A 24-member team of students of the Executive Masters of Public Administration program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) have arrived in Liberia. They are being placed at various Ministries and Agencies of Government for short-term internship to augment their knowledge in international public administration outside the United States.
"As the Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration program at North Carolina Central University, I must convey our excitement about NCCU's continuous partnership through the MOU with CSA since 2007.
It is a reflection of the sound work between the Republic of Liberia, the Civil Service Agency and North Carolina Central University representing the United States of America through International education linkages such as the annual internship of our students with various agencies under the CSA.
Thanks in advance for the continuous partnership between North Carolina Central University and the Republic of Liberia. We look forward to working with each of you again this year" Dr. Larrisha McGill-Youngblood, Program Manager-Executive MPA Track, North Carolina Central University said yesterday at the Meet & Greet Dinner in Monrovia.
The Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) Madam Laurine Wede Johnson is upbeat about the students' visit to Liberia and their curriculum vitas have been sent to various Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs) for placement.
In order to promote future cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia, the two institutions: Civil Service Agency (CSA) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) endeavor to cooperate in education and research in areas of mutual respect.
To the extent feasible, DG Johnson said both institutions encourage direct contact and cooperation in facilitating and internship for the NCCU Executive Masters in Public Administration students at the Civil Service Agency.
"We wholeheartedly welcome you to Liberia, especially our dynamic guests and students from NCCU. Let us interact and share notes on our experiences and various ministries and agencies we will be assigned. Hope that you will have a pleasant and fruitful stay in Liberia.
I must say that people in Liberia are generally friendly and hospitable, especially in the rural areas where at one time members of the American Peace Corps settled and easily learned the dialects spoken in those areas" DG. Laurine Wede Johnson, Director General of the Civil Service Agency asserted.
For his part, the Chairman of the Department of Public Administration, Dr. Zaphon Wilson said "the Public Administration program at NCCU uses this global experience to help students understand the practice and theory of public administration through a close partnership with leaders in the Liberian government.
In addition, we are proud to say the link between NCCU, the Government of Liberia, and global leadership adds strength values of public trust and service."
Accompanied also by the Director of the Executive Master's of Public Administration
(EMPA) program Dr. Larrisha McGill-Youngblood and Assistant Professor Dr. Christopher Paul.
"Given my experience in parent and community engagement with the public schools including in Wake and Mecklenburg County Schools, the challenges and opportunities there is lots of best practices and exchange of perspective that I can bring back to North Carolina," EMPA student Kian Furnace added.
Still, the conditions in Liberia are quite different from those in North Carolina. As Acting Director of Public Utilities for the City of Goldsboro, EMPA student Michael Wagner observes, "the need for water and sewer infrastructure in Liberia is extraordinary, and my partner agency is striving to deliver the critical services for health and safety."
"The NCCU has built extensive partnerships over more than a decade in Liberia, and the strength of these relationship and the warmth of Liberian culture is clear in the way our partners welcome the students to their agencies and Liberia," Dr. Christopher Paul observes.
"Coming to a post-disaster country has really been eye-opening for our group, with many lessons about public service, trust, and governance," Dr. Youngblood recounts. "Our partners provide strong mentorship to our students in their placements.
The students and faculty returned to North Carolina on 25th May, 2019 and will develop reports to send back to their partners in Liberia. This is the sixth year students from the Public Administration program have visited Liberia.