ENTEBBE – Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni on Tuesday hosted the Liberian Vice President H.E Dr Jewel Howard Taylor and her delegation at State House Entebbe.
By Prossy S will updated at 0206 GMT on Wednesday 16th June 2021
Thanks In a tweet, Museveni said was glad to hear the progress being made in rebuilding Liberia after more than 30 years of instability.
Sources speaking to HICGI News Agency indicate that Dr Taylor’s visit to Uganda is aimed at political blessings ahead of 2023 elections from the Lion of Africa.
VP Howard-Taylor Pays Courtesy Call On Malawian President
Dr Jewel on Monday ended a five-working day visit in Lilongwe, Malawi from June 9th to 14th, 2021.
While in Malawi, Madam Vice President paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi. The two leaders exchanged pleasantries and affirmed renewed cooperation between Liberia and Malawi.
Vice President Howard-Taylor applauded President Chakwera for his stance on women empowerment, evident by 39% of women appointment in cabinet.
She further commended President Chakwera for creating the platform for women and branded him a true “HeforShe” champion.
Still in Malawi, Madam Vice President also held talks with her counterpart His Excellency Saulos Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
The meeting centered on the possibilities of exploring investment opportunities in both countries with an agenda to identify specfic areas of engagements.
Vice President Chilima acknowledged Liberia’s rich history in leading the liberation struggle which occasioned the independence of many countries on the African continent. He expressed willingness to learn from Liberia’s experience on the international stage.
The two Vice Presidents were keen on collaborating in the extractive industry and how both Nations resources can improve the livelihood of the people.
Vice President Howard-Taylor also had fruitful discussions with Rt. Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara, the first elected female Speaker of the Malawian Parliament.
The meeting focused on the need to encourage more women into politics and strategies to support women who are in Parliament.
As President of the Liberian Senate, Madam Vice President assured Speaker Hara of the establishment of a cohesive relationship between the Parliaments of both Nations and the compelli need to strive for the election of more women in Parliament.
Liberia Political Fever ahead of 2023
In a carefully-worded remark earlie this month , President George Mannah Weah dropped more than a few hints about his plans to retain his Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor as his running mate in the 2023 presidential elections.
Describing his collaboration with the former Bong County senator in the 2017 presidential elections as “the perfect team”, the Liberian leader said he looks forward to working with his “brilliant and politically-smart” vice president beyond 2023 when their first term enE
“In 2017, Jewel Howard-Taylor and I came here in Salayea District to ask for your vote, and you voted us. Three years into our first term, we have come back to tell you thank you for your votes” President Weah said.
“The team you elected is a very good one and I hope we will continue to work for the Liberian people beyond the first six-year mandate you people gave us. I have a vice president whom I rely on so much in this government for key decisions.”
“People say Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor is smarter than me, but I say to myself, I am smart because I selected a very smart vice president in Jewel Howard-Taylor.”
“I am enjoy working with my vice president, and I hope we can continue this working relationship beyond our six-year mandate,” President George Weah said.
President Weah made the remarks in Salayea District, Lofa County at the start of his five-day tour of the county. The vice president is among scores of government officials traveling with the president.
Amid rumors of internal rift between the president and his vice president, this was the first time Howard-Taylor travelled with the president since he embarked on his nationwide tour. And speaking, President Weah downplayed rumors of rifts, saying: “We are very happy working together as a team for the betterment of Liberia.
There have also been rumors that the president would break ranks with his vice president in 2023 by selecting a different running mate, but an elite member of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, brushed off the speculations and described Howard-Taylor as a “political assert” to the coalition. Koijee predicts a George Weah and Howard-Taylor in 2023.
“President George Weah and his Vice President started as a team in the 2017 presidential elections and they will continue that journey in in the 2023 presidential elections,” Koijee said.
“This team is working for the people of Liberia and I see no reason why the CDC should change its running mate in 2023. The vice president has been politically tested and proven, and I strongly believe she’s the right person to go as the running mate on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change in 2023,” he said.
“There has been no beef between the president and his vice president. It has been the opposition that has been spreading this falsehood,” Koijee said.
Jewel: I’m a team player
Asked if she would accept to go as running mate to President Weah in 2023 if he came asking, Howard-Taylor said: “Why not? I am part of the CDC and if the opportunity comes one hundred times I will definitely accept. I’m a team player,” the vice president said.
Rumors of rift between President Weah and his vice president hightened after Bong County superintendent Esther Walker broke her 26-year relationship with the former first lady.
Many accused the president of trying to disintegrate the vice president’s National Patriotic Party, a constituent member of the ruling CDC of which Madam Walker served as national women chair before her resignation.
During the December 8,2020 senatorial elections, President Weah and Howard-Taylor differed on the choice of candidate. Though the vice president didn’t announce her choice of candidate, she publicly differed with President Weah’s choice – Henry Yallah. In one of her radio interviews, Howard-Taylor said: “Yallah is President George Weah’s candidate, not Jewel’s; and it’s the responsibility of the president to make him win re-election.”
Yallah would go on to lose the election to former deputy speaker and former District Two lawmaker, Prince Moye.
Popular Jewel would be key to CDC
Howard-Taylor, former wife of former president Charles Taylor, has established herself as the most popular politician in Bong County, having been elected twice as senator of Bong County (2005&2014), and helping to ensure the elections of twoof her former office staff as lawmakers of Bing’s districts five and three.
As running mate to President Weah in 2017, the CDC for the first time won Bong County in both the first and second rounds of the elections. It was a feat many attributed to Howard-Taylor’s influence after the CDC two failed attempts by the party to win Bong County in the 2005 and 2011, respectively.
If the CDC selects the vice president as its running mate in 2023, the likelihood of the coalition winning Bong, the third populous county, is certain because of her legacy she has built in the county over her almost 18-year stint as senator of the county before becoming vice president.
Who is Jewel Cianeh Howard Taylor?
Born January 17, 1963 Jewel is a Liberian politician and the current Vice President of Liberia. She was married to former president Charles Taylor (whom she married in 1997, but later divorced in 2006) and was First Lady of Liberia during his presidency.
In 2005, Jewel Taylor was elected to the Senate of Liberia in Bong County as a member of the National Patriotic Party. She served as the Chairperson of the Senate Health and Social Welfare Committee on Gender, Women and Children.
Life and career
While her husband was president, Taylor held a number of official posts in the Liberian government, including Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Liberia (forerunner to the current Central Bank of Liberia), President of the Agriculture Cooperative and Development Bank (ACDB) and Mortgage Financing Underwriter of the First Union National Bank. In addition, she focused on educational, health and social projects.
Taylor holds a graduate degree in banking and two bachelors’ in banking and economics. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Cuttington University in Liberia. On December 21, 2011, she graduated from the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law of the state-owned University of Liberia. Two days later, a public dispute arose in Bong County regarding honors allegedly given her; she was announced to be the new holder of the title “Madam Suakoko”, an honorary Bong County title memorializing the namesake of the Suakoko District, but members of the group that had supposedly awarded her the title soon began denying that the award had been given by their group, saying that the meeting at which she was awarded the title was actually a meeting to help county residents overcome political differences.
In February 2012, Taylor attempted to introduce legislation into the Liberian parliament that would have made homosexual activity a first degree felony carrying the death penalty as the maximum punishment. The legislation was not passed after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made it clear she would not sign any such bill.
In 2017, Jewel was chosen by George Weah as his running mate on the newly formed Coalition (CDC) ticket. Following a run up in late 2017, she became the first female Vice President of Liberia when her party won the elections.
In 2020, she was infected with COVID-19 and flown to Ghana for treatment.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF VICE PRESIDENT CHIEF DR. JEWEL HOWARD-TAYLOR
Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor served as Senior Senator of Bong County with a resounding mandate from the people of Bong County to represent their interests, hopes and aspirations; as evidenced by her election as Senator in 2005 and again in 2014.
Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor is a graduate of the following institutions:
Ø College of West Africa High School Diploma
Ø University of Liberia Bachelor of Science in Economics
Ø American Institute of Banking (Honors Graduate) Masters in Banking & Finance
Ø Cuttington University (Honor Graduate) Masters in Busines Administration MBA – Finance
Ø St. Clements University College- Honorary Doctor Degree in Leadership and Governance
Ø Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law , University of Liberia,(Honors Graduate) LLB Law and
Ø St. Clements University College- Honorary Doctor Degree in Leadership and Governance
Ø Honors Graduate from the prestigious Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia.
Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor is a daughter of Bong County, born to the Royal Household of Kerkula Giddings of Sanoyea District. King Giddings in his tenure wrote the script to the Kpelle language. The Vice President was raised as a child on the Phebe Hospital Compound under the watch of her loving parents, Mr. Moses Y. Howard and Mrs. Nora Giddings-Howard., both of whom were enviable professional Health Workers who died in service to the people of Bong County and are buried at the Phebe Compound.
Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor is a visible and very involved stateswoman; with a vision for affordable but quality education; transparent justice system; improve and accessible health system; women’s economic and political participation; and an accountable public service system. She is one of Liberia’s foremost advocate for increased and improved opportunities for women of Liberia; thus becoming a critical voice on cross-cutting issues at many frontlines in the battle to reposition Liberia for vibrancy, productivity and democratic good governance. On account of her national disposition, the Vice President is fondly called the Vice President without boundaries. While she represents Bong County in particular, her voice and views are national in scope.
Dr. Taylor currently serves in many capacities; Vice President of the Republic of Liberia and also served as senior, Ranking Member of the Liberian Senate serving on several strategic committees such as:
Ø Chairperson, Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia
Ø Chairperson, Education and Public Administration,
Ø Co-Chairpersonon Planning & Development Committee;
Ø Memberof the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee;
Ø Member, Committee on Judiciary;
Ø Member, Committee on Autonomous Commissions;
Ø Member, Committee on Defense, Intelligence, Security, Veteran Affairs;
Ø Member, Committee on Internal Affairs, Good Governance & Reconciliation;
Ø Member, Committee on Gender, Health, Social Welfare, Women & Children’s Affairs
Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor Holds Memberships in many Organizations, key amongst which are the following:
Ø Chair, Board of Trustees, Restoration Baptist Church, Oldest Congo Town
Ø Deaconess, Restoration Baptist Church, Oldest Congo Town
Ø Member, Bong County Bar Association
Ø Member, Bong County Women Association
Ø Vice President, Board of Trustees, University of Liberia
Ø Liberia’s Goodwill Ambassador on HIV/AIDS
Ø Member, Liberian National Red Cross
Ø Member, Liberian Rural Women Association
Ø Member, YWCA
Ø Member, Liberia Girls Guide Association
Ø Member, Greater Monrovia Lions Club of Liberia
As a result of her National impact, Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor has been a recipient of many accolades, Laurels and Awards from Local, National and International Organizations, ranging from humanitarian awards to outstanding Leadership awards. Key amongst many of them are:
Ø Women Activist Award, (2016) for her role in gender advocacy and empowerment,
Ø The Nation’s highest honor as Knight Great Dame, Order of the Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers in 2005; granted to her by Former President Charles G. Taylor for her service to the Nation as the 21st First Lady of Liberia;
Ø The First Female to be given the Distinguished Traditional Title of Venerable Chief in the National Traditional Council of Liberia in 2011, a Chieftaincy title conferred on her by Traditional Chiefs and Elders of Bong County for her role in sponsoring the a bill which created the National Traditional Council of Liberia; and in full recognition of her exemplary Services to the people of Bong, yea Liberia;
Ø The Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Presidential Recognition Award for Humanitarian Services and contribution to Youth Development in Liberia from the (AAW Peace) African & American Women in 2011;
Ø Senator of the Year, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 from various organizations;
Ø The National Excellence Award for National Service in 2011;
Ø The National Excellence Award for Philanthropy in 2009;
Ø The Pan African Award on Leadership Excellence & Women Empowerment, an Humanitarian Award 2016;
Ø Woman of the Year, 2016, West African Philanthropist Organization;
Ø Women Activist Award, 2016
Ø West Africa Philanthropy Awards as Woman of the Year, 2016
Ø 2nd Chance International Award as a Woman of Distinction 2015, New York City USA;
Ø (ECOWAS) ECOFEPA Good Will Ambassador, Abuja, Nigeria; 2015;
Ø Women Advancement Forum Award in recognition of her contribution to the Emancipation, Motivation and Advancement of Women of the World; 2014, Gambia.
Ø The Outstanding African Women Achievers Award, as African Mentor and Role Model 2013, from the African Women Leadership Organization(AWLO), in Nigeria;
Ø An African Leadership Award, as Outstanding African Female Leader of the Year 2012 from the African Leadership Award, in Dubai;
Ø An Excellence Award in Recognition of her Advocacy for the Rights and Empowerment of women from the African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) in 2012, in Nigeria
Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor is a grass rooter and a strong pillar of the Christian Community; a believer in women empowerment, multiparty democracy, freedom of speech, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. As a result of her more than 18 years of experience in both the private and public sectors; she, unlike most politicians of today, has the privilege to be able to cut across political, social and ethnic lines, and has friends and collaborators in all political establishments in Liberia. Vice President Chief Dr. Taylor remains a strong voice for change and progress in our Nation, and an icon for Liberian Women.
As a result of her passion and commitment for a better and more equitable Nation for all Liberians, she was often referred to as the “People’s Senator” and in confirmation of this title, Newsweek Magazine voted her the 2nd Most Powerful Female Politician in Liberia in 2011.
Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, a Nationalist, Former First Lady of the Republic of Liberia, an Eminent Citizen, a Devoted Christian, the Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party, a Vice President of the Republic of Liberia and President of the Liberian Senate, a Distinguished and Dedicated Public Servant, a Patriotic Citizen and a Positive Role Model.