US Universities Endorse Boakai’s Education Plan for Liberia


    The Vice President of Liberia and Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, has never minced words on his grandiose plans to rebuild and modernize the education and health sectors of Liberia that are still reeling from the destruction of the civil war. The Vice President has vowed to scout for assistance (money, manpower, knowledge and resources) everywhere in the world to meet this lofty goal. During one of his visits to the United States, the Vice President visited the State of Arizona at the invitation of Dr. Robert G. Sherman, President Emeritus of the Liberian Association of Arizona (standing to the left of VP Boakai in the picture above) along with the Arizona Coalition to Support Liberia, and the Liberian Association of Arizona. During this visit, the Vice President cosigned a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the University of Arizona (U of A’s) School of Health Sciences, Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University, Maricopa County-Community College District and Tempe Union School District, the Black Nurses Association of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Economic Security. The U of A’s MOU commits five health related colleges of the University–College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health and College of Nursing—to identify resources for the improvement of learning and technical training at the A.M. Dogloitti College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy. Taken together, these MOUs will provide technical assistance and badly needed resources for the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and School of Pharmacy at the University of Liberia, the five new community colleges, the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) and K-12 education throughout Liberia.
    The Vice President and ASU President Michael Crow sign the ASU-University of Liberia MOU
    The MOU with ASU was signed by the Vice President and ASU President, Dr. Michael Crow. The MOU seeks the establishment of collaborative efforts between ASU’s College of Health Care Solutions, Technology and Innovation, Education, Public Administration, College of Law, as well as Schools of Sustainability, Engineering, Journalism, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Teacher Education and Entrepreneurship commits, among others. ASU ranks among the best national universities in the US. The University’s Tempe campus, for example, was ranked #1 in Most Innovative Schools in the US by the US News and World Reports in 2016. Another MOU with Maricopa Community Colleges was also signed to help improve education at the new public community colleges in Bomi, Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Cape Mount, and Grand Bassa Counties. Maricopa County Community College District is a consortium of community colleges in the US, comprising about 10 colleges. It is one of the largest providers of first-rate community college education in the United States. In 2009, President Barrack Obama used the Maricopa Community College District as a model for the kind of education and technology training that should attract federal funding to community colleges. Maricopa has a modern workforce development training program. The MOU with the community college system was signed by the Vice President and the Chancellor of Maricopa, Dr. Maria-Harper Marinick for the development of centers for workforce training, entrepreneurial incubators, small business development and many others areas that would be of benefit to the Liberian private sector.
    While in Phoenix, Arizona, Vice-President Boakai also had substantive discussions with business, political, religious and community leaders including Hon. Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Hon. Michele Reagan, Secretary of State of Arizona, Dr. C.T. Wright, President Emeritus, IFESH, Hon. Mel Hannah, Chairman, Arizona Coalition to Support Liberia and Hon. Alvin Tweh, President, Liberian Association of Arizona and his Executive Committee.
    Three Liberian professionals in the US, Dr. Robert Sherman, Dr. John E. Fallah and Hon. Gayah Fahnbulleh, Chairman of Patriots for Liberia’s Transformation, who are also members of the UP Standard Bearer’s policy team and Hon. Samuel A. Stevequoah, Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President, are working in collaboration with Dr. Zobong Norman, President of Bomi Community College to see the Maricopa colleges’ MOU and other MOUs come to fruition. To take advantage of this good will, Dr. Norman and other public community college presidents in Liberia (Dr. Yar Donlah Gonway-Gono of Nimba County Community College, Dr. Nathanial Gbessagee of Grand Bassa Community College, Dr. James N. Kollie of Lofa County Community College and Dr. Solomon Jallayu of Grand Gedeh County