The Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has Identified education as the panacea to poverty and disunity in Africa.
Sirleaf made the remark at a meeting with students of the Rochas Foundation College of Africa in Owerri on Friday.
She called on African governments to provide children in the continent with quality education that would enable them to proffer solution to poverty and under development.
Sirleaf commended the Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha, for providing quality education to indigent African children through his foundation.
“When I see these children, I recollect what happened in my country 15 years ago when children like them were not able to go to school because there were no schools.
“Children like them were conscripted into the army where they had guns bigger than them and had no comfort of life,’’ she said
The president commended the management of the foundation for making life comfortable for the students of the foundation.
“I have travelled to every part of the world and I have never experienced something like this;
“There is no other better way to fight poverty and preach unity than this.’’
Responding, Okorocha said the foundation he started about 20 years ago was a “Spiritual contract between him and God and a sacrifice to uplift humanity.’’
“What I do today is not a dramatisation of affluence as I am not amongst the richest in Africa; Rochas foundation is a dramatisation of sacrifice.
“This may as well be the Africa we are looking for.
“I do not know if this institution will grow beyond me and my generation, but this may be the beginning of the unity we all crave for in Africa.
“These children now see themselves as one family,’’ he said.
The Director-General of the College, Miss Uchechi Okorocha, decried the high rate of out of school children in Africa.
She expressed the hope that that with the students, having imbibed the culture of unity at the end of their, would return to their respective communities to preach the Unity of Africa.
According to her, the students will also be in the vanguard of fighting poverty and illiteracy in the in the continent.
High points of the event were the unveiling of the statue of Sirleaf at the Ikemba Ojukwu square in Owerri and naming a road after her.
She was also conferred with the title of “Ada Di Oha Nma” of Imo State, meaning a daughter that is very good to her people.
She was also inducted in the Imo Hall of Fame, in addition to an award of merit presented to her by the state government.