Monrovia — The Government of the People’s Republic of China through its Embassy near Monrovia, has donated an 18-seater bus to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center to aid in its operations.
At a formal presentation ceremony at the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town on Thursday, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Ren Yisheng said the gesture is the embassy’s way of supporting the Center in its drive to empower women across the country and the African Continent.
Ambassador Ren said the donation is also in fulfillment of his promise to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when he first arrived to Liberia two years ago. Immediately upon his arrival, he said he placed a phone call to former president Sirleaf who informed him about the building of a Center for women’s development.
He said: “I appreciated this idea and I promised that the embassy will provide support to the construction of the center. Today we are formally handing over this minivan to the center. We hope that this support will facilitate the building of the center.”
Speaking further, he mentioned that his government and people were pleased to identify with the EJS Center; adding such support was indicative of the long-standing friendship between former president Sirleaf and his country.
“We are very proud of Madam Sirleaf that she rose to be the first female President in Africa and she was a great friend to the Chinese government and people. That’s why when she mentioned this idea about the Center, we thought to support,” he said.
Speaking further, Ambassador Ren said his government attaches great importance to gender issues and to the development of women because nearly half of China’s 1.4 billion population are women.
“It is a very important issue in China. Women play such an important role as I said both at workplaces as well as in their families so I thought it was a good idea to provide this van,” he said.
He pledged his country’s continuous support to the advancement of women and girls in Liberia and continued to support initiatives that will benefit women and girls.
“We will do everything possible to support the growth of the Center. We are convinced that this Center will play an increasing role in leading all the women in Liberia, Africa and the world together to focus on the issue of gender and focus more on the development of women and in fact the development of the whole country when women development the whole country develop.”
Receiving the van, the Chief Executive Officer of the EJS Center, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks thanked the Chinese embassy for the donation and pledged Center’s continuous partnership with the embassy.
“On behalf of Madam Sirleaf and the Center, we appreciate this generosity, your friendship, and partnership and together we will work for equity and equal representation between men and women. Thank you so very much,” she said.