19 February Press Brief

Tuesday, 20th February 2007
Members of the Press:

(1)    President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wishes to inform Liberians that there is more to do to complete debt relief even though the United States of America, Germany and the United Kingdom have canceled their respective debts with Liberia. The country still needs to get an okay from all bilateral partners as well as tackle commercial debt. This will enable Liberia access larger pools of money from international financial institutions and gain access to soft loans which are loans given on good terms and low interest. During their meetings with the Liberian Leader, President Bush and United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave personal commendations to President Johnson Sirleaf that her leadership is moving in the right direction and is a boost for young democracies not only in Liberia, but globally.

(2)    President Johnson Sirleaf is also pleased with the successful holding of the Liberia Private Sector Investment Forum, also held in Washington D.C, which was geared towards attracting investment in the country. The Government and its partners are delighted with the turnout at the Forum and are hopeful that potential investors will explore investment opportunities in the country. Also during the Forum, the founder of the Black Entertainment Television, Mr. Robert Johnson, announced a 30 million United States dollars investment to support Liberian Entrepreneurs.

(3)    The Office of the President is also very concerned about the prevailing situation in Guinea. She has been in consultation with President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone to see how-under the context of the Mano River Union-to bring peace and reconciliation to that country. Both President Johnson Sirleaf and Kabbah are working with all regional and continental mediators, and are pleased that the situation has improved. The President is calling on all Liberians to desist from supporting any group which will further exacerbate the situation, saying no Liberian should allow himself to be recruited.

(4)    The President leaves the country on a five day official visit to Rwanda beginning February 20th. She will serve as keynote speaker at the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Parliamentary Network founded in 1997. The program will bring together women world leaders and celebrate the fact that Rwanda has the largest number of women parliamentarians which is 48.8%. The official visit also aims at observing the successful implementation of resettlement and attempts at reconciliation following ten years of genocide. Former United States Ambassador and owner of Hunt Alternatives Incorporated, Madam Swanee Hunt, is sponsoring five Liberian legislators which will include Senators Gloria Scott, Joyce Sumo, and Hannah Brent. Others are Representatives Alomoiza Ennos and Victoria Lynch to attend the forum.