The official visit of the President of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) started to bear fruits on arrival as the Government and private investors in that middle-eastern state unveiled on day one of the visit enormous development interests in various sectors.
President Weah and entourage arrived in the UAE capital city of Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 to colorful and exciting reception from authority of the country, including Crown Prince Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The host officials in their first interaction with President Weah and delegation promised to help him transform Africa’s oldest independent Country.
President Weah’s meeting with the Crown Prince followed a reception meeting with the UAE’s Minister of State, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Prominent Advocate of Alternative Energy, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
The President and delegation, in the meeting with the Crown Prince and other UAE officials, discussed issues of bilateral and direct investment to Liberia.
The Liberian Leader used the moment to brief his UAE hosts about his vision to transform Liberia.
“I have travelled to Paris, Monaco, Rome, London and Abu Dhabi and remain amazed by how the cities look,” the President said during the meeting attended by a horde of investors and business executives. “I can’t serve as President of Liberia and leave my Country undeveloped. My government has a framework for national development; it is called the Pro Poor Agenda for Development. This plan is aimed at lifting my people out of poverty and making life worth living for all.”
Before President Weah ever ended his remarks, the Crown Prince and the Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE’s Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, apparently marveled by the President’s passion for development of his country injected, saying, “President Weah, name your priorities and they will be done.”
President Weah named road connectivity, including a coastal highway, agriculture, the revamping of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, renewable energy, health and education as top priorities of his administration’s first term.
The UAE leaders, at the end of the meeting with President Weah, immediately set up a technical working group comprising civil engineers, agriculture experts and other technocrats mandated to travel to Liberia for assessment and to conclude final arrangements for immediate direct investment.
“I will work with you to achieve whatever you want to be your legacy as development in your country,” the Crown Prince told President Weah and delegation. “Your country is very important to us. We shall help you achieve your national agenda.”
The Crown Prince’s assurances were reiterated by his Minister of State who added that the government and people of the United Arab Emirates take special delight in helping President Weah achieve his development dream for his country.
The UAE officials indicated that they consider President Weah’s visit as a homecoming to Abu Dhabi where he played soccer for three years.
The Liberian Leader is accompanied on the trip by Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Ministers Gbehzohngar Findley, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Trokon Kpui and Daniel Dee Ziankahn. The Liberian who earlier praised UAE for the progress it has made towards sustainable developments was welcomed on Tuesday to discuss cooperation in investment, economy and tourism by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of UAE.
The Crown Prince hailed the visit and hope it would strengthen the ties between UAE and Liberia and open up new avenues for bilateral cooperation with mutual interests.