Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wednesday began a US tour her government said was aimed at finding answers to Liberia`s emerging petroleum industry.
President Sirleaf, who on the invitation of the Rice University in Houston, Texas, will use the opportunity to explore Liberia`s chances in governing its newly found oil resources.
But she is primarily going to launch the Excellence in Leadership Energy Lecture Series of the James Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
An Executive Mansion (State House) statement says with the possibility that the country would become an oil-exporting nation, President Sirleaf`s present US tour is relevant as she has been scheduled to meet with petroleum sector executives in the energy capital of the United States.
"President Sirleaf says she is going to Houston to listen and learn, engage in a dialogue to find answers to how Liberia can make oil benefit its people and work for its emerging economy, search for solutions that can be adapted to the Liberian realities, and to hear about problems the country has yet to envision,” the government statement said.
The Liberian leader, who is travelling with a high powered delegation including the leadership of the Liberian senate, is also scheduled to inaugurate the Chevron Excellence in Leadership Energy Lecture Series, which is the highpoint of her visit.
She will be talking on the theme: “Peace and Security in Liberia: New Policies for the Energy Sector.”
The Lecture Series, the government release noted, is the Baker Institute’s Energy Forum’s flagship energy speakers programme which seeks to highlight bold leadership in policymaking, statesmanship, innovation and best practices toward solving the world’s energy challenges.
Liberia`s recent breakthrough in its search for petroleum has since attracted attention from among various world energy companies, including from the US.
Therefore, President Sirleaf is scheduled to meet with senior executive team of Anadarko Petroleum, which in November last year made non-commercial offshore discoveries of oil in the West African country.
She will also travel to Chevron headquarters for Africa and Latin America for talks with the corporation’s top executives.
An audience of over 400 people will then pose questions on the president on various issues bordering on Liberia`s post-war development efforts.