MONROVIA: Few years after Liberia broke the chains around the masculinized political cult with the election of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first democratically elected female President of Liberia and in Africa, thereby shifting the paradigm of gender equation in many parts of the world, the country is once more on the forward march with the nomination of Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti as the next Minister of Foreign Affairs. Her nomination as Dean of the Liberian cabinet is now been seen as not only an adrenaline shot in the veins of the country’s once sullied international image, but as means to propagate the essence of gender equality and the emancipation of women across the world as a component of what the country’s foreign policy espouses.
Since her nomination by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai who himself immensely benefited from the wealth of experience and leadership quality of Madam Sirleaf, having served as an able Vice President for 12 years and had imbibed the sense of being gender sensitive, Madam Nyanti’s choice has shifted world attention on Liberia and how she will bring to bear her achievements from the UN system with the view of impacting governance both in Liberia and other developing countries, especially Liberia’s West African counterparts.
A top Liberian diplomat who has been excited about the nomination of Madam Nyanti told The Analyst last night that the news out in the international community is so huge that even the UN system where Madam Nyanti had an illustrious career is in total support to see her emerging as the next Foreign Minister.
“And, this is on record to tell you that the UN system is in support of Madam Nyanti. Despite the insinuation from some opposition that her services were terminated, the UN will come up with support for her, and the women of Liberia are proud of her achievements and will stand with her”, the top diplomat said.
The top diplomat who said she can personally vouch for the quality of Madam Nyanti’s professionalism expressed conviction that the Foreign Minister-designate is in an ideal position to drive Liberia’s foreign policy in line with the aspiration of the President, in terms of restoring the country’s image within the comity of nations, as a seasoned diplomat and one who brilliantly navigated the UN system, adding that a number of personalities in the countries and missions of the UN where Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti served are standing on the side of the former UN Assistant Secretary General.
The diplomat said as the country has transitioned to another era, it is prudent that it is shifting towards new players handling major policies of the national government, including the foreign policy, and it was sufficient reasons to be cheerful having Madam Nyanti who is bringing on the table a renewed vigor, respect, honor, dignity and the right connections in the global space that Liberia will leverage on to enhance national development for the benefit of the majority of the citizens.
The respected diplomat said the major shift in the country’s polity since 2006, when democracy was restored, has helped in no small way to give the country a better image with the number of peaceful general elections and other sets of elections that have been held over the years.
The Liberia electoral democracy, she said, has been well groomed to be exemplary; and that in terms of regional stability, Liberia has gone through a lot and many countries have respect for Liberia for its stellar transformation process.
“Six year after, the Liberian people in spite of George Weah’s popularity decided to vote Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, and George Weah graciously listened to the voice of the people and turned power over to Ambassador Boakai of the Unity Party as the next president,” she explained.
A top western diplomat who spoke to The Analyst on condition of anonymity, said there is no better person ideal for the position of foreign minister right now than Madam Nyanti.
“If you ask me I can only give you one person. Sara Beysolow Nyanti. She is the right link between Liberia that has been struggling over the years and the UN system that has the potential to change the development narratives of the country. The choice is yours to make”, he said.
As Madam Nyanti appears at the Senate today, the optics are high and there is growing enthusiasm among the people that she will finally present her vision as Foreign Minister.
Born 1968, Sara Frances Beysolow Nyanti is an international development expert and Liberian pastor who bagged more than 20 years of professional experience. She was the United Nations Assistant Secretary General from December 2021 to her retirement in July 2023.
Besides working in senior positions at home in the past, Ambassador Beysolow Nyanti held senior positions in the Liberian Ministry of Health from 1999 to 2003, including her service as Director of the National AIDS Control Program. She wrote the country’s first grant to the Global Fund for money to combat malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis.
Furthermore, Madam Beysolow Nyanti worked for the United Nations in Liberia during the conflict and transitional government periods.
From 2005 to 2009, Nyanti worked for the UN in Nepal, before becoming UNICEF HIV/AIDS advisor to the representatives in Namibia and Kenya in 2009. She was head of the UNICEF office in Lagos in 2015; and served as UNICEF Representative in The Gambia from 2015 to 2017, and in Yemen from 2019 to 2020.
As she navigated the UN System, Madam Beysolow Nyanti was appointed Resident Coordinator for the UN in Nepal in January 2021.
Additionally, Nyanti was a key figure in the response to Nigeria’s Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and has been a leader in the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In November 2021, she moderated the second day of the Women Political Leaders’ fourth annual Reykjavik Global Forum, noting the need for gender equality to move from policy to action. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Nyanti as Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan in December 2021, succeeding Alain Noudéhou of Benin. The role is an Assistant Secretary General.