President Sirleaf Launches Google Link; Holds Interactive Dialogue with Young Mothers

Tuesday, 25th July 2017

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Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has part of the 170th Independence Anniversary Celebration launched Google Link Project in Liberia. She expressed the hope that the facility will find its way into the interior of the country to improve activities in the agricultural sector, strengthen essential healthcare, education and government systems, as well as help to unlock the potential of the digital economy for Liberian citizens and the private sector.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader performed the ceremony Monday, July 24, 2017 at the Boulevard Palace Hotel when she launched the Google Link-Liberia Project. President Sirleaf commended C-Square and the United States Agency for International (USAID) for such investment in Liberia. She said ICT is an integral part of economic development that is often overlooked and undervalued.

President Sirleaf said by expanding Liberia’s connectivity through this initiative, it will strengthen the support for more ICT-based projects and programs in education, health and infrastructure.

In brief remarks at the launch, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder said the United States said Liberia stand to benefit greatly in the health sector from the kind of increased internet connectivity that the C-Squared project will make possible. The U.S Envoy noted improvement in connectivity to be made possible by C-Squared will be vital in terms of disease surveillance and health information systems in Liberia and the sub-region in detecting and containing future disease outbreaks.
 
The U.S. envoy commended the investing partner for the bold C-Square initiative. She noted that C-Squared is built on Google’s proven experience in designing and building shared metro fiber infrastructure in African cities such as Kampala in Uganda and Accra in Ghana respectively. She said in addition to the support for this partnership - USAID will provide $10m for technology-focused programs like health information systems, e-government and digital financial system.

For her part, Ms. Estelle Akofio-Sowah, West Africa Regional Manager said she was excited to be expanding in Monrovia, which according to her will be the third country after Uganda and Ghana.  She said C-Squared is committed to partner with the Government of Liberia and USAID to expand the way people around Africa can reliably and affordably connect to the internet.  She then thanked President Sirleaf for her leadership over the years.  

In another development, President Sirleaf in an interactive dialogue with young mothers and women leaders - challenged them to believe in themselves in reaching for what they want to achieve in life. “Reach out; Stretch yourself; Go that extra mile and say I can make it,” she told dozens of young mother at the Auditorium of the University of Liberia.

President Sirleaf also recalled her personal life story of how at the age of 17, got married and brought forth four children - before making efforts to seek tertiary education. She admonished the over 50 young mothers to work harder in pursuing education to achieve their full potentials.

The Interactive Dialogue was organized by the Ministry of Youths and Sports, under the Theme: “All Is Not Lost.” Topics discussed focused on: “How can we solve the challenges of teenage pregnancy; the Role of young women in sustaining the peace; Life after motherhood; Making your life a happy one; and The Role of young women in self-help initiatives.”

Discussant at the Interactive Dialogue included: Ms. Yassah Lavala, Registered Nurse and Founder, Noble Ladies Network; and Atty. Yah Parwon, Founder, Rising Youths Mentorship Initiative, amongst. The dialogued was also attended by Youths and Sports Minister, Saah Charles N’Tow, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boimah S. Kamara, Acting Gender Minister, Peter Roberts and Presidential Press Secretary, Jerolinmek M. Piah, amongst others.

Meanwhile, President Sirleaf received in audience a delegation from Rhode Island led by Madam Grace Diaz, Democratic Caucus Chair Committee on Finance, State of Rohde Island House of Representatives. The visit according to the Congresswoman was an acquaintance initiative aimed at strengthening relationship, as well as to know more and learn about Liberia. She extended then an invitation to President Sirleaf to visit Rhode Island before the end of her tenure for the bestowing of a special honor on her.   
 
Receiving the delegation, President Sirleaf thanked Madam Grace Diaz and her delegation for the visit and called them to join in the celebration of Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary.