George Weah: the president who is transforming Liberia

Building roads and declaring higher education free, are the changes being made by the former football player George Weah in Liberia

George Weah: the former footballer player who is now president of Liberia

As a consequence of the civil war that Liberia faced, between 1989 and 2003, two-thirds of the child population was left without access to education and progress in terms of entry to the university slowed down. This provoked, that those who aspired to the power, could not do it, being Liberia in the hands of few and their progress in the limbo.

Leer en español: George Weah: el presidente ex futbolista que está transformando a Liberia

However, former footballer George Weah, who currently serves as president, is changing that reality. As El Espectador reviews with information from AFP.

The costs that are presented for students in their high school graduation exams will be assumed by the Government. It was one of the announcements given by Weah at the 100th anniversary of his term, adds the quoted media.

Likewise, according to Clarín of Argentina, it allocated $ 250,000 to finance a modern electronic system with which it seeks to improve the administrative procedures of the State University of Liberia. All in favor of facilitating access to education. And there's still more.

"I am pleased to announce that I declare free the University of Liberia and all other public universities in the country for any undergraduate student," Weah told the media in his country, during a visit to the University of Liberia. His words respond to the proposal made to the Liberians to make free access to the country's universities in their campaign for the presidency.

His initiative will begin to benefit 50,000 students currently attending the university, according to Clarín. The idea is innovative, since it makes Liberia the first country in Africa to provide free education to its people, highlights the EFE agency.

Read also: Santos, Mujica and Obama: life after the presidency

The other proposals of George Weah for Liberia

Both Weah and his Cabinet of Ministers decided to lower 10% of their salaries, a measure to face the economic crisis that Liberia is going through due to the scarce presence of foreign companies in the mining sector. Asking for the abolition of an article of the constitution that allows only Liberian citizenship to black people is another of the transformations that it seeks to do during its presidency, says Clarín.

The same media highlights that Weah announced, to advance in the health sector, building the first military hospital in the country. Similarly, it wants to build roads that connect the most isolated areas with the main roads in the country. The government of Weah will allocate 50,000 million dollars to achieve it.

From football to the presidency

At age 19 George Weah debuted as a footballer in the Mighty Barrolle team of Liberia's first division. It was 1985. He did it by overcoming the poverty that affected the neighborhood where he lived and, especially, the city where Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, grew up. From there, he jumped into the Monaco of France.

In this team, he scored 66 goals and jumped to PSG and then to Milan. In this last team he achieved something historic: in 1995 he won the golden ball and became the first and only African footballer to obtain such recognition.

In 2003 he retired from football, after being in Chelsea, Manchester City, Olympique de Marseille, and Al-Jazeera. His next objective was in the presidency of Liberia. He tried in 2006, but he did not win. The government that remained put a limitation on Weah: declare necessary having a university degree to run for president. There was another challenge for Weah.

He went to study business administration and criminology at the Devry University High School in Miami. To obtain the title and fulfill the requirement that the government of Liberia requested to aspire to the presidency, he launched his candidacy in 2017. This time he was victorious with 61.5% of the votes. On January 22 he took office, reports Ovación Deportes de Uruguay.

For now, among other transformations already mentioned, Weah will seek to strengthen his people with education, thus fulfilling a phrase of his presidential campaign that today has great resonance in international media: "The least I can do for my people is to educate them."

LatinAmerican Post | Edwin Guerrero Nova

Translated from: 'George Weah: el ex futbolista que ahora es presidente de Liberia'

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