Savannah, Georgia and Monrovia, Liberia have an almost 300 year history. Hence, Liberian Ambassador Jeremiah C. Sulunteh’s February visit to the Savannah Port, was natural. Savannah’s relationship with Liberia dates back to the 1800s when African-American settlers sailed from its shores to Liberia’s early colonies. That relationship continues today with a Sister Port Agreement that Honorary Consul General Cynthia Blandford arranged. The Agreement, which focuses on training, capacity building, economic development, trade, data sharing, and marketing was signed into action on September 18, 2015 – five months before the ambassador’s visit.
While in Savannah, Ambassador Sulunteh and Honorary Consul General Cynthia Blandford visited Savannah State University – a member institution of the University Consortium for Liberia (UCL). At Savannah State, volunteers organized 1,000 boxes filled with books, school supplies and Pet Carts to assist the disabled in mobility. The boxes were to be shipped to the University of Liberia and AME University. Both the Liberian Consulate Office in Georgia and the Embassy of Liberia in DC support UCL and its mission to provide brighter futures through education and understanding.
Ambassador Sulunteh also toured Savannah’s natural gas facility and met with the Savannah Black Caucus. As the Honorary Consul General works to strengthen the bond between Savannah and Liberia, the consulate office looks forward to future visits.
The University Consortium for Liberia (UCL) luncheon, held on June 14, 2013, was organized by The Honorable Cynthia Lynn Blandford (Liberian Consulate General and UCL Founder) and her team, was attended by over 41 participants representing 12 Universities and Colleges from Georgia and Alabama (see list below). The Honorable Christopher Nippy and the Honorable Doliakah Quoimie from the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia were special guests at the luncheon.
After of the blessing of the meal by Reverend Robert S. Wulah, Senior Pastor, Liberian Christian Fellowship and Vice President of the Liberian Ministers Association, Mr. Tom Crick, Associate Director Conflict Resolution of the Carter Center, introduced the guest speaker. During opening remarks, Honorable Christopher Nippy, First Secretary for Political and Consular Affairs, shared the educational needs of Liberia, while emphasizing the bright future that lies ahead for this great nation. He also challenged UCL partners to make good on promises already made, and welcomed others to join the work. The luncheon included the installation of Dr. Carlton Brown as the first President of the UCL. Dr. Brown’s first act as president was to call the meeting to order and, to invite a representative from each University and College to share their past, present, and future work for the country of Liberia (five updates attached). The luncheon appropriately culminated as each partner was pinned with a small Liberian flag on their left shoulder. This symbolic action represents the collaboration and unity that the UCL pledged towards educational endeavors in the country of Liberia, West Africa. The Liberian Consul General, a MAP Board member recently returned from a trip to Liberia with the MAP President to present medical supplies and materials to various communities to help combat the ulcer and other medical ailments.
Over the next few weeks, Hon. Blandford will meet with Dr. Brown to provide a more detailed framework for the UCL including establishing UCL as a 501c3 non-profit organization. Georgia State University, Savannah State University and the Technical College System of Georgia will be participating in an educational needs assessment August 31 – September 9, 2013, in Liberia, hosted by the Honorary Consul General to further the mission of the UCL and in keeping with the “Vision 2030” to help build an educated and trained workforce to support a future middle class in Liberia.
- Clark Atlanta University
- Georgia Tech
- Georgia State University
- University of Georgia
- The Carter Center
- Emory University
- Savannah State University
- Kennesaw State University
- Atlanta Technical College
- Tuskegee Institute
- Mercer University
- Technical College System of Georgia
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Special thanks to the Honorary Consul General’s Circle of Friends for their professional assistance in the planning and organizing of this event and to the Coca-Cola Company for their generous sponsorship.
The University Consortium for Liberia
Honorary Consulate General, Republic of Liberia Presents…
An Exclusive Red-carpet event honoring education, empowerment and community in Liberia!
See the UCL Events page for Details!
About the Consortium
Learn more from the UCL Brochure.
The University Consortium for Liberia (UCL) is the brainchild of Cynthia Lynn Blandford, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Liberia for the State of Georgia. UCL is a network of colleges, universities, and other educationally oriented institutions in the State of Georgia whose mission is “To lift Liberia by coordinating diverse academic efforts for increased impact.” The network was launched in June of 2009 with the endorsement of Ambassador M. Nathaniel Barnes.
In 2009, two formal agreements were signed between the University of Liberia (UL) and institutions of higher learning from the State of Georgia (USA). The signing of the two agreements linking UL to major universities in the State of Georgia reflects the growing momentum of the network with regard to academic, technological, and entrepreneurial exchanges with the Republic of Liberia.
The first, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) originating from the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, cements the relationship between UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and UL’s College of Agriculture and Forestry.
The second, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) originating from Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, opens the door for the creation of a Gender Studies Program at UL by linking GSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and UL’s Liberia College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
Dr. Emmet Dennis, President of UL, signed the agreements, which were presented by Dr. Layli Phillips Maparyan, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at GSU and Chair of the ULC.