SARR Conference, January 13-14, 2009, Monrovia, Liberia
The conference marked a significant moment in the recent histories of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Since 1980, all three countries have been members of the Mano River Union (MRU), an association established in 1973 to foster economic cooperation and trade among the member states. It was named for the Mano River which begins in the Guinea highlands and forms a border between Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, decades of violent conflicts and the almost overwhelming task of rebuilding that followed had prevented the MRU from fulfilling its original objectives. As President Johnson-Sirleaf stated in her remarks, “Regional approaches have taken a back seat simply because there is so much work to be done in the countries themselves to move away from this long history of underdevelopment…” [to read the full transcript of her remarks, click here]
Panel facilitators were:
Dr. Michael McGovern, Assistant Professor, Yale University; Ms. Frances Fortune, West and Central Africa Director, Search for Common Ground; Mr. Hervé Ludovic de Lys, Head of Regional Office for West Africa, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and Dr. Bruce Knauft, Executive Director, ICIS, Emory University.
The conference was co-organized by Bruce Knauft, Executive Director of the Institute of Critical International Studies, Emory University and Mike McGovern, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Yale University. The conference implementing partner was Liberia Democracy Watch (LDW), based in Monrovia, George Wah Williams, CEO. Dr. Joanna Davidson, ICIS/SARR Post-doctoral Fellow coordinated the conference target questions and written position papers. The SARR project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
For a complete conference statement, schedule, session topics and panelists, selected position papers, a transcript of President Johnson-Sirleaf’s remarks, and photographs please click on the links below:
Photographs (Coming soon)