Liberians in the Diaspora have been challenged by former Vice President Joseph Boakai to double their contributions to the transformation of the country by bringing home the expertise they have acquired abroad.
Ambassador Boakai said the time is now for Liberians both in-country and abroad to put national development first.
Boakai was speaking in Paynesville on Monday when he launched the SEHWAH-Liberia Incorporated and Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), a non-profit organization founded in 2014 during the Ebola crisis to promote sustainable development through building cultural heritage initiatives and undertaking advocacy for women and children in Liberia.
The former Liberian vice president, however, criticized the act of some compatriots who leave the country, find a new life elsewhere but decide to forget their roots.
“You who have children abroad should understand that no matter the condition, Liberia is your home and you should educate your kids about where you come from,” he said.
Nonetheless, citizens abroad have long been contributing to the Liberian economy from the money they remit to family members and friends, as well as efforts their respective associations make to contribute to the infrastructural advancement of Liberia.
Reports say remittances from Liberians abroad account for a third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, while they have also been providing relief to people back home in times of health crises or as part of normal social assistance.
According to the former Vice President, Liberians around the world do have the capability to make meaningful contributions to their country and, as such, should be empowered and given the chance to ensure the growth and progress of the nation.
Recently in Minnesota, a Liberian was elected as City Mayor with another Liberian also in a City Council, he stated, noting that “if they can do it there, we can even do better here in our own country.”
Former Vice President Boakai emphasized that these Diaspora Liberians do need the country’s support in their new endeavours.
He applauded the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the NGO, Louise W. McMillian, saying that, it is the interest she manifested that encouraged other Diaspora Liberians to come and support the organization to empower their compatriots.
Ambassador Boakai pledged his commitment to the organization by ensuring that the momentum and other developments of the group go across Liberia, because “it is about time we support our own.”
For her part, Executive Director McMillian thanked citizens for their support for the launch of of the organization whose vision is to foster Liberia’s integration and sustainable development through the promotion of agriculture for agribusiness, education for capacity building, cultural heritage for creative industries, and empowerment of youth, among others.
“I feel so proud to come back home and make meaningful impact with this organization in my country by empowering other Liberians that do have the potential and passion for the development of their country, she said.