President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf returns home Friday after official visits to the United States and Belgium where she met top American officials and addressed high-level forums in the two countries.
In the U.S., President Sirleaf met her American counterpart President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ash Carter as well as other top Administration officials.
She addressed a high profile forum organized by Congressman Chris Coons and and the U.S. Institute of Peace in Room 216, Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as part of the three-day official visit to the U.S.
The visit was christened a ‘Thank You America’ mission to express Liberia’s appreciation for United States role in reining in the Ebola virus that devastated the nation and claimed hundreds of lives.
While on Capitol Hill, President held talks and meetings with Congressional leaders and member of the body, recalling how during the “precarious moments” she inundated them with phone calls pleading for American intervention.
President Sirleaf also addressed a UN forum on women and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Conference recounting achievements made over the period and charting the course for the future of women globally.
The Liberian leader addressed Clinton Foundation launch of a report on gender, and met with American investors and leaders of non-governmental organizations that played pivotal roles in Liberia’s Ebola fight.
While away, President Sirleaf served as spokesperson for the Mano River Union (MRU) sub-region at a European Union-organized international conference in Brussels on Post-Ebola Economic Recovery in the MRU States, hardest-hit by the epidemic.
At the conference, the Liberian Chief Executive and counterparts from Guinea and Sierra Leone called for a World War Two sort of Marshall Plan to salvage the MRU countries from the throes of the Ebola Virus.
During the Brussels visit and on the sidelines of the Ebola conference, the EU and Liberia signed a National Indicative Program (NIP) spanning 2014-2020 in the amount of EUR 279 million.
President Sirleaf, who did not travel outside of Liberia during the height of the Ebola crisis except to neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone on Ebola matters, returns home after taking the world stage by storm.
The visits showered praises on the Liberian leader for her astute leadership and democratic credentials as well as the ‘extraordinary strides’ in the Ebola fight now sees the nation going over two weeks with zero Ebola case.