U.S secretary of state Hillary Clinton
is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
in the capital, Monrovia Thursday. Clinton's Liberia visit forms part of a seven-nation Africa trip
intended to designate Africa as a key part of President Barack Obama's agenda.
of her arrival, Liberians have been calling on their government to use
Secretary Clinton's visit to seek a sharp increase
in American investment.
They contend that an investment boost in areas such as banking and factories
will help guarantee peace and stability.
Liberia has been recovering from more
than a decade of civil war, which crippled the country's infrastructure.
Information minister Lawrence Bropleh told VOA that Liberians are expecting partnership with Washington, but not
can tell you that the whole nation, even those who are outside of Monrovia are
quite excited that today we will be receiving the chief diplomat of the United
States. They are excited because Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
has…articulated to her colleagues, her partners around the world that the
Liberian people have indeed risen out of the valley of despair to a buoyancy of
new hope," Bropleh said.
said Monrovia could play a pivotal role in Washington's new partnership with
must play a role in stabilizing the region (for example) ECOWAS (Economic
Community of West African States). When you stabilize the West African region,
you will be stabilizing the African Union because there is connectivity," he
said the personal friendship between Secretary Clinton and the President could
bolster today's bilateral talks.
"Absolutely, you will see
that happening. President Sirleaf has great respect and admiration for
President Obama and also her friend Hillary Rodham Clinton. But I think you
would also see that there would be frankness in the bilateral conversation and
in the private conversation," Bropleh said.
He said President Sirleaf
will ask for more cooperation and partnership with Washington.
"Our president will talk
about the challenges that we have faced and the way forward. And to challenge
the U.S government to make sure that when there is commitment that that
commitment moves quickly to pass so that new roads can be built, schools can be
equipped, and our health system can get stronger," he said.
Bropleh said there is need
for a paradigm shift in the relations between Washington and Monrovia.
"We agree that just handing
down aid is not the way to go there must be what I call contextual relevance.
The relevance of your aid must be dictated by those who are on the ground,
meaning the people for whose benefit the aid must come. We don't just want you
to hand out aid. We want you to fund, to teach us programs and policy made up
by the people who understand the contextual relevance," Bropleh said.
seven-nation Africa tour has already taken her to Kenya, South Africa, Angola,
Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.