The RUFORUM delegation was accompanied by Education Minister George K. Werner, who was also joined by the Ministers of Youth and Sports as well as Commerce and Industry.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf informed the group that such a high-level visit to Liberia following the deadly Ebola outbreak serves as a motivation for the country and reflects strong commitment from friends of Liberia abroad.
She noted that Liberia needs strong ties with RUFORUM to impact the country’s many tertiary institutions as well as efforts towards a productive scientific agricultural sector development.
President Sirleaf also provided highlights on the country’s educational sector, noting some of the many challenges that currently exist.
The Liberian leader thanked the group for visiting Liberia and for their desire to partner with the country’s educational sector and eventually help in fostering a wide collaboration with African universities to mutually build capacity for the continent and strengthen all of its higher institutions of learning.
Speaking during the meeting, the head of delegation, Professor Brice Sinsin, Rector of the University of d’Abomey Calavi, Republic of Benin, thanked President Sirleaf for the audience and indicated that all members of his delegation were in Liberia for the first time.
Professor Sinsin briefed President Sirleaf about the composition, goals and mission of RUFORUM and the reason for visiting Liberia.
RUFORUM, he said, is a network of 66 African Universities with a mission to engage the capacity of universities in support of Africa’s development particularly the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063.
Professor Sinsin congratulated President Sirleaf as the first woman President on the African continent and the first woman to serve as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
Professor Sinsin further congratulated the President for her role in establishing democratic processes and principles that have brought Liberia back to a well-recognized democracy on the continent.
“Let me also thank Your Excellency for the role played in managing successfully the Ebola crisis that your country faced in 2014. You are indeed a great and inspirational leader worth emulating,” he said.
In a related development, the meeting was also attended by young Liberian entrepreneur, Mr. Mambu Johnson, who is a RUFORUM Award Winner.
Mr. Johnson presented his award to President Sirleaf.