2019 Training program

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Hon. Director General Professor Alexander Yonly

Hon. Deputy Director General for Administration Anthony Manneh Teah

Hon. Deputy Director General for Training and Manpower Development Amara Kamara

Internal and External Facilitators Liberia Institute of Public Administration

Graduates of LIPA

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

All Protocols observed.

Today I have been chosen to deliver the Keynote Address at this historic event; perhaps not the first of its kind for me nor second; but certainly the most remarkable one that I may refer to again and again. You may ask why this one? My answer would resonate and sent echo waves in this building because this occasion is very special and dear to me and to the essence of nation building. I express therefore my gratitude to God first and to You, Hon. Alexander Yonly, Director General of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration for your choice of Keynote Speaker and not forgetting the Man behind this Occasion, Hon. Amara Kamara, Deputy Director General for Training and Manpower Development for his persistence and confidence in my ability to do justice to this assignment.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me begin this discourse by saying there are many challenges in life. Some of these challenges are the ones we are prepared for and some of them are challenges we may not have contemplated nor prepared for. But squarely put, this is what life is all about. Vicissitudes are bound to be experienced in the course of life. In both instances, it takes the willpower, perseverance, confidence and commitment to prevail; and it also takes a nonchalant posture to fail.

Like Sir Charles Darwin would say, “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Similarly, the road to success which you are about to take by reasons of your preparedness today will not always be achieved by the most prepared or the most intelligent but that of the most committed and the most responsive person towards change and challenges.

You have walked the road of preparation to be where you are today; to sit in this graduation hall and to be eligible to make the change that your community, your institution and your nation and society craved for. Rest assure that they will therefore look up to you especially those of you that have been sponsored by agencies of government and the private sector to transform your preparation or knowledge attained into positive and deliverable actions. What you do with what you have acquired at LIPA will determine your place in your institution’s history and by large, the nation. What you don’t do with it will equally place you at the backburner of history with no legacy or foot prints. I therefore urge you to direct your energies and education to be a point of referral when great men are being sought for to change the dark course of history. This is what LIPA requires of you.

Our nation faces herculean challenges and great men are being sought to surmount those challenges. For over a century and seven decades, we have wallowed in these challenges without collective commitment to overcome them. This has led to persistent poverty and under development. Successive governments have come and gone, but the story has always remain the same. The question is why? Let me shock you. The answer to this question lies not within the purview of our leaders alone as we strongly believe, but also in us. And so, I put forth the question. What have been our commitment, attitude and contribution as a people to change and challenges? To what extent have we demonstrated nationalism or positively contributed to the development of our state? You do not need to be a political scientist to know that when a nation lacks innovate, nationalism and patriotism, the state is affected negatively. This has been our story over the years which we out rightly reject but prefer to see and identify the faults and failures of our leaders when in reality we ourselves sit in sedentary positions doing nothing to uplift the state; depending on the state to give to us; and drown ourselves in the rivers of murmuring, criticisms, campaigns of calumny, casting aspersions on leaders, and defacing our own country internationally because we believe our country is obligated to us and not us obligated to it. When you have a land and plow not, plant not, you will only harvest grass and weeds which cannot be useful to you. We as citizens have our roles to play in national development. Our roles buttress government efforts.

Let me remind us that John Fitzgerald Kennedy challenge to Americans have transformed the thinking of Americans regarding their country. “Ask not what your country can do for you; but rather ask what you can do for your country.” That was a profound question that trigger in every American self-enterprise. They did not reject the challenge nor politicized it as we would do. What can we say about our attitudes as Liberians towards our country? What can we write about to demonstrate our love for Liberia? Are we asking this profound fundamental question that would trigger a revolutionary transformation of our country or are we projecting an attitude that takes us back to another century while nations around us are speeding into 21st century transformation?

With no doubt and question in mind, I am persuaded that this graduating class of LIPA is receiving certificates and diplomas to make a difference to the current Liberian discourse. You are instruments of efficiency and productivity prepared to build strong and vibrant state institutions. You are instruments of change; of enterprise and transformation. You are instruments fashioned to ensure the success of the Government pro poor policy. You are instruments of reliability, integrity and transparency. You are instruments of support and of unity. Indeed you are instruments to catapult Liberia to an honorable and respectable place within the comity of nation. Above all, you are the strength of LIPA, its mandate and its visibility. Deliver therefore what LIPA has taught you and you will score excellence and promotion at your various institutions.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen; Graduating Class: LIPA is Government premier institution mandated by Act of Legislature to build the capacity of government employees of high and lower levels. It is further mandated to study systems, policies and advice on indigenous issues that truncate governance. Our duty is to conduct research into institutional problems to determine system weakness, threat, strength and opportunity. However, these responsibilities are challenged by bottle-necks which prevents LIPA from fully performing its legal mandate. Until LIPA is given a walk-in privilege into MACs to execute its mandates without hindrances, government institutions may face capacity building and capacity development problems. This clarion call is to heads of MACs.

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Permit me to speak on a greater problem that Liberia is faced with. Without fear of contradiction and persecution, let me be bold to say that Liberians have become more divisive today than ever before in the existence of our country. It appears truer than false that the change that sparked years of dichotomy and destruction has become the worst ever anticipated. This is very dangerous and counter-productive to every good thing Liberians desire. Education and enlightenment are meant to build a great nation; unite its people and not to destroy every step forward in building a great nation. The enlightened has the responsibility to ensure a nation of growth and development. The Liberian case is different. Those that are enlightened have created dark clouds over the nation and are leading the people into paths that generate division, bitterness, hate and violence. I challenge you today. You cannot and must not follow such path. You must break the yoke for Liberia depends on you. You must be seen as a case of success; a case of unanimity; a case of hope and a case of national commitment and enterprise to ensure that President George Manneh Weah’s economic and infrastructural programs succeed. You must become a product of hope for change.

Our national anthem makes it emphatically clear that “IN UNITY, SUCCESS IS SURE.” Any diversion from this national song is unpatriotic and unnationalistic. We cannot afford as a nation to speak from the two sides of our jaws if sincerely we desire the change and the development we want. At major programs we sing the anthem; but our actions speak divisiveness. We must understand that development is not a one person responsibility. It is collective and only with collectivity can we anchor on the shores of infrastructural and human development.

This collective spirit protects our national pride and we must give our lives in the process of defending it. On the contrary, we will sink deeper into abject poverty and chaos if our attitudes towards the institution of Government continue to destroy our national pride and make us a nation of jesters in the eyes of the international community to whom we run for collaboration. We cannot repeat a detestable history that mobilize the entire world on our shores. We must prove that we were in error and have learned from our bitter error.

Understandably, Liberians cherish democracy and the exercise of fundamental rights including political rights. But we must understand that it is the duty of responsible citizens to distinguish fundamental rights from political actions that stifle economic and social development and drive away nations that would assist us. We cannot be our own doom and flee to other nations that we have more respect for. We condemn ourselves if we do. For God has given us the same five senses as those nations. We must strive to utilize them. We need to understand that where our rights end, others rights begin there. Not to recognize this fact, the exercise of our rights unwisely would infringe on the rights of others and national development efforts. Fellow Liberians, though it is impossible to go back to make a brand new start, but we can surely make a brand new ending, says Carl Bard. In order to make this brand new ending, we must first remove ourselves from the culture of individualism. We must imbibe the virtue of collectivity. It is never too late to be what we might have been. Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

In closing, I wish to appreciate the President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. Dr. George Manneh Weah for his courage to brave where no other Liberian leader have braved; to cross frontiers that have been difficult for past leaders. His strength in the midst of adverse voices is amazing. It’s a God giving strength and he’s the hand of God upon Liberia’s prosperity which we must all respect. I wish to thank him for the preferment of Professor Alexander Yonly as Director General who has brought new innovation and motivation to LIPA. We appreciate the President for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this great change that is sweeping across the nation. I salute you the graduates and facilitators today. If what we have spoken here to you today are digested in good faith, you will all be a part of Liberia’s history when it is written. Walk out of here without fearing failure in doing the right things. As I leave this stage, permit me to leave with you the wise words of Francis Chan: “Our greatest fear should not be our failure but at succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”


I thank You.
Professional Bio of Hon. Alexander B. Yonly Sr. Director General
Professional Bio of Hon. Alexander B. Yonly Sr.
Hon. A. MANNEH TEAH  Deputy Director General, Administration
Deputy Director General, Administration
Hon. Amara M. Kamara Deputy Director General, Training
Hon. Amara M. Kamara
Deputy Director General, Training
Profile of Honorable D. Wa Hne, Jr. Deputy Director General, Research & Consultancy
Profile of Honorable D. Wa Hne, Jr.
Deputy Director General, Research & Consultancy
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