Hires US lobbyists to rebrand Liberia’s image
Following years of unease among some Liberians with suspicions that Liberia had been suffering a rapidly declining relationship with its historical ally, the United States of America under President George Manneh Weah’s administration, his office has hired three US lobbying and public relations firms to help deepen relations with Washington.
In what may seem to be taking Liberia back to its root through lobbyists, the Office of the President hires the three lobbying and public relations (PR) firms for a total of US$660,000 per year to help deepen relations with Congress, the Joe Biden administration and the US public.
The U.S. remains a strategic historical partner of the Republic of Liberia and their tradition of friendship, strong bilateral ties, and bonds were high during the administration of President Weah’s predecessor, Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf.
It attracted millions of dollars’ worth of investment in the post – war country in addition to supporting, strengthening and improving key sectors and state institutions here including the military and other security apparatus, education and power, among others.
But since the inception of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – led government in January 2018, there has been a general sense of decline in Liberia’s relationship with the U.S., prompting others to urge the government here to seek a strengthened relationship with Washington.
Next year Liberia will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first freed US slaves who would eventually found Liberia in 1847.
The move by the Weah – led government also comes at a crucial time when Liberia is getting closer to its political seasons leading to the 2023 elections when politicians, mainly those seeking the presidency will possibly be bragging of their connections with the U.S. and how their connections can benefit Liberia.
The following firms have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for their work on behalf of Liberia’s Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs and the Liberian Embassy in Washington:
Washington lobbying firm Ice Miller Strategies, which is owned by Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller, was hired for $300,000 per year for three years to lobby Congress, the executive branch, and “US-based multilateral organizations that have interests and stakes in the Republic’s economic and national security interests.”
The firm will also help with media outreach “with a focus on elevating the profile of Liberia’s Reunion Bicentennial, tourism, and culture with Black Americans.”
Registered on the account are partners Jarrod Loadholt and Guillermo Christensen and Principal Timothy Day.
Strom Public Affairs of CNN analyst Bakari Sellers in Columbia, South Carolina will be paid $120,000 per year for three years to produce a “US media and press engagement strategy for the Republic, President Weah, and key officials to raise Liberia’s profile in U.S. media and bring positive attention to the Republic with American and African American audiences.”
Finally, Carbon Thread Agency of Atlanta, Georgia, has been hired for $240,000 for a one-year engagement to create a “comprehensive brand, digital, and creative plan for the republic and President Weah with a focus on elevating the profile of Liberia’s reunion Bicentennial, tourism, and culture with Black Americans.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/weah-puts-security-on-alert/