spot_imgspot_img
Saturday, July 20, 2024

AMARA KONNEH’S EMOTIONAL TOWN HALL MEETING IN PA AMID THE RACE FOR THE LIBERIAN SENATE

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary with Ekena Wesley

The flyers were massively in circulation as to a much talked about Town Hall Meeting under the auspices of friends of former Finance Minister, Amara Konneh. Reminders came in from the left, right, and center. Comrade Amara Konneh had just returned from Liberia amid a highly engrossed schedule.

After nearly six years abroad that took him to Nairobi, Kenya, working for the World Bank with oversight of fragile states, Washington D.C., and of course Massachuttes Institute of Technology (MIT), the former Finance Minister returned home occasioned by a triumphant welcome from family, friends, and well-wishers.

At 2601 S 63rd Street, Philadelphia, the African Cultural Centre was the venue. Scores of relatives, friends, and associates trooped in from New York, New Jersey, and Delaware to listen to a son, father, brother, mentor, and icon.

Amid a moderately managed protocol cum arrangement, all was set for a moment in history that had been in the works since Amara Konneh’s return from the small West African nation a couple of weeks ago.

With the moderator having so little to do, Amara provided the jammed packed auditorium historical insights into his early childhood life, and the spirit of a culturally entrenched sense of belonging, he passionately reckoned the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, the trappings of refugee life, his flight to the US, his role on the Think Tank, Liberians for Ellen (LIFE), LIFE’s role in the 2005 elections and recruitment in government as a young and promising professional.

Amara is a product of rural life, an epitome of the harsh realities of poverty. As a young lad growing up in Ballah Camp, in highly forested Gbarpolu County, he came face-to-face with what it means to endure the difficulties and frustration of dire socioeconomic uncertainties. But he has been configured by the trimmings of humility and cushioned to be content no matter the prevailing circumstances.

He is an African son born in a traditional hut where cow dung is used to serve as what would be modern floor tile. Ballah Camp is sandwich by the Lofa River on the one side and the Brown River on the other. Ballah Camp, a typically rural heartland, reminisces a sociocultural ambiance. Amara carries in his DNA unbridled cultural tentacles anchored on respect and service.

Amara’s enriched cultural and religious upbringing factored him into a disciplined, cultured, respectful, diligent, hardworking, and determined young man whose greatest weapon became resilience.

Relocated to Monrovia under the parental guidance of his affectionate grandmother, Amara did not have the same opportunity as many others. Street life took a toll on him for some time. At some point, when his late father attempted to discipline him, his grandmother came to his defense. But he paid tribute to his deceased in-law, who in spite of the many challenges, offered to fund his education.

What was revealing as Amara Konneh told his personal yet emotional story was that inclined element of empathy. He would publicly acknowledge those who generously supported his climb up the ladder no matter how small. Surely, an act of virtue to recognize the little things that truly make a difference. It is therefore on account of the spirit of cheerful giving and being a brother’s keeper that Amara believes that giving selflessly is divine.

The mindless self-destructive conflict in the small West African nation impacted all and sundry personally and collectively. Like many others, Amara became a refugee in Guinea. He narrated the unappealing conditions of refugee life but noted resilience has remained key in his pursuit to move on. He asserted himself, and joined others to volunteer and serve the cause of humanity. He rose to the occasion. Engaged in farming and it paid off. Such a survival strategy positioned him amid his flight to the US.

Amara told his audience how he started in the US, doing janitorial services. An Iraq war veteran who recognized the scrupulous execution of his janitorial assignment had a chat with him and wondered why he was so dedicated to his job. That exchange led to a second job for Amara. A determined and promising young man, Amara’s quest for professional development inspired him to visit the Delaware County Community College (DCCC)…

Despite rigid storming blocks, Amara made a case, sat the high school equivalency examination, and emerged with flying colors. Sat DCCC’s entrance and placement exams were successful. He enrolled at DCCC and graduated with a Grade Point of 4.00.

The road to Drexel University was next, which he completed with distinction. He later enrolled at Penn State. For nine years,  work took the better part of Amara until he and a group of like-minded professionals formed LIFE. Their incredible contributions at the level of LIFE along with others culminated in the Unity Party’s 2005 victory. The road to Harvard started after serving briefly as Deputy Minister of Public Affairs at the Ministry of State.

His return from Harvard landed him at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs as Minister, a position he served in while the merger of Finance and Economic Planning was in the works. It happened via a legislative enactment and Amara became the first Minister of Finance and Development Planning following the 2011 General and Presidential elections. Amara Konneh and John Morlu will go down in history as the only two youthful senior government officials that prioritize human capital development throughout Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s reign.

Amara departed Liberia in 2016 for his first major World Bank assignment in Nairobi, Kenya. He has since been in the international civil servant circle.

His recent visit to Liberia to assess developments on the ground has become a game changer. Recognizing the pivotal role of Diaspora Liberians, Amara used the Town Hall Meeting in PA to make a case about his ambitious bid for the senate in Gbarpolu County. The zest for a petitioning ceremony in Liberia was slowed pending consultation with the huge US-based constituency. That is now history.

He entreated the unqualified support of family, friends, and relatives in rallying his cause for the senate. Amara is calling for a strong and vibrant Western solidarity that will collaborate in making the final leg of the ECOWAS road corridor connecting Liberia to Sierra Leone a reality.

Amara has what it takes to make a great lawmaker but given the nature of how things work on Capitol Hill, we can only hope his push for the senate will amount to fruitful dividends. Best of luck AMK!

smartnews
Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT

LIBERIA CONSIDERS AMENDMENT TO CRIMINALIZE HOMOSEXUALITY WITH LIFE IMPRISONMENT

MONROVIA — The House of Representatives has initiated a...

DESPITE CONTROVERSIAL TIES, CEAINEH CLINTON-JOHNSON CONFIRMED TO LIBERIA’S SUPREME COURT

MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate has confirmed Judge Ceaineh...

MINISTER NYUMALIN DISRUPTS CUSTOMARY LAND DEEDS CEREMONY IN LOFA COUNTY

MONRIVIA – Internal Affairs Minister Francis Nyumalin has caused...

JUDGE CEAINEH JOHNSON’S NOMINATION QUESTIONED OVER TIES TO CONVICTED CRIMINAL MARIA LUYKEN

President Joseph Boakai's recent nomination of Judge Ceaineh D....

THE SENATE’S EXTRAVAGANCE AMID ECONOMIC DESPAIR

The recent Senate retreat in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County,...

COMMENTARY

LIBERIAN PRESIDENT JOE BOAKAI’S TROUBLING ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES RAISE CONCERNS

               By Wondah L. Jah Liberia's President Joe Boakai, a...

COMBATING LEGISLATIVE CORRUPTION: A CALL FOR CHANGE IN LIBERIA

A commentary by Wondah L. Jah Introduction: The Liberian legislature has...

LIBERIANS DEMAND CHANGE AMID CORRUPTION AND BAD GOVERNANCE

By Wondah L. Jah In a growing wave of discontent,...

PRESIDENT JOSEPH BOAKAI’S TRANSPARENCY PROMISES FALTER AMIDST CRITICISM

President Joseph Boakai’s administration is facing significant criticism for...

LATEST NEWS

LIBERIA: FORMER PRESIDENT SIRLEAF STILL EXHIBITS STERLING QUALITIES, EVEN AFTER OFFICE

By Abubakar Hashim / Monrovia Former President Sirleaf remains a...

LNP PROVIDES SECURITY FOR ILLEGAL MINING COMPANY IN GBARPOLU

By Henry B. Gboluma, Jr. BELLE YELLA, GBARPOLU – Deep...

U.S. GOVERNMENT WANTS FULL ACCESS GRANTED ALL ELECTION OBSERVERS ON POLLING DAY IN LIBERIA

MONROVIA – The U.S. government through its embassy near...

Share post:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

OPINION

AMID AN UNENDING WAR AGAINST POVERTY, INJUSTICES – HAS THE PROGRESSIVE STRUGGLE BECOME LOST IN TRANSLATION?

A Patriot's Diary With Ekena Wesley What manner of Liberian progressives...

HAS PRESIDENT BOAKAI’S GOVERNMENT BEGUN BEARING GOOD FRUITS? (PART1)

By Jacob N.B. Parley Following a careful reflection, I have...

ELEVATING THE AG BIBLE COLLEGE TO A UNIVERSITY: A MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENT

By Jacob N.B. Parley After many years of successful preaching...

THE DILEMMA OF PRESIDENTIAL SUPREMACY IN LIBERIA: EXAMINING THE BALANCE OF POWER

By Dr. Clarence R. Pearson, Sr. Superior presidency is the...

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN UP-LED GOVERNMENT’S DEAL RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS

In a shocking and controversial move, the Unity Party...

THE GALLERY

spot_imgspot_img

MORE ARTICLES

spot_imgspot_img

MORE NEWS

LATEST DEVELOPMENT NEWS

LATEST CRIME NEWS

Share via
Copy link