Posting on this site on 02/25/2022
Originally Written by: First Lady/ Augustina Kou Monpleh Official on February 4th, 2022
Edited by Amb. Tarr Woryonwon aka Jay U Boye on the same day.
When Ghana hosted its “Year of Return”, in 2019, they used Boris Kodjoe, a renowned African American Actor who is half Ghanaian as the face of the campaign. The people first invited the actor and his family to the country where they enjoyed the beauty of Ghana. Kodjoe was not just picked because he’s half Ghanaian, he was carefully hand-picked because he also have a large network of African American and their descendants in Hollywood (biggest entertainment industry in the world), which of course was also included in their target. Some of the strategies that was used by Ghanaians was granting citizenships and lands as a major boost to ensuring African Americans that they can make Ghana their home.
When these strategies were carefully made, Kodjoe, his elite Hollywood friends, the government of Ghana was able to successfully encourage others to come to Ghana and today Ghana tourist industry is worth billions. According to an article written on Travel Noire in 12/17/2019, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi reported that Ghana tourism industry contributed $1.9 billion into the country’s economy.
Today, Ghana is highly recommended for African American to visit and make it their home.
Now, let’s not give all the credit to Kodjoe and his friends because the people who were also tirelessly working behind the scenes were young Ghanaians; who were writing article, creating social media hypes, YouTube videos, creating businesses and encouraging each other to do the same. This was a huge contribution that young Ghanaians made to promote their country because they know that when Ghana succeeds, they themselves will succeed. All the interested people started to Google about Ghana and Google started to bring up those articles from the different blogs that were promoting the country’s tourism industry. For Liberia it’s the contrary, our government don’t reach out to blogs to do these things we bloggers do them on our own for the love of country.
Liberia on the other hand is the country where “Freed Black American” return. So, what are the organizers of Bicentennial not trying to focus more on inviting Liberians, their descendants and the Black Americans to come to LIBERIA? We are not Ghana therefore, we don’t have to do the same exact thing they did , however, their strategies worked so we can also take ideas from them and make ours work. Bloggers do research everyday and know the Liberians in Hollywood and some of these Hollywood celebrities even reach out to some of us at times. Setting up these kind of events bloggers should be part of the decisions making but no, we don’t count.
First of all, do you know why Liberians aren’t coming home to invest more but enjoyment? And even if they’re coming for enjoyment, how many of them are actually fully investing?
Does the government care about some of the things that Liberians have been complaining online about and have they try putting effort in solving these problems?
As we all know, the war scattered many Liberians in the diaspora, as a result, many of them have yet to return home because some are still traumatized from the war, some feel that investing will be a waste of time , some feel the country is not secured, which are legit concerns.
People are still protesting here, which always send out wrong messages to the outside world that the country is still unsafe. Most of the protests that are done here are because people are exercising their rights, but because of our past, which continues to hunt us, its always sending the wrong messages.
Everything negative that is happening in LIBERIA is not encouraging many Liberians to come home. How can you guarantee that when they come home, they’ll have peace of mind or they will enjoy their visit? How will they be ok with their children who are now first generational LIBERIAN-Americans to come home and be encouraged to make it their home as well? We are yet to prove to the natural born citizens that left years ago that LIBERIA is safe to return home and invest. I believe it’s only right to first focus on inviting LIBERIANS to come down and visit the country then you can start inviting others. Liberians are visiting but how many of them are being encouraged to start businesses? The Liberians that are visiting home can be more but what are we doing to help double the number?
According to an article written by FrontPage Africa in July 29, 2019, “Liberians abroad have transferred an estimated U.S. 4.5 billion dollars in remittances to Liberia, and much more through a wide range of self-help initiatives through hundreds of Liberian organizations in the Diaspora.”
So, from the number above, you can tell that Liberians in the diaspora are the biggest contributors to their country. Again, we are not Ghana therefore, we can not copy their exact methods but we can hand-pick some of their ideas. Liberians and their children ( First, second generation Americans) in the diaspora should have been the main(still can be) target for this event. When we successfully have Liberians visiting home, then they all can contribute to getting their children and friends who are Americans to come to Liberia. There are Liberians like Saycon Sengbloh ( actress) Edwina Findnely ( actress) , Kat Graham (actress. She has a video bragging about her LIBERIAN heritage) , Titus Unlimited (who was wildly promoted by Black American women due to his physical appearance), Vanessa Freeman (the tv news anchor), Perry Zulu Jr ( actor) Taylor Sele ( actor) , Cyrus Deshield ( musician and Grammy nominated songwriter) , Ace Harris (major music producer) , Hajamaya ( Miss Grand Liberia) , Nene Leakes and Nyonisele Sioh ( American-Liberian couple that had everyone talking in the United States), Deddeh Howard, a Liberian that recreated the biggest fashion designer brands that every major media outlet carried her story in the united states etc… in Hollywood who have network like Boris Kodjoe who could have contributed immensely to encouraging their elite friends to give chance to LIBERIA by just visiting for a week or two. What happened to these people? That’s why it’s good to have bloggers at the table too.
With all the Nigerians that were invited countless times to LIBERIA, how effective were their visits? What have they contributed to LIBERIA? The video being posted by Liberians only, will most likely not even be posted by Psquare, their bloggers or even their management team. And it’s most likely they will only post on their story, which most of their followers might not even see. And even if they post on their main wall, they’ll only do it one time. And when their media post about their trip, will only highlight things that benefited them and they careless about promoting LIBERIA. This is unacceptable!
With that being said, what is the government doing to encourage Liberians who should be the target of this bicentennials to contribute more money that would help with the country’s economy? Absolutely, nothing!
Here are some thing LIBERIA can do to start encouraging LIBERIANS to put effort in really giving back to LIBERIA. Firstly, give back the natural born LIBERIAN/Man and woman the right to her LIBERIAN citizenship. Secondly, give the right to the Black ( African American) man to apply for citizenship, which will enable them and their children to own properties in Liberia. These are some complaints I have seen online from Liberians. Why is it ok to ignore these legit complaints?
In the President’s recent “State of Nation speech”, he said, “the current Alien and Nationality Law provides that a natural-born LIBERIAN citizen automatically loses his or her citizenship, without any due process of law in court in LIBERIA, upon taking citizenship in another country or acting in some capacity for that country. This law undermines our quest for unity amongst all Liberians- everywhere!
Therefore as we celebrate Bicentennial anniversary of the founding of our country, I want to call on the Honorable Members of this 54 Legislature, in particular to the LIBERIAN senate, to consider passage of the Bill currently before you , which seeks to codify the Opinion of the Honorable Supreme Court and make it more true that …” once a LIBERIAN- always a LIBERIAN.”
How can you be confident to ask Liberians or anyone to come to LIBERIA to invest if they have no guarantee that their investment will be protected? Having a “Land of return” without making sure that Liberians in the diaspora enjoy some privileges.
Below are images of Liberians in Hollywood you should be talking to, inviting.