Liberia: Government Launches Bicentennial Activities as Steering Committee Rallies Citizens for Support

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Monrovia – The Government of Liberia has officially launched the Bicentennial activities under the theme “Liberia: The Land of Return-Commemorating 200 Years of Freedom and Pan-African Leadership” and the slogan is “the Lone Star Forever, Stronger Together.

The Steering Committee of the historical Bicentennial headed by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathanial McGill appearing at the Ministry of Information Regular Press Briefing Thursday told journalists that the event will be celebrated throughout 2022 beginning from January 7, to December 10, 2022.

The official opening ceremony Minister McGill says will take place on February 14, 2022. According to the Minister of States, the theme signifies three important historical milestones achieved by the country since it was founded in 1822 by free people of African descent that arrived from the United States of America.

According to the Steering Committee, Liberia in West Africa is a chosen as refuge for free black people. Secondly, the theme seeks to memorialized black freedom and nationhood and the determination for self-government that began 200 years ago.

Also, the theme, according to the steering committee, acknowledges the pivotal Pan-African leadership role that Liberia played, crusading for Africa’s decolonization and independence, including its uncompromising stance against the racial segregation in South Africa.

“To ensure success of the Bicentennial Commemoration,  President George Weah is calling on all Liberians, the local and international partners and diaspora communities to participate in this historic event to celebrate 200 years of the founding the country by free people of African descent from the United States and other parts of the world, including the Caribbean and Europe; and the level of freedom and Pan-African leadership that the country has enjoyed, while showcasing the country as an ideal destination for tourism and investment,” the Bicentennial Steering Committee said.

Inclusive Steering Committee

The Head of the Steering Committee Minister McGill speaking says people are being placed on the steering committee based on their skills and the knowledge they have.

 “We are working with a lot of opposition members. Even civil society and the traditional people are members of the steering committee,” he said.

When asked whether he will be working with political parties, Minister McGill says the steering committee does not want to politicize the event and so, his team will be working with opposition members and not political parties as institutions.

“We are not inviting political parties; we are inviting Liberians. We thought to depoliticize the event, so, we are not inviting political parties. We are inviting competence Liberian irrespective of their political position,” Minister McGill said.

He added: “We are not doing party business; we are doing Liberian thing. In fact, the Standard-Bearer of ALP Benoni Urey’s wife is on the committee. We did not put her on the committee as Mr. Urey’s wife, we brought her on the committee as a professional Liberian.”

No Budget Yet

Minister McGill responding to inquiry on the budget for the yearlong event said there is no budget yet for the bicentennial. What happens he says, people who are on the steering committee are volunteers their services to the committee.

He added: “When it comes to Liberia, let us move party politics from there, most of the thing we are doing, there will be a cost, the Ministry of Finance is doing the budget but most people are volunteering right now. This thing is Liberia thing so most of the thing we are going to be doing is volunteering. So, we have not determined a total cost because we are going to volunteer a lot.”

He added that his team is in the working stage and he will not disclose any guest but adding that more African Head of States have decided to come to Liberia to grace the occasion.

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