Liberia is gearing up for its presidential election, where incumbent President George Weah will be seeking re-election. With a nation that has faced several challenges, including the Ebola outbreak and civil war, the upcoming election is crucial as the Liberian people hope for a better future. In this election bid, Mayor Jefferson Koijee has taken centre stage as a key player in Weah’s re-election campaign.
Koijee, who currently serves as the Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, has been a vocal supporter of President Weah’s policies and initiatives. As a former youth leader, Koijee has been at the forefront of championing youth empowerment in Liberia. His efforts have included the creation of the Monrovia City Corporation Youth Volunteer Program, which has provided hundreds of young people with job opportunities.
Moreover, Koijee has played a critical role in improving the city’s infrastructure, which has resulted in increased access to essential services by the city’s residents. The Mayor’s efforts have included the rehabilitation of roads, street lighting, and the construction of public toilets – all of which have contributed to the enhancement of the living standards for all Monrovia residents.
From Youth Chairman to Secretary General
Mayor Jefferson Koijee is making waves in Liberian politics as he aims to garner Lofa’s support for the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change in the upcoming General and presidential elections. Hailing from Lofa , Koijee grew up in the impoverished areas of Monrovia Westpoint and New Kru town, before ascending to the position of city mayor. Lofa a vote rich county has always been a stronghold of the main opposition leader and the former Vice-President Joseph Nyuma Boakai who is a native-born of Lofa County. In 2017, there was a total presidential vote of 16,365 votes in Lofa of which votes the Unity Party generated: 91, 324 while the CDC:8, 194 a difference of 83,130 votes favouring the Unity Party. These results signal the dominance of the Opposition in Lofa county in 2017.
In 2020, Major Koijee established an auxiliary called Lofa for weah 2023. This institution transitioned the voting pattern to deliver a major ruling establishment victory for Cllr Jallah, joseph kpator with an approximate vote of 22,019 at an equivalence of 36.46%. His influence has extended beyond Lofa, with his concerted efforts in Nimba making him a formidable threat to the opposition party. Despite the opposition picking a major vice president from Nimba, Mayor Koijee’s again founded a youthful auxiliary group called Nimba for Weah 2023 that is rapidly making headway among the youths and elder of the 9 desly populated political districts of Nimba.
Mayor Koijee played a critical role in the election victory of President George Weah as the youth chair and convention chair of the party. Through his leadership, Koijee was able to rally the youth vote and connect with a generation that had previously been disenfranchised from the political process. His efforts on the ground during the campaign were pivotal in driving voter turnout, particularly among young people, and his experience as convention chair ensured a smooth and successful nomination of President Weah. Koijee’s strategic vision, tireless work ethic, and ability to connect with a youthful demographic were cardinal
factors in Weah’s presidential victory, highlighting the importance of youth representation and leadership in shaping the future of Liberia.
Mayor Jefferson Koijee was unanimously elected as the official National Secretary General of the Mighty Congress for Democratic Change during the 7th National Congress in 2022. His history of dedication, loyalty, and unquestionable impact translated into an overwhelming victory of 276 votes out of 370, estimating a 74.59% percentage, which is well above the threshold. His current height is both monumental and historical for a generational ambition that seeks to redefine the identity of our political process.
Koijee’s Proven Track Record Boosts Weah’s Chances for Reelection Victory
With his impressive track record, Koijee has become a critical asset for President Weah’s reelection bid. Young people in Liberia make up more than half of the population and are more likely to vote in high numbers. Consequently, the vote of the youth population is critical in deciding the outcome of the presidential election. Mayor Koijee, who is seen as a role model by the youth, could play a vital role in mobilizing the youth vote in President Weah’s favour.
Mayor Jefferson Koijee has delivered exceptional speeches in New York, Washington DC, and Liberia, displaying his natural talent for negotiating and oration. He impressed a panel of experts at a discussion on ending extremism, hate, and polarization in September, leading to a tweet from US state department stakeholders commending his delivery and experience. Koijee was joined by numerous high-level speakers including Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, Barbora Birnerová, the Deputy Mayor of Žilina, and Commissioner Fred Kreizman of the New York Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, among others. For the first time in West Africa, Mayor Jefferson Koijee is holding the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) annual summit in Monrovia. This historic gathering is an unprecedented accomplishment for Liberia, which is hosting one of the biggest multilateral gatherings ever with the participation of over 100 global mayors. The GPM Annual Summit aims to facilitate a debate on critical global issues among mayors, experts, and city networks. It also aims to better align the work between global city networks. The outcome of this summit will be summarized in a GPM Declaration that aims to design futuristic ambitions for Monrovia and global cities represented by their Mayors. The Summit will be held from September 16-17 2023. For context, the GPM Annual Summit has previously taken place in various locations, including the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, South Africa, Italy, and Poland. This year, Liberia is leading the historic gathering through Mayor Koijee’s leadership and negotiation skills.
On September 28, 2022, Mayor Koijee had a partnership meeting with the New York City Government International Affairs team, attended by Commissioner Edward Mermelstein and Deputy Commissioner for Policy & Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff Aissata M.B. Camara. They discussed potential joint security training opportunities, essential infrastructure trade, and cultural exchanges, and agreed to hold the global Parliament of City Mayors Conference together in 2023 in New York City. Following the meeting, Koijee was invited to the mayor’s residence to develop a friendly partnership that would lead to sisterly leadership.
Koijee also advocated for an interchange of sharing culture and history between young children in Monrovia, Liberia, and New York City through high school engagements, a request that Commissioner Mermelstein promised to connect the Department of Education for.
As an effective political communicator, Koijee thrives in complex environments and ensures delivery, as demonstrated by his dominance in conversations that even include globally
acclaimed leaders like Mayor Eric Adam of New York and Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Koijee’s impressive communication skills also earned him the opportunity to be a featured speaker at the 2019 Oxford BSG Conference on the Challenges of Government, where he joined a diverse group of activists, thinkers, politicians, researchers, and practitioners from around the world. On October 18th 2021, the Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, launched a project supported by the UNDP and funded by the Green Climate Fund to construct coastal defense revetments in the West Point township of Monrovia. The goal of the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilience Project is to combat coastal erosion that has caused significant damage in the past decade, protect the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of families living in the township, and safeguard critical infrastructure such as schools and fish landing beaches. The project is expected to benefit approximately 250,000 people residing in the neighbouring coastal areas.
His leadership crossed boundaries by creating a critically needed solution in Liberia’s slumps. For instance, he has secured US$200,000 from the mayor’s migration council with support from global fund to fight climate change and climate resilience in West Point Township and New Kru Town, two densely populated electoral districts within Montserrado County. The Monrovia Grow Green (MonGrow Green) Project aims to address climate change related crises including flooding and sea erosion. The project also seeks to transform Monrovia into a safer, cleaner, greener and a more inclusive city through participatory Climate Change mitigation and adaptation interventions. In implementing the project, the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) is working with migrants and displaced communities to plant twenty thousand (20,000) mangrove and coconut trees to establish green corridors along the former Somalia Drive, now Japanese Freeway; West Point and New Kru Town coast lines and along the Mesurado River.
Moreover, given Koijee’s success in improving infrastructure and providing job opportunities for young people, voters are more likely to view Weah’s candidacy as one of progress. This positive perception could be further boosted by the President’s alliance with the youthful and successful Mayor.
Mayor Koijee’s tracks record and his position as the leader of the largest urban centre in the country make him a vital part of President Weah’s reelection campaign. The Mayor’s impact on Liberia’s youth is expected to be significant, and his influence could help Weah win the trust and confidence of voters. If the government continues to work collaboratively with
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