By Sallu K. Swaray
MONROVIA – At the end of a two-day West African Regional Conference held at the University of Liberia Auditorium in Monrovia, the University of Liberia (UL) and the Nigerian-based International Academy for Gender and Peace have signed a memorandum of understanding with the award of the Master’s of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in gender, peace and security studies tenable at the University of Liberia.
Academicians and various intellectuals, some of whom attended the occasion, believe that the signing of such an MOU will ultimately help to improve the quality education in Gender, Peace and Security in Liberia.
The two-day West African Regional Conference held on Thursday-Friday, March 30-31, 2023, which witnessed the consummation of the MOU, was held on the theme, “Mean streaming Gender in the Security Sector in Africa.”
The occasion brought together academicians and politicians amongst other intellectuals, including the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia, Representative Matthews G. Zarzar; University of Liberia’s Academic Vice President Prof. Dr. Moses Zinnah; the President of the International Academy for Gender and Peace, Prof. Dr. Tyoor Frederick M. Terhemba who was the co-host of the occasion; the Keynote Speaker – Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Associate Professor Ahmed Abubakar Audi; UL Institutional Development Vice President Weade Kobbah-Boley; UN Women Representative Comfort Lamptey; and Presidential Security Advisor Jefferson Karmo amongst others.
Speaking on the terms of the MOU, the UL’s Vice President for Institutional Development, Madam Weah Kobbah-Boley who was also named on the Board of Directors of the Liberian Chapter of the Institution stated that the MOU consummates the institutions’ agreement to run programs for Master’s of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Gender and Security studies collaboratively, with the MOU consummating what they have promised to do.
Other aspects of the MOU, she said, include students exchange programs for research and studies, joint research activities and joint assessment and appointment of relevant staff on the premise of the collaborative programs.
By the dictate of the MOU, Madam Boley said some of the Liberian staffers would be instructed by professors from Abuja, Nigeria including organizations to participate in seminars, symposia, short term academic programs and academic meetings, exchange of research and educational materials, as well as publications and academic information, technical assistance and other academic activities that may be considered official to the UL International Academy for Gender and Peace as the need may arise.
Upon signing of the MOU, Madam Boley was inducted into the College of Fellows of the International Academy for Gender and Peace by the President of the Institution as a faculty of the institution after constituting the Board of Directors of the Institution at the University of Liberia which include UL President Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson as Chairman, Associate Professor Abubakar Audi and Associate Professor Weade Kobbah-Boley.
Associate Professor Weade Kobbah-Boley said with the memorandum of understanding between the University of Liberia and the international Academy for Gender and Peace as indicated during the open ceremony of the signing of the MOU many institutions have agreed to run a program in the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy, Gender and security studies collaboratively.
Professor Weade Kobbah-Boley said the occasion was ensuring that both parties were consummating what was promised. Other aspects of the MOU include students exchange for research and studies, joint research activities, joint assessment and appointment of relevant staff for the property of the collaborative programs.
Speaking further, Madam Boley averred that some Liberian staffers would be instructed by professors from Nigeria, Abuja, including Abuja organizations to participate in seminars, short term symposiums, academic programs and academic meetings, as well as exchange of research and educational materials, publications and academic information.
The Institutional Development Vice President of the University of Liberia maintained that the MOU further considered technical assistance and other academic activities that may be accorded official consideration to the University of Liberia and the International Academy for Gender and Peace as the need may arise.
She further said she used the occasion to witness the signatures of both parties, noting “You are also witnesses to this obligation.”
For His part, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Liberia, Dr. Moses Zinnah said there were discussions for the last two days of the regional gathering on an emerging period of interest integrating both men and women as partners to ensure security in our region, and of course globally.
He disclosed his pleasure that the Commandant General, Prof. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, had brilliantly alerted the gathering to think of what was already known; “… but we take it for granted.”
Dr. Zinnah further stated, “I am happy that he emphasized the need for regional collaboration,” pointing out that the talents available are many but unused, while people of the region sometimes don’t appreciate what is around.
Saying that the University of Liberia and the country at large take this very seriously, Dr. Zinnah expressed the commitment of the University of Liberia on behalf of President Julius Sarwolo Nelson to upholding the terms of the MOU.
For his part, the President of the International Academy for Gender and Peace, Tyoor Freddrick Terhemba inducted Associated Professor, Wade Kobbah Boley into the College of Fellows of the International Academy for Gender and Peace and the Former Minister of Education, Dr. Evelyn White Kandakai as member of the institution restively.
Mr. Terhemba said “By the power invested in me as the President for IAGP; I am today by recommendation of the Board of Fellows and Council of the Academy inducting professor Wade Kobbah Boley into the College Fellows of International Academy for Gender and Peace and by this induction of this 31st Day of March 2023, in addition to your other qualification, Prof. Wade Kobbah Boley, with above the rights and privileges to bear the affiliations in the IAGP in The Fellow Of International Academy Of Gender and Peace.”.
The Nigerian Professor indicated as Mrs. Boley joins the College of Fellows, she is deemed a faculty of the academy, stating that in the same vein of exercising the same power, that he has appointed the Institutional Development VP of the UL as members of the Board for Professional Advisory, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson as Chair of the Board, and Associate Professor Ahmed Abubakar Audi as Co- Chair of the Board. He also appointed Dr. Jonathan C. Taylor as Vice President in charge of graduate studies and Prof. T. Debey Sayndee amongst others respectively.
Also speaking at the closing Regional Conferences and the signing of MOU, Vice President of the Graduate School of the University of Liberia, Dr. Jonathan C. Taylor, thanked the convener and organizers of the forum, and stated that the forum has heeded meaningful progress to the participants.
He lauded the efforts of those who made it possible for such a program to have been extended to the University of Liberia. Dr. Taylor said the University of Liberia has eight graduate programs and in existence, and that the MOU has added other programs, making it nine programs in all.