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Weah Returns To France As President

Football icon George Manneh Weah will visit France on Wednesday and meet President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace as President of Liberia.

In France, President Weah played for AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille and first African to win Ballon d’or in Europe. His son Timothy is currently playing for the Paris Saint-Germain youth team.

“This will be George Weah’s first trip to Europe since his election,” a statement said, calling his victory “an exemplary democratic change of power.”

President Weah, 51, took over from Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who over 12 years, steered the West African country away from the trauma of a civil war but failed to ease dire poverty.

His election win was a watershed moment for Liberia’s poor, many of whom view his ascent from Monrovia’s slums to the nation’s highest office with a feeling close to reverence.

Weah’s trip from February 20 to 23 will be dedicated to the challenges facing Liberia, especially economic growth and youth employment as well as the role of sport as a factor of development, the French presidency said.

It will also be an opportunity for Macron to start a partnership with a President who embodies the new generation of heads of state, who with France, wishes to rebuild relations between France, Europe and Africa.

Last week, France added Liberia and The Gambia to the 17 priority countries of French development aid.

Weah played for top-flight teams in France, Italy and England in the 1990s and was crowned FIFA player of the year.

This visit to France will be the first trip of the former footballer turned politician in Europe since his electoral success.

The French President will organize in Weah’s honor a working lunch followed by a press conference.

This visit will focus on the challenges facing Liberia, in particular economic growth and youth employment. It will be an opportunity to start a partnership with a new generation of heads of state with whom France wants to rebuild relations between France, Europe and Africa, through a policy focused on youth and investment.

The role of sport as a factor of development will be at the heart of these exchanges and will enable the French President to implement the initiative he announced in his speech in Ouagadougou at the end of November.

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