MONROVIA – Amara Konneh, a distinguished member of the Liberian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, shared his meticulous investigation on Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti, President Joseph Boakai’s nominee for Foreign Minister. Konneh, as a responsible senator, personally ensured that he delved deep into Nyanti’s educational background.
He discovered that her degrees from Western Governors University, an esteemed and accredited online institution renowned for providing affordable and career-focused college degrees in an accelerated manner, were indeed legitimate. Konneh had personally reviewed her transcripts and confirmed their authenticity.
However, further exploration led Konneh to uncover some discrepancies regarding Nyanti’s education at Andrew Jackson University, an institution that no longer exists. Initially established as a for-profit university in 1994 by Robert McKim Norris Jr. and D. Michael Barrett, it went through several transformations, ultimately becoming Bottega University in 2020. While accredited as an online educational platform, offering certificates, undergraduate, and graduate courses, Konneh did not find any transcripts or evidence of Nyanti’s enrollment at this institution. Despite this, he highlighted that her legitimate degree from Western Governors University meets the requirement of accreditation from a recognized university.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of Nyanti’s abilities in her UN assignments, Konneh sought the insights of various individuals well-acquainted with her work. He conversed with two former senior UN officials, a senior former official of the International Republican Institute who had worked in South Sudan alongside Nyanti, a retired former UN official knowledgeable about her endeavors in Nepal, and even had the privilege of speaking with John Garang’s widow, South Sudan’s former First Lady and one of the country’s vice presidents. All the feedback Konneh received was overwhelmingly positive, affirming Nyanti’s competence and dedication in her professional roles. Konneh himself had witnessed her exceptional work during his tenure as the head of the World Bank’s Global Hub for Fragile States, particularly in Yemen.
While Konneh recognized Nyanti’s qualifications and capabilities, his primary concern was her integrity and the assurance of her efficacy in executing her duties.
However, after conducting thorough research and consulting with various individuals familiar with Nyanti’s work, Konneh felt reassured. He acknowledged the importance of maintaining the Senate’s integrity and commitment to making informed decisions devoid of emotions and public sentiments.
Therefore, the Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Senator Abe Darius Dillon, decided to conduct a second hearing in the Committee Room before presenting the nominee to the Senate Plenary for a vote. Such diligence and meticulousness would uphold the Senate’s responsibility as an esteemed institution.
Konneh concluded his remarks by highlighting that Nyanti’s remarkable journey as President Boakai’s nominee holds great significance for Liberian women. Her story serves as an inspiration, instilling hope and paving the way for aspiring women in the country.