Liberia's vice president visits Brooklyn Park

Liberia Vice President Joseph Boakai says his three-day visit to Brooklyn Park is part of an ongoing process to build a relationship with a region that is home to the largest Liberian population outside of Liberia. Boakai says the main purpose of this trip is to further strengthen ties with Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center and to discuss other ways to get them involved in Liberia’s restoration.

“We’re trying to rebuild the roads. We’re trying to reinstall the electricity, the water system,” says Boakai. “But basically the manpower capacity building is our acute need.”

Last March, volunteers from Brooklyn Park helped to deliver equipment and train firefighters there. This summer, the Brooklyn Park Fire Department gave Liberian firefighter Col. Alex Morris a crash course with the hopes that he can continue to train others back at home. Boakai says he hopes to explore similar training programs that would improve Liberia’s public safety and education system.

“It makes it easier for us when we have such a connection here in the United States to work with us to retrain our police, fire department, chief, fire chiefs, officers of the security,” says Boakai.

Tuesday afternoon, he met with leaders from local colleges, including North Hennepin Community College and Hennepin Technical College, to ask for help improving the technical education system in Liberia and possibly restoring Booker Washington Institute, a vocational school that was destroyed by civil war.

“We suffered war for more than 15 years and most of the young people don’t have skills,” says Boakai.

The vice president is also visiting to touch base with Liberian natives, several of whom have asked about the possibility of dual citizenship and have made requests for the Liberian government to establish a consulate office in Brooklyn Park.

“We definitely open our ears to them because I think they are valid requests,” says Boakai.

Amid his busy schedule, Boakai will take time to be with family members who live in Brooklyn Park. He will head back home to Liberia Thursday.

Renee Banot

12 News is on Comcast cable channel 12 in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.

3 Responses

  1. Please take care of the poorest people in Liberia you do not care what they I going though .all you care for is your fmaily and friend .you don,t care if the people who put your the need help .government your police can not do the jobs but they I got free pay from the poor people of Liberia look what happened to my mother she was hate. By motorcycle and brokn her leg know one can say or do anything about it .is this the New Liberia? We have now our the good government that say the I the to help the poor? I hope. what happened. My mom is 85year old .and know want can see what this motorcycle man have done to my mother . But I hope he will one day come out he will not sleep in peace .thank thank to our the free money government in Liberia. She is in pain and can not sleep at all but he happy walk in Liberia. Thank to the president and the vice for help people to kills the poor no police work at the airports now so the can do what they want to do

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