ELECTIONS 2017: Your Candidate, Your Vote – Know Your Candidate (Part 1); The Man Joseph Nyuma Boakai

VP Joseph Nyuma Boakai, UP Standard Bearer

This news outlet is pleased to once again introduce another informative segment; profiling the aspirants who are opting to lead their people after the October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections.

The intent of this column is to holistically tell the electorates the aspirant who they are craving for to be elected as their preferred choice, and what is in that aspirant’s political closet.

This week we highlight the Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP), and current Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. who is also President of the Liberian Senate.

At the Senate, the Liberian Vice President who is opting to succeeding his boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose tenure expires in 2018 as elected President presides two days a week over plenary sessions of that body.

Currently, the UP 2017 Presidential candidate also performs supervisory functions over a number of institutions and agencies including the Liberia National Lotteries, the Liberia Marketing Association, the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, and the National Commission on Disarmament Demobilization Resettlement and Reintegration.

His service to the nation, which spanned more than 35 years, included various positions in government, private sector, agro-related, church and civil society, he  has served in various positions in government, private sector, and civil society, including Resident Manager of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation 1973-1980, Managing Director of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation 1980-1982, Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company in 1992, and Minister of Agriculture, 1983-1985. His involvement in the private sector continues as owner of LUSU Resource Corporation and co-owner of AGROMACHINES Liberia.

In all of those responsibilities, Vice President Boakai exhibited exemplary qualities, which is reminiscent of his humble beginnings. Born in the remote village of Worsonga in Foya District, Lofa County, on November 30, 1944, Vice President Boakai has withstood the test of time and epitomized the Liberian adage which states: “It does not matter where you are coming from, but where you are headed.” He is a radiant of hope for his home town and a model citizen.

Boakai with his running mate Nuquay

As Minister of Agriculture, among his enormous duties and responsibilities, he was responsible for national agricultural policy formation, Implementation Support and Research, Regulatory Services. He monitored activities and chaired boards of over 20 Agricultural Development projects and Agricultural Cooperative Development Bank and support institutions. He also chaired for one year, a 15 nation West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) and toured research projects of WARDA in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau. He also toured several agricultural projects in Denmark, Belgium, Great Britain, Malaysia and Ivory Coast in connection with poultry, cattle grazing, rubber and oil palm production and processing and assisted in the first PL-480 program evaluations for Liberia.

At the LPMC, he was the Chief Executive Officer and as the first Liberian Managing Director of that entity, he was responsible for export marketing of coffee, cocoa and palm kernel oil and was responsible for arranging purchase, shipment and handling of the PL-480 program from 1980-1984.

VP Boakai with Liberian journalists in the Americas

As a result of his vast knowledge in the social sciences, the Honorable Vice President offered short term consultancy to a number of institutions including serving as Chief Technical Advisor on Agriculture Policy, Ministry of Agriculture. He reviewed and evaluated the Liberian 1986 proposed Green Revolution and FAO World Bank 1986 Agricultural sector Review Document and evaluated AMSCO, Amsterdam Funded training program for projects in Uganda in 1994 and Tanzania in 1996.

In the Civic and Self-Help sector, as part of his philanthropic support to humanity, Hon. Boakai supervised and personally financed up to 75% a 7-mile rural village road construction to Warsonga, Liberia. He worked with the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the Danish Youth to construct a school for 150 students and clinic for a community of 10 villages. He influenced the erection of OIC project in Foya Kama, Liberia, organized and headed fund raising for rural electrification of Foya Kama in Lofa County, Northern Liberia.

Hon. Boakai has served as member and chairman of many boards including chairman-Liberia Finance and Trust Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Star Radio, member of the board of LOIC, member of the board of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary, founding member of Bethesda Christian Mission, founding organizer-African Methodist Episcopal University, founding organizer of the C.W.A. Methodist University and President of the Monrovia YMCA, President of LUSU Resource  Corporation and Ex-President of the Monrovia Rotary Club.

He is a holder of a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the University of Liberia and Advance Management Certificate GIMPA, Ghana. He speaks English, reads and writes Mendi and Kissi.

He has been happily married since 1972 to Kartumu Y. Boakai. This union is blessed with four children (3 sons and daughter). He is the owner of LUSU Resource Corporation and co-owner of AGROMACHINES Liberia.

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About Cholo Brooks 17181 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.