Foreign Min. Ngafuan Urges National Interest Above Personal Interest

Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan addressing hundreds of students as the keynote speaker  at Tubman Universityís first Career Day Fair in Harper, Maryland County
Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan addressing hundreds of students as the keynote speaker at Tubman Universityís first Career Day Fair in Harper, Maryland County
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has urged young students and his fellow compatriots to never put personal interest above national interest.


Addressing hundreds of students as the keynote speaker  at Tubman University’sfirst Career Day Fair Friday, February 21, 2014 in Harper, Maryland County, the Foreign Minister noted that it is not wrong for any Liberian to have an individual dream or ambition or objective, but stressed that it is important for Liberians not to lose sight of the fact that they all live in a country called Liberia; and that if the ambition, or dream or vision of Liberia is not achieved, it will be difficult for anyone to achieve his or her private ambitions or visions.


“So we should never pursue our personal ambition or objectives to the detriment of the national ambition. We should make our dreams and our visions to be en sync with the national vision-a vision for national development and prosperity, a vision for unity and reconciliation, a vision for peace and security within our border and sub-region and in our one world”, he concluded.


Additionally, Minister Ngafuan urged the students most of whom are hoping to cultivate a career to develop the attitude of success, prepare for uncertainties, and to be true patriots.


Labeling time as the most valuable asset for young people, Foreign Minister Ngafuan urged the young students to utilize time wisely in achieving their dreams. 


“Time is the most valuable asset you can have. Do not squander it”, the Foreign Minister told students of the Southeastern University.


He reminded the students that one of the advantages of being young is that their future was still ahead of them: “You have what many old people crave for--time. The old crave for the opportunity to reverse the hands of the clock so that they will go back in time and have the opportunity to correct some of the strategic mistakes they made while young, mistakes that might have led to some depressing outcomes that they cannot easily disentangle themselves from…Whether you end up in the Whitehouse or in the Dog House, whether you end up as a beggar or as giver, whether you end up as a success story or a sob story, [time] is still largely in your hands”.


Minister Ngafuan, himself a former student leader, defined success to the young student body as the product of “hard work plus grace of God” which he said is the formula that he knows, because it has worked for him, and has worked for mankind since the days of Creation though others would give highfaluting, mysterious, subterranean, and dangerous formulae for success.


“Maintain your focus and keep your eyes steady on your objective”, he said amidst huge applause from the students. Referencing the popular Biblical story of Peter who walked on water while his eyes were fixed on Jesus, the keynote speaker said the moral of the story is that no matter one’s circumstances, no matter the difficulty of today or tomorrow, one should keep his or her eyes on his or her dream.  


“If your dream is to be a medical doctor, or a pilot, or a Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Governor of a the Central Bank, or a future President of Tubman University, keep focused on that dream regardless whether you are going to bed today with an empty stomach”, he stated.


Earlier, former Information Minister Laurence K. Bropleh who served as a speaker at the career fair urged the students to consider “contextual relevance” in the selection of their respective careers. He noted that job opportunities in the Liberia of today and tomorrow are opening up more in the technical areas, so students who take the emerging trend in the job market into consideration will be giving themselves a significant advantage in the job market.


Now the only university in Liberia’s southeastern region, the Tubman University (TU), formerly called Tubman College (TC) during pre-war days, was changed from a Technical College to a full university in 2009 three years into President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s first term.


The Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell led University now has five degree granting colleges which has attracted top-notch faculty and staff both from across Liberia and abroad, with a student enrollment of nearly 1,000; almost 800 more from its initial enrollment of 200 when it first re-opened about five years ago. The University now braces for its first set of graduates in June of this year.