Salisbury City Council approves twinning relationship with Monrovia, Liberia – Salisbury Post
By Natalie Anderson
SALISBURY – Following visits by Liberian dignitaries in the fall, Salisbury City Council officially established a twinning relationship with the city of Monrovia in the African Republic of Liberia on Tuesday.
The city council approved a joint resolution to establish the relationship, which will focus on sharing information related to economic development, cultural exchanges, educational advancement, law enforcement, law enforcement, sanitation, trade, human capacity building and technology, the resolution says.
Discussions about the relationship began in October following a press conference at Livingstone College, where the school awarded Emmanuel Tuloe, a teenager from Liberia, a full scholarship. Tuloe became a national hero after returning tens of thousands of dollars to the rightful owner.
Livingstone College, a historically black college, has a long history with Liberia through its founding denomination AME Zion Church and through its collaboration with the Liberian Organization of Piedmont, located in Winston-Salem. Livingstone College sponsors two Liberian students every four years.
Tuloe, 18, was driving his motorcycle taxi in northeast Nimba County in Liberia when he found US $ 50,000 and Liberian $ 100,000 on the road wrapped in a plastic bag. Tuloe’s aunt kept the money until he could return it to Musu Yancy, a business owner who made a return request over the radio later that day. Christopher Fahn, a journalist in Liberia, first reported the story.
Tuloe’s story gained international attention, with the President of the Republic of Liberia George Manneh Weah visiting Tuloe at his home. Tuloe told Weah that her desire was to complete her education after having to drop out of seventh grade to operate a motorcycle taxi service to support her family. Weah and her family personally offered Tuloe a scholarship to attend the school of her choice in Liberia, as well as $ 10,000 and two new motorcycles. The owner of the money also provided Tuloe with money and materials worth $ 1,500, including a mattress he gave to her grandmother.
Tuloe plans to finish high school before enrolling at Salisbury University, but Livingstone’s offer is good whenever he’s ready. Tuloe said he plans to study engineering.
After the press conference, Mayor Karen Alexander opened a discussion with George SW Patten Sr., Ambassador of Liberia to the United States, on the possibility of establishing a sister city relationship due to the success of the relationship of the town with Salisbury, England.
Alexander also invited Rowan Economic Development Commission Chairman Rod Crider and Rowan Chamber of Commerce Chairman Elaine Spalding to the meeting.
“I wanted this twin city relationship to be economical as well because of Livingstone’s partnership with the City of Salisbury through KIVA and the 1MBB program,” said Alexander.
KIVA is a non-profit organization that provides loans to eligible businesses owned by women and minorities. 1MBB, or 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative, aims to give one million black entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools they need to be successful. Salisbury participates in both initiatives.
“This is a great opportunity for us to advance not only culture, but also our commitment as a city for racial equity and inclusion,” said Alexander. “This could be the start of something really big.”
In November, Liberian officials returned to Salisbury to discuss relations and draft a memorandum of understanding between the two governments. Alexander was joined by Patten, Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Koijee, COO of Livingstone, Dr Anthony Davis, Executive Assistant to the President, Dr State Alexander, as well as James Hunder and Olu Browne of the Liberian organization from Piedmont based in Winston-Salem.
Koijee credited Alexander with taking “the bull by the horn to move forward”.
America’s relationship with the West African nation of Liberia dates back to the 19th century. In the early 1800s, the American Colonization Society founded the colony of Liberia south of Sierra Leone as the homeland for American slaves freed outside British jurisdiction. Monrovia was named after the fifth US president, James Monroe.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, City Councilor Anthony Smith said the new relationship was “fascinating” and that Liberia is on his list of things to visit based on its history and culture. He added that the flag of Liberia is similar to the American flag. City Councilor Harry McLaughlin Jr. said he had interacted with local Liberian nationals who walk into the store and notice a growing population.
“There’s a small community that’s actually growing here in Salisbury and a number of people who come to shop and get the same kind of meat that we do,” McLaughlin said. “Their language is English… and the currency is the US dollar. “
Liberia plans to celebrate its bicentennial throughout 2022. Alexander said on Tuesday that she plans to visit the country and will pay her travel expenses.
Davis, who represented Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins Sr. at the November meeting, acknowledged Alexander’s leadership and inclusiveness, which he said was “the spirit in which this document was written.” .
“It goes beyond a simple cultural experiment, but maybe an economic experiment – a relationship that would be mutually beneficial,” Davis said.
Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.