Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday 11 December 2019 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in International Relations at the 100th convocation ceremony of the University of Liberia in Monrovia.
The centennial ceremony, that attracted over 3,600 graduands, was held at the Samuel Kanyon Sports Complex, Paynesville. President Bio was recognised and awarded the degree because for his strives in developing Sierra Leone and for being the champion of human capital development in not only the Mano River Union countries but also in the sub-region.
In the citation for the award of the Honorary Degree, Dr Emmet A. Denis, 13th President of the University of Liberia and President emeritus, said that President Bio had prioritised human capital development, coupled with free quality education, food security, value chain and above all, his dream of Africa becoming a part of the United Nations Security Council.
“Your Excellency, in recognition of your substantive contributions and outstanding achievements, coupled with your invaluable service to Sierra Leone over the years as a patriot, the Board of Trustee of the University of Liberia, upon recommendation from the Faculty of Senate, and the President of the University of Liberia, has therewith approved the conferral on you, Julius Maada Wonie Bio, the degree of Doctor of International Relations Honoris Causa,” he declared.
Whilst addressing the congregation of 2019 and his colleague graduates, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio thanked the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah and the authority of the University of Liberia for what he described as a great privilege for being recognised and honoured in the 2019 convocation ceremony.
“Through 100 convocations and through 157 years of history, this great University has produced politicians, diplomats, jurists and attorneys, soldiers and policemen and women, environmentalists, human rights activists, entrepreneurs, accountants, engineers, trade unionists, journalists, inventors, physicians, and biomedical researchers. You have inherited a great legacy. You are a continuation of the great history of the second oldest institution of higher learning in West Africa. Congratulations,” he said.
He also noted that Liberia and Sierra Leone shared a common, unbreakable and continuous demographic, historical, cultural, and academic heritage. He added that the two countries have always had close relations, forged even closer economic and other ties through the founding of the Mano River Union and were founding members of ECOWAS.
“We have heightened cooperation between our two nations and we are now connecting physical infrastructure through a major highway and the CLSG power line. The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement opens up more possibilities of trade,” he stated.
The President admonished the graduates to respond to the challenges of nation-building, saying that their generation must develop strong democratic and governance institutions that would provide access to quality healthcare, food security, construction of new roads, elimination of corruption from public life, build hospitals, supply potable water to all Liberians and to reduce maternal and child mortality and to stop all forms of sexual and gender-based violence.
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