President Sirleaf Receives UK Parliamentary Delegation; Expresses Appreciation For Visit

Friday, 25th August 2017
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received in audience a UK Parliamentary delegation and expressed appreciation over the visit to Liberia by cross-party four-member team; three of whom are members of the International Development Committee of the House of Commons.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian Chief Executive made the remarks when she received in audience on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 four UK Parliamentarians; three of whom are members of the International Development Committee of the House of Commons - headed by Stephen Twigg, Member of Parliament and Head of delegation at her Foreign Ministry Office. Other members of the delegation were Baroness Sheehan, James Duddridge, MP, and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP.
They are in the country to explore opportunities aimed at understanding the country’s efforts to re-build its health system through the delivery of key interventions such as immunizations and tackling infectious diseases; which include visits to national and community-based health programmes, service users and health care providers, as well as hold meetings with representatives, among others.
President Sirleaf welcomed the delegation to Liberia and held bilateral discussions at different levels aimed at strengthening the health sector. She recalled the many contributions made by the British Government to Liberia especially in the areas of road, health, etc. coupled the strong ties existing between the two countries. She extolled the delegation and expressed confidence that their visit will yield good fruits as soon as all the technical details are concluded with the relevant institutions. The Liberian leader assured the delegation of her government’s support at all times to ensure fruitful outcome. 
President Sirleaf acknowledged progress in the health sector and said the country’s journey towards the rebuilding process has come a long way in the last 11 years; notwithstanding the many challenges faced including the global economic meltdown, the drastic reduction in rubber and iron ore prices and the deadly Ebola outbreak that claimed many lives. 
Touching on the upcoming Representatives and Presidential elections, the Liberian leader reemphasized violent-free and transparent elections - stressing the Farmington Declaration that was signed by leaders of political parties. She stressed the need for a peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another.
Speaking earlier, Stephen Twigg, MP Head of delegation commended President Sirleaf for the warm welcome and reception accorded his delegation. He told President Sirleaf that this was his first visit to Liberia and is impressed with the level of development that have taken place in Liberia under her administration. 
He disclosed that the delegation is in Liberia with the aim of exploring opportunities to gain intuition in the health sector through the delivery of interventions in immunizations and tackling infectious diseases among others. He further pointed out that there will be visits to national and community-based health facilities.
Also speaking, Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Office, Dr. Frances Nah Kateh said in 2006, government inherited bad health sector but has made significant progress in some areas even though there are challenges and said more needs to be done to move the health sector forward. He noted that Life expectancy now in Liberia is between 63 to 67 years something he said is better than what it used to be when the government came to power as compared to some countries in region. 
Meanwhile, in another development, Monique Pean, Ashley Adjaye, and Chloe Malle in collaboration with Monrovia Football Academy have invited President Sirleaf as a Special Guest of Honor to a Cocktail event meant to raise money for sports development in Liberia scheduled to take place on September 20, 2017 in New York, the United States of America. The invitation was presented by William Smith, Co-founder and Executive Director, Monrovia Football Academy. He was accompanied by Sekou D. George Mulbah, Co-founder and Director of Football – Monrovia Football Academy.
Presenting the invitation, Mr. Smith explained the genesis of the establishment of the Monrovia Football Academy and how it started. He thanked President Sirleaf for the audience to meet her. He among other things informed President Sirleaf that Representative Josephine George Francis of Montserrado County was instrumental in acquiring 20 acres of land for the Monrovia Football Academy in Montserrado County for the purpose of sports development. He furthered this is the third year of Monrovia Football Academy and said about 1000 applicants have already received.
Responding, President Sirleaf commended Mr. William Smith and described his effort as a “Great Initiatives”. She said the effort is a great undertaking that must be commended. She urged Mr. Smith to include other footballers in the upcoming event including the former World Best - George Weah as well as other top football stars both in out of Liberia to grace the occasion to serve as motivation for the young ones who are aspiring to be great soccer stars. The Liberian leader admonished Mr. Smith to secure a campus for the kids to avoid distraction.