Vice President Boakai Addresses the EU-Africa Summit

Sunday, 9th December 2007
Vice President Boakai outside the Summit hall with Liberia´s Ambassadors to Germany and Portugal.
Vice President Boakai outside the Summit hall with Liberia´s Ambassadors to Germany and Portugal.
Photo Credit: Office of the Vice President
Lisbon, Portugal - Liberia's Vice President has stressed the need for the European Union to increase its aid and support to African countries in a timely manner", if the Millennium Development Goals are to be attained by African countries.

Vice President Boakai also called on the EU and Africa to continue to monitor and pay dedicated attention to countries in crisis and post-conflict countries.

"While we recognize incremental advancements, there remains many areas in which we still need the sustained efforts of all our development partners in addressing these challenges which if not properly addressed, could roll back all of the gains we have made so far," Vice President Boakai said Sunday in his address to the EU Africa Summit convening in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

He said special attention should be paid to youth imperatives, especially within the context of the Mano River Union and the demands of regional integration and in consonance with NEPAD.

He observed that with the support of the leadership of the EU and other partners, Liberia is gradually breaking away from the yoke of debt.

The clearance of the arrears, he noted, will enable Liberia to harness much needed development assistance to address its social, infrastructural and national programs, and begin the process of obtaining debt relief under the highly Indebted Poor Countries´(HIPC) Initiative.

He informed delegates that with the support of partners, Liberia has also formulated a clearly focused development agenda around the four goals of Peace and Security, Economic Revitalization, Infrastructure and Basic Services, Respect for Human Rights and Governance and the Rule of Law.

The Vice President in his address proposed leveraging women´s political contribution be reflected in the final outcomes of the Summit for enhanced Africa EU relations.

He said Liberia is making strides in mainstreaming gender, taking into account women´s leadership and representation at the highest as evidenced by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf´s ascension to the highest office.

"Today, we pause to thank you all, our African brothers and the United Nations through UNMIL and European partners, who have stood by us as we have endeavored to heal and reconstruct our nation, Vice President Boakai said adding, "We owe you a debt of gratitude".

The Vice President arrived in Lisbon Saturday morning to represent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at this year´s EU Africa Summit which ends today, Sunday.

Vice President Boakai headed a 12-member delegation which included Foreign Minister Olubanke King Akerele, Liberia´s Ambassador to the EU Youngor Telewoda, Liberia´s Ambassador to Portugal McKinley Thomas and the Ambassador to Germany, Madam Sadia Massaquoi Bangoura.

Other members of the Vice President´s delegation are Chief of Office Staff Samuel Stevquoah and Henry Fahnbulleh, Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister for Afro-Asian Affairs.