Monrovia, August 9th, 2020: LGSA Chief of Party bids farewell to the Liberia Land Authority
The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) on August 7, 2020, bid farewell to the out-going Chief of Party (CoP) of the USAID funded Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) Project, Dr. Yohannes Gebremedhin.
The farewell ceremony which was held at the Executive Conference Room of the LLA, brought together members of the Board of Commissioners, the Executive Director, and some technical staff of the LLA.
Speaking at the program organized by the Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Land Authority, Atty. J. Adams Manobah, Sr., Chairman, LLA, praised the out-going LGSA Chief of Party for his great role played in the land sector of Liberia. He said although there were challenges faced during his stay in Liberia, tremendous support was provided the LLA and recommendations made to the LLA will not be missed.
“I cannot say you will be missed. Your work and footprints in Liberia, especially with the LLA will always be with us. The Authority will always remember you for the great work done supporting the training in geomatic education for young Liberians at the Forestry Training Institute in Tubmanburg Bomi County. Since the 1980s, we have not witnessed any graduation for surveyors until your arrival, thus, that alone make you the man.” He said. He further thanked the LGSA and the American people for the tremendous work done through the training of surveyors at the Forestry Training Institute.
Chairman Manobah also used the occasion to compliment Dr. Yohannes Gebremedhin for his role played in supporting the people of Fessibu Community, Lofa County to go through the processes for the formalization of their land rights.
Also, speaking on the purpose of the farewell ceremony, Mr. Stanley N. Toe, Executive Director, LLA, recounted the numerous achievements made by Dr. Yohannes Gebremedhin. He said the program was LLA’s appreciation to the LGSA out-going Chief of Party for the many good work he has done for the LLA over the past three years. He recounted the work done under previous USAID land projects and their positive impact on the land governance system of Liberia. “Your work, Dr. Yohannes, has supported and positively impacted many areas at the LLA, including land administration, policy and legal reform, capacity building through various training, public information and awareness on the LLA and LRA, and reform of the deed registration system through the development of standard operating procedures.” He added.
In her part, Hon. Ellen O. Pratt, Commissioner of Land Use and Management, LLA, who was charged with the responsibility to present the keynote statement on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, firstly expressed thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Executive Director and staff of the LLA to the out-going LGSA Chief of Party to Liberia. “I must tell you that indeed you have proven over the years of your stay in Liberia that you are an expert in Land Administration, therefore, we are going to miss you.” She further used the occasion to thank and appreciate the entire team at LGSA for the many support rendered to the LLA over the last few years.
Reflecting on the tenure of the out-going CoP, Hon. J. Josephus Burgess, Sr., Commissioner for Land Administration, could not hold back his excitement as he narrated how challenging it was when the two (Hon. Burgess & Dr. Gebremedhin) travelled to the South Eastern part of Liberia. He said that moment will forever be remembered as they went through the rugged terrain of the area to meet the local and traditional authorities to explain land issues.
In her part, Hon. P. Bloh Sayeh, Vice Chair, LLA, who presented a beautifully designed Liberian attire on behalf of the Board of Commissioners and staff of the LLA, used the occasion to thank and appreciate the LGSA Chief of Party for his many role played in the land sector. “I can recall vividly when you came to the land sector of Liberia, I was then leaving the Center for National Document and Record Agency. Today, I have come back to serve whilst you are leaving. This I will always remember, Dr. Gebremedhin.” She said
In his remark, Dr. Yohannes Gebremedhin, firstly expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Board of Commissioners and staff of the LLA for presenting to him such beautiful gown. He used the occasion to extend gratitude particularly to the Board of Commissioners for the courtesy, cordiality and friendship showed to him and his LGSA team over the last three years.
“I will treasure this kind gesture for the rest of my life, hence, I will show this cloth to my family. Buttressing what the Chairman said, indeed there were many challenges encountered. I know that the LLA is a very young institution, but at the same time, the expectations from all sides tended to be unrealistically high. Yet, there are limited resources given to the LLA to confront the complexity of all land related issues in the country.” He added.
He further said that even though there is much to be done in the sector, but, the unimaginable expectations have placed great pressure on the Board of Commissioners. “Having said this, I still believe there has been significant and incremental progresses made over the last few years that cannot be overlooked. There are so many great work done, including strengthening the legal framework, institutional development, public awareness, piloting and developing methodology for customary land rights, and etc. and etc.” He added.
The LGSA out-going Chief of Party further emphasized the need for the current leadership to remain committed to its vision and carry out more awareness on the LLA’s achievements over the years. This he said will inform the general public, especially those within the rural communities on the progress made so far at the LLA, as well enable the LLA to continue to win public trust and confidence.
In closing, Dr. Gebremedhin used the occasion to encourage the LLA to do more in showcasing its achievements. “If you cannot showcase your achievements, your progress and what you have done over the last few years, others will focus on your weakness, thus, I want to encourage you to do more in this area. Thank you for your support and cooperation. For this, the LLA and Liberia will always be part of me.” He said.
Following the program, the honoree was treated to a lavish light reception during which time staff in attendance interacted with and had informal discussions with the honoree.
Reported By: Emmanuel Chedeh Davis - Communication & Outreach Officer
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