Liberia and Brazil have agreed to promote cooperation in the areas of energy, mining and education, as both countries take steps to jumpstart longstanding relations.
Liberia’s Foreign Minister Akerele (L) and Brazilian counterpart signing the MOU
Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Dr. Eugene Shannon signed on behalf of the Liberian government while the Brazilian energy minister signed for his country.
This follows bilateral discussions in the Brazilian state of Brasilia between President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her Brazilian counterpart, Luis Lula da Silva on Wednesday during President Sirleaf’s visit to that country.
An Executive Mansion dispatch said the agreement calls for the training of teachers and academicians in graduate and undergraduate programs in Brazil and an alignment of teaching programs between higher institutions of learning in Liberia and Brazil.
Both countries also agreed to recognize the credentials issued by their respective institutions of higher learning. An Agreement on the ‘Performance of Remunerated Activities by Dependents of Diplomatic, Consular, Military, Administrative, and Technical Staff’ was also signed,’ thus relaxing restrictions on employment for foreign embassy staff in Liberia and Brazil.
Under the Memoranda of Understanding, both countries would establish a Liberia-Brazil Joint Commission that would coordinate and monitor the execution of agreements reached between the two countries. Liberia and Brazil have already reached an understanding on a ‘Mechanism for Political Consultations,’ in keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding.
The two countries have also reached an understanding to cooperate in the development of sports. Under the program, opportunities would be provided for youth training programs, sports administration and athletics. The two countries will also exchange coaches.
At a luncheon tendered in honor of the Liberian President and delegation, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf lauded the progress Brazil has made over the years. The Liberian leader observed that Brazil, as an emergent global economic power, now serves as an engine of growth and expansion for the world economy.
The President praised Brazil’s agenda for social inclusion and poverty reduction, and the country’s ‘Zero Hunger Initiative’, describing it as phenomenal.
The Liberian leader expressed gratitude to Brazil for its contribution to the civilian component of the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia. “Liberia is committed to working with Brazil for the reform of the United Nations and especially the Security Council to reflect today’s realities and to ensure fair and equitable representation of all the regions of the world,” the Liberian President assured the Brazilian government and people.
Meanwhile, President Johnson Sirleaf has extended an invitation to the Brazilian President to visit Liberia during the commemoration of Liberia’s 163rd Independence Anniversary or at President Lula da Silva’s convenience.The Brazilian President commended the Liberian leader for the progress Liberia has made since her administration four years ago.
He said Brazil has followed closely the progress in Liberia and was committed to supporting Liberia in achieving its development goals. The Liberian leader, Wednesday, paid courtesy calls on the leaders of the Brazilian Senate, the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of Brazil. The President said Liberia is prepared to draw from the success of Brazil to improve the wellbeing of the country and its people.
The President departed Brasilia Thursday for Salvador, Bahia on the second stop of her State Visit. While in Bahia, the President will meet with the Governor of the State of Bahia and other officials of the State. The President will also deliver a speech at Salvador University on Brazilian-African Relations and Culture, with emphasis on the African Union’s recognition of Diaspora Africans as the 6th Region of the Continent.
Prominent Afro-Brazilians, business and industry leaders, students, associations, cultural and traditional groups will attend Thursday’s lecture, which will be followed by a dinner and cultural extravaganza tendered in honor of the Liberian President and delegation by the Governor of Bahia. The President visits Rio de Janeiro on Friday, where she will hold talks with the Governor of the State of Rio and other State officials.
The Liberian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, and Commerce as well as the heads of the National Port Authority, the National Oil Company of Liberia and the Energy Advisor to the President, has been holding separate meetings with their counterparts in furtherance of the collaboration between both countries.
Pres. Johnson Sirleaf and team arrived in Brazil Wednesday, April 7, at the start of a 4r-day State visit.