Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, during a recent visit to the United States, co-signed a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Arizona (U of A’s) School of Health Sciences, Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University, Maricopa County-Community College District and Tempe Union School District, the Black Nurses Association of Arizona, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
The University of Arizona’s MoU commits five health related colleges of the University – the College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public Health and the College of Nursing – to identify resources for the improvement of learning and technical training at the A.M. Dogloitti College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy of the University of Liberia.
Taken together, these MoUs will provide technical assistance and urgently needed resources for the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and School of Pharmacy, the five new community colleges, the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) and K-12 education throughout Liberia, according to a press release.
The MoU with ASU was signed with its President Dr. Michael Crow, and also seeks the establishment of collaborative efforts between ASU’s College of Health Care Solutions, Technology and Innovation, Education, Public Administration, College of Law, as well as Schools of Sustainability, Engineering, Journalism, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Teacher Education, and Entrepreneurship, among others.
ASU ranks among the best universities in the United States. The University’s Tempe campus, for example, was ranked #1 in Most Innovative Schools in the US by the US News and World Reports in 2016. Another MoU with community colleges in Maricopa County was also signed to help improve education at the new public community colleges in Bomi, Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Cape Mount, and Grand Bassa counties.
The Maricopa County Community College District is a consortium of community colleges in the United States, comprising about 10 colleges. It is one of the largest providers of first-rate community college education in the United States. In 2009, President Barrack Obama used the Maricopa Community College District as a model for the kind of education and technology training that should attract federal funding to community colleges.
Maricopa has a modern workforce development training program. The MoU with the community college system was signed by the Vice President and the Chancellor of Maricopa, Dr. Maria-Harper Marinick, for the development of centers for workforce training, entrepreneurial incubators, small business development and many other areas that would be of benefit to the Liberian private sector.
While in Phoenix, Arizona, Vice-President Boakai also had substantive discussions with business, political, religious and community leaders including the Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton; Michele Reagan, Secretary of State of Arizona; Dr. C. T. Wright, President Emeritus, IFESH; Mel Hannah, Chairman, Arizona Coalition to Support Liberia; and Alvin Tweh, President, Liberian Association of Arizona and his Executive Committee.
Three Liberian professionals in the US, Dr. Robert Sherman, Dr. John E. Fallah and Mr. Gayah Fahnbulleh, Chairman of Patriots for Liberia’s Transformation, who are also members of the UP Standard Bearer’s policy team, and Samuel A. Stevequoah, Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President, are working in collaboration with Dr. Zobong Norman, President of Bomi Community College, to see the Maricopa colleges MoU and other MoUs come to fruition.
To take advantage of this goodwill, Dr. Norman and other Liberian public community college presidents, including Dr. Yar Donlah Gonway-Gono (Nimba County Community College); Dr. Nathanial Gbessagee (Grand Bassa Community College); Dr. James N. Kollie (Lofa County Community College); and Dr. Solomon Jallayu (Grand Gedeh County) recently convened a meeting in Sanniquellie, Nimba County and organized themselves into a consortium of community colleges, aptly named Liberia Association of Community Colleges (LACC), led by Dr. Norman to work for the objectives of the MoUs to be realized.