Parade of Speakers at the All Liberian National Conference in Columbia, Maryland from April 14-16, 2005

Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row,
Columbia, Maryland

Several distinguished Liberians will address the All Liberian National Conference (ALNC) in Columbia, Maryland on major topics which are at the core of the grave problems why peace has continued to elude the war ravished nation.

The conference runs from April 14-16, 2005. The Former Pastor of the First Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia, Rev. A. Momolu Diggs will address the conference on Reconciliation.

Rev. Diggs will discuss how Liberians can achieve genuine reconciliation after years of brutal war amidst calls for war crime tribunal, truth commission or general amnesty. Professor Abraham L. James will moderate the session on reconciliation which will be followed by focus group discussions. Messrs Voffee Jabateh, former President of the Liberian Association in Pennsylvania, Samuel Joe and John Brownell, President of Liberians in the United Kingdom and
co-chair of the ALNC Steering Committee will serve as facilitators during the focus group discussions.

Mr. Brownie Samukai, a former Defense Ministry official will dissect the issues of national security and the military. Mr. Samukai is expected to discuss the re-structuring of state security agencies including the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) especially its size, composition, role, function and new mission. The comprehensive peace Agreement which ended the bloodbath in Liberia in 2003 calls for re-structuring of state security institutions including the
army, immigration, the Special Security Service and police.

To date, only the police is being trained but commitments have been made to also train the army. However, with barely six months to go to elections, there are serious concerns among Liberians about re-structuring the AFL given the situation with the Abuja Accord which was trashed immediately after the seating of the new government in 1997. Mr. Yanquoi Zaza will moderate the session on Security and Military Reform while messrs. Jonah Tarley, Gaye Sleh, Jr. and Wilmot Kunney, ULAA Secretary General will serve as facilitators.

Mr. Amos Koukou who has been very active with the political process in Liberia will present paper on the 2005 general elections in Liberia. Mr. Koukou is expected to discuss the issues of ballot initiatives for the October elections, Diaspora Voting and the tenure for the government that will be elected in October, especially the nine (9) year term for senators. Mr. Koukouâ ôs paper will also take a closer look at current elections efforts in Liberia.

Cllr. Mohamedu Jones will address the conference on political and social reform. Cllr. Jones is expected to critique the Liberian constitution including the legislative, executive and the judicial branches of government and the idea of greater autonomy for the counties including election of county superintendents and establishment of county legislative assemblies. Decentralization of political power in Liberia is expected to feature prominently in the discussions among delegates. Mr. Steve Boley of Liberian Associated For Public Accountability & Democracy, INC will moderate the sessions on Elections and politial/social reform. Ms Elvina Gbeh and messrs. Francis Duwana of the Movement for Political Reform in Liberia and J. Shiwoh Kamara, Vice President of the University of Liberia Alumni Association in Pennsylvania will facilitate focus group discussions on elections while Mrs. Jemah Gray Brumskine, Chair of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Cape Mountainians in the Americas, Messrs Joseph Morlu, Secretary General of the Movement for Political Reform in Liberia and Joseph Tehmeh of ULAA will serve as facilitators for the session on political and social reform.

Liberia's respected human rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe will present a paper on Peace. Cllr. Gongloe is expected to delve into the issues of conflicts and their resolutions as well as general issues that relate to the attainment of lasting peace in Liberia. He is expected to touch on regional security within the context of Mano River Union states including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote D'voire, the fundamental issue of land reform in Liberia, the rule of law and disincentives for war. Mr. Emmanuel Wetti, the Doyen of ULAA and Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Associations in Ohio will moderate the session on Peace while Messrs. Jackson Wonde, formerly of the Carter Center, James Larsah, former Liberian legislator and Richard Saydee, President of the Liberian Association in Massachusetts will facilitate focus group discussions on Peace.

Dr. George P. Gonpu, Assistant Professor of Economics at Ramapo College of New Jersey will discuss Economic reform in Liberia including taxation,Liberianization, investment Incentives, economic crime especially corruption in government and the broadening of opportunities for all Liberians. Mr. Yanquoi Zaza will also moderate this session. Dr. Wede Brownell, Secretary General of the Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States (COLOSUS) and ULAA Vice President for the Eastern Region, Mr. Isaac Zawolu, Jr. and Charles Coleman, Chairman on Ways and Means of the UL Alumni Association in Pennsylvania will serve as facilitators.

Dr. Sakui Malakpa, a Full Professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio and former National Chairman of the Lofa County Federation in the Americas will deliver a paper on education reform in Liberia. Given the high illiteracy rate in the country, the session on education is promising to be very hot. Dr. Malakpa is expected to provoke discussions on the lack of adequate support to educational institutions across the country and the concentration of higher learning institutions mainly in the Monrovia area. He is also expected to define new roles and responsibilities for counties, communities, cities and the national government in providing educational opportunities to Liberians especially at the elementary, junior and senior high levels, the establishment of community colleges in the counties and revamping of the entire education system of Liberia.

The Chairman of the Steering Committee of the All Liberian National Conference, Mrs. Mydea Reeves Karpeh who is also in the area of education will moderate the education session. Dr. Mator Kpagbai, President of the Liberian Community Association in Rhode Island, Messrs Edmund Bargblor and Elvis Morris who will be traveling from France and also President of the European Federation of Liberian Associations are expected to serve as facilitators.

Dr. Syrulwa Somah will present a paper on Agriculture and the Environment. The issues of deforestation, mining and environmental pollution as well as improved methods of farming, animal husbandry, fisheries and storage are expected to be discussed by Dr. Somah. Mr. Leon Leldun will moderate while Mrs. Mai Yuan, Messrs Dempster Yallah and Emmanuel Lincoln who will also be traveling from Belgium will serve as facilitators for the Agriculture/Environment
session.

Dr. Francis Kateh of North Carolina will make presentation on Health and Sanitation. The health sector in Liberia especially medical institutions were hard hit by fourteen years of war while sanitation now poses grave health hazard in certain parts of the country. ULAA regional Vice President for the Northern Region, Ms Martha Sinoe will facilitate this session. The paper on Infrastructural Reform will be presented by Mr. Emmanuel Tate of Minnesota. Messrs. David Jallah, also of the Movement For Political Reform in Liberia, Albert Bropleh and Michael Wreh, an Official of the ULAA Board will facilitate this session.

The Columbia conference is being organized by major Liberian organizations in Europe and the United States including the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, the European Federation of Liberian Associations, the Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States, national county associations including Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, Lofa, Bomi and Bong as well as UNIBOA which comprises citizens from Bassa, Margibi and Rivercess among other counties. The conference organizers also include national alumni associations, pro democratic organizations and professional bodies. Specifically, the Liberian associations in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands are also associated with this effort.

Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Liberian female politician and international public servant will deliver the keynote address during the opening session on Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 10:30 AM. Mrs. Sirleaf will be sharing with her fellow countrymen and women her perspectives on reform in the various sectors of the Liberian government. Her speech is expected to set the tune for the conference and to galvanize healthy exchanges among the many delegates who
will converge in Columbia. The United Nations Special Envoy to Liberia, Ambassador Jacques Klein has also promised to address the opening session.

Liberian presidential aspirants have been invited to also speak at the conference. Those presidential candidates who have not received letters of invitation are requested to immediately contact the Steering Committee. The three day Conference will serve as a stage for the formulation of national consensus from varying viewpoints, define the parameters of reform, obtain popular endorsement of the broad outlines of reform and enhance commitment
of all Liberians to begin reform. It will provide an opportunity for stocktaking, reaffirming our sense of shared national identity, agreeing on minimal conditions for holding of free and fair elections in Liberia and establishing reform as defined by the conference participants. A follow up conference is expected to be held in Monrovia.

The All Liberian National Conference is being spearheaded by a National Steering Committee headed by Mrs. Mydea Reeves-Karpeh, former President of UNIBOA and the first female President of ULAA; Mr. John Brownell of the Liberian Association in the United Kingdom (LIBERIAN) is the Vice Chairman; Mr. Abraham G. Massaley, National President of the National Association of Cape Mountainians in the Americas is Secretary and Ms. Mary Broh, community activist, Treasurer.

Anticipation for the national conference (the first of its kind in terms of nature and scope) is running very high in almost all quarters of the various Liberian communities and organizations across the United States and Europe. Already, the various Liberian Community organizations in the United States have begun preparations for the conference. Not being left behind is the
buoyant Liberian community in Europe. Travel arrangements are already in the works for a large delegation representing Liberian Community Associations in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany to be in attendance and to present the Liberian-European perspective on the deliberations.

The three-day conference is expected to be attended by US officials, African diplomats, and representatives of international organizations as well as friends of Liberia. It will draw together Liberian community associations from several US states, the Liberian clergy, Liberian professionals, students studying in the United States and Liberian civil organizations that are actively engaged in seeking national reform in Liberia as well as observers. Each organization will be represented by five delegates no matter the size. There is no sitting fee but each delegate will be required to pay $ 10.00 for conference materials.


Meanwhile, the conference hospitality committee has made hotel arrangements. Organizations and individuals attending the conference are free to contact the leadership of the Steering Committee for detailed information at Tuandea@aol.com, ALNConference@yahoo.com
or at (410) 532-9134/(215) 868-2822).

Individuals or Organizations may also visit the ALNC website at theALNC.org, ULAA.org and the various websites of national county associations as well other organizations associated with this effort. The conference Ways and Means Committee is also planning a social evening on Saturday, April 16, 2005 to climax the event. A catering service has been contracted to
sell food at the conference at minimum cost. Other organizations that have not received invitations are encouraged to immediately contact the steering committee.

Abraham G. Massaley
Secretary, ALNC Steering Committee

 

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From 95 South

Take I-95 N toward BALTIMORE / NEW YORK.

Merge onto MD-32 W via EXIT 38B toward COLUMBIA.

Take the BROKEN LAND PKWY NORTH exit- EXIT 14- toward OWEN BROWN.

Merge onto BROKEN LAND PKWY.

Turn LEFT onto LITTLE PATUXENT PKWY.

Turn RIGHT onto HARPERS FARM RD.

Turn RIGHT onto BEAVERKILL RD.

Turn LEFT onto OLD TUCKER ROW.

End at 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD 21044-1944 US

From 95 North

Take I-95 South towards Washington Merge onto MD-32 W via EXIT 38B toward COLUMBIA and follow the directions above