the United States – an 11-member congressional delegation.  The delegation, headed by Bobby Rush, the Democratic Party’s Congressman from Illinois, arrives in the country on Sunday, August 16. Congressman Rush serves on the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The U.S. congressional delegation will hold discussions with the Liberian leader on Monday, August 17 at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.

As part of a two-day visit, the delegation will visit the Freeport of Monrovia and tour facilities of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the Firestone Rubber and Tire Company in Harbel, Margibi County.   The visit of the Congressional delegation to Liberia will also include a meeting with international business leaders in Liberia as well as representatives of ArcelorMittal, Buchanan Renewables and the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC).

Other members of the congressional delegation visiting Liberia on August 16 are:
Congressman Joseph Cao – R-LA – Homeland Security; Transport and Infrastructure;
Congressman G. K. Butterfield – D NC – Energy & Commerce; Standards of Official Conduct;
Congressman Steve Cohen – D-TN Judiciary; Transportation & Infrastructure;
Congresswoman Gwen Moore – D – WI – Budget Financial Services;
and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee – D – TX – Foreign Affairs; Homeland Security Judiciary; among others.

Let us also inform you that a team from the African Governance Initiative (AGI) is presently in Liberia to assess the structure and organizational efficiency of the Presidency, with the aim of providing some guidance.

The visit of the team follows discussions between President Johnson Sirleaf and Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, early this year about the work of the AGI, based on earlier discussions between American billionaire George Soros and the Liberian leader regarding the work of the AGI. The African Governance Initiative set up by the Former British Prime Minister is underpinned by two core principles:

  1. Good governance and effective political leadership are essential for development, and

  2. Attracting investment and growing Africa’s private sector are the key to delivering economic growth and reducing poverty.

Liberia is the third of three countries to which the initiative is being introduced. Since 2008, AGI has seen Tony Blair and expert project teams working in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, putting these principles into practice.