The MRU applauds and appreciates all that the global community has done during the crisis of the EVE outbreak. Since the WHO and the US-CDC declared the end of the EVE, the US Congress has reallocated a portion of the funds previously set aside , in part, to prevent a re-occurrence of the virus in the region, and to fight the Zika virus, which too must be eradicated. The reallocation of such needed funds for post Ebola capacity building in the affected countries, could further endanger lives and slow economic opportunities. A major goal for the  summit is to convene professional experts, policy makers, as well as private and public sector leaders and MRU’s Diaspora Community to first discuss lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic, assess the current state of post Ebola initiatives in the affected countries, and to identify the specific needs for a  sustainable MRU. We are persuaded that the time has come to put on a new face by seeking and promoting cutting edge STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) initiatives in areas of health, environment, disaster/emergency management and agriculture. We seek institutional capacity building initiatives and partnerships that promote grassroots level commercial development supported by micro financing within the MRU basin. 

The conference is a two day Event:

o   Day one: will focus on STEM concepts with respect to health, science, environmental, disaster/emergency management response capabilities and the social and economic impact of Ebola from professional experts; 

o   Day two: will focus on trade and economic development and business opportunities with emphasis on potential micro financing opportunities.

 

Anticipated Outcome and Benefits:

At the conclusion of the conference, specific resolutions or recommendations will be developed for implementation.  Indeed, at the conclusion of the conference, we anticipate the following outcomes:

Potential Outcome

o   Identifying domestic and international resources for capacity building within the context of achieving the strategic objectives;

o   Developing a plan of action for international partnership and technical assistance for each strategic objective;

o   Organizing Stakeholders  Sponsored Trade Missions to boost trade initiatives for economic opportunities;

o   Producing a list of recommendations from a regional context for the MRU, a statement of commitment or at least expressions of interest in helping to implement conference  outcomes;

o   Creating a set of issues for further discussion after the conference and a process for continued conversation and follow up.

Potential Benefits:

•  The conference will create a platform of robust engagement for donor institutions to assist in post Ebola initiatives and a committed set of stakeholders who will remain dedicated to achieving the conference objectives;;

•   The conference will encourage investment and economic opportunities with the potential to create jobs and foster regional integration;

•   The conference will cultivate and motivate Diaspora communities to be more involved in helping their respective countries as they remain a critical catalyst for future collaboration.