MONROVIA — Despite multiple concerns over her academic credentials, members of the Liberian Senate have unanimously confirmed Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti as the new Foreign Affairs Minister of Liberia.
Madam Nyanti, a former United Nations Envoy, was confirmed during a special sitting held in the Chambers of the Senate on Friday, February 9, 2024.
Madam Nyanti is the Political Leader of the newly established African Liberation League (ALL) political party in Liberia. She contested the just ended October 2023 general and presidential elections unsuccessfully.
However, she pledged her support to President Boakai during the November 14, 2023 run-off elections.
Since her nomination to the position by President Boakai, Madam Nyanti, who previously served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in South Sudan and Humanitarian Coordinator in the East African nation, has come under stinging verbal attacks for alleged fraudulent academic credentials.
She managed to escape these attacks, especially from the CampaignersAgainst Academic Crimes (CACC), headed by former student leader Martin Kollie, following the submission of her name to the Liberian Senate by President Boakai for confirmation in keeping with Article 54 of the 1986 Liberian constitution.
CACC has been claiming that Madam Nyanti does not hold legitimate academic credentials, including undergraduate degree from any recognised university and as such, she must not be confirmed to the position.
During her second appearance before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Madam Nyanti did not clearly state whether or not she earned an undergraduate degree prior to pursuing and obtaining her Masters abroad.
Senators also felt short to directly inquire about her credentials during the hearing, though it has been a subject of concern and discussion in the public.
It remains unclear whether or not she was quizzed about her credentials behind closed doors because, the Chairman of the Committee Senator Abraham Darius Dillon stressed the need for continuation of the hearing during her second appearance before the committee.
The hearing during her first appearance did not take place as planned and scheduled due to the influx of scores of former and current Ambassdors and Diplomats in the Chambers of the Senate, prompting the committee to postpone it.
Senators turned blind eye to the claims raised on her academic credentials and confirmed her during the special sitting on Friday.
There are reports that the Senators decision to confirm Madam Nyanti was intended to discredit the workings of CACC and satisfy the explicit trust and confidence President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has in her ability yo deliver.
Though loved and cherished by vast majority of ordinary Liberians, CACC, which has exposed the fraudulent academic credentials of scores of former and current public officials, including a lawmaker, has fallen out of favor with many legislators and higher-ups in the public sector.
Madam Nyanti was confirmed along with other nominees including Roland Giddings (Minister of Public Works) and Cllr. Jeror Cole Bangalu (Minister of Youth and Sports).
Others are: Madam Gbemie Horace-Kollie ( Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection) and Dr. Louise Kpoto (Minister of Health).
The confirmation of the nominees came as a result of separate reports presented to the Senate Plenary by the committees on Foreign Affairs, Public Works, Labor, and Health, Children and Social Protection.