Monday 11 December 2017
(Voice of America 07/18/13)
The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the regional bloc is working with its international partners, other stakeholders, and Mali’s government to ensure a successful July 28 presidential election in Mali. Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo says ECOWAS is committed to help Mali conduct a peaceful and credible election. Ouedraogo’s remarks came during a two-day regional leaders summit that reviewed the political and security situation in Mali. The meeting ends on Thursday. Mamadou Diamountani, chairman of Mali’s electoral commission, has said that carrying out a successful election will be challenging. But, Ouedraogo says the regional bloc is working with the electoral commission to ensure the vote goes ahead. “ECOWAS has committed itself to assist the Malian...
(New Democrat 07/18/13)
There will be no increment in the budgetary salaries and benefits of lawmakers of the 53rd Legislature in the next budget year of 2013/14, Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr., Chair on House's Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, has disclosed. "We have decided to starve ourselves for this fiscal period. There would be no increment in our salaries and other benefits. We will remain where we are, we will bear it, we will suffer it," he said. Representative Snowe however noted that the salaries of their staffers would instead be increased. This is the first time such a decision has been taken by members of the House of Representatives, according to legislative observers. There have been reports of several increments...
(Dw-World 07/18/13)
Ahead of Mali's July 28 elections,regional body ECOWAS meets to discuss the situation there and in Guinea-Bissau where the absence of a functional government has allowed drug trafficking to flourish. Mali is battling an islamist insurgency, while Guinea-Bissau seeks to recover from a coup. Regional leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) grouping have used diplomacy, sanctions and a plan for military intervention to nudge Mali towards a restoration of constitutional order. The case is much worse for Guinea-Bissau which has been nicknamed the ‘narco state'. ECOWAS needs to commit to a common strategy to help the coup-plagued country implement security, justice and electoral reforms needed to escape its status as a link in drug trafficking to...
(The Newdawn Liberia 07/17/13)
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has ordered the Public Works Ministry to erect safety signs along the newly dedicated Diablahn Gbezon Road (formerly Buchanan Highway) for fear of risking children and other commuters' lives. At the indoor dedicatory ceremony of the 80-kilometer road stretching from Harbel Cotton Tree in Margibi County to Buchanan City in Grand Bassa County, the President told Public Works authorities on the Fair Ground in Buchanan that often children become overexcited on the usage of newly built roads. "Public Works got to put up some road signs; when new roads are built, you have small children passing and people are excited about the road," said President Sirleaf. She spoke on Monday (July 15) when the US$33.7m road supported...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
Liberia’s Supreme Court has ruled that a $1.5 million verdict against the FrontPage Africa newspaper should be enforced. A lower court ruling in 2010 found the paper guilty of libelling former Agriculture Minister J. Christopher Toe. It said then that FrontPage Africa did not provide evidence to support its claims that Toe diverted millions of dollars intended to fight an army worm infestation in Bong and Lofa Counties. Toe later resigned without stating why. Rodney Sieh, publisher of FrontPage Africa said he stands by his story and that the Supreme Court ruling is intended to shut down his newspaper. “I was kind of not surprised because we’ve been hearing that they were going to do this and so we were...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
West African regional leaders plan to open an extraordinary two-day summit on Wednesday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Sonny Ugoh, communications director for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), says the leaders will consider the latest political and security situation in Mali in the run-up to that country’s July 28 presidential election. “They will review the political health of the organization and member states, the economic health of the region, and give directive as to what initiative they think we should take, in order to address whatever challenges they determine that we need to address,” said Ugoh. He says Burkinabe President Blaise Compaoré will brief other heads of state about the situation in Mali. Mr. Compaoré mediated talks between...
(The News 07/17/13)
Days following the release of survey findings by Transparency International, Police Director Chris Massaquoi says he will not hesitate to recommend the dismissal of his principal deputies if they failed to do their job. Speaking at the graduation of 'Class Seven' of the Police Support Unit (PSU) on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the Liberia National Police Training Academy, Director Massaquoi apparently angry over the dismal performance of his deputies and police officers said he has noticed that some officers joined the LNP to enrich themselves instead of protecting life and property. He told the graduating class of 128 riot police officers that any report of misconduct and corruption that reach him he would dismiss that officer, adding "enough is...
(The Newdawn Liberia 07/17/13)
"Conflict of Interest" has become the latest jargon on the lips of many Monrovians, especially following a national radio broadcast by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announcing her intention to seek concurrence from the Legislature to dismiss the Auditor general of Liberia, Mr. Robert L. Kilby. President Sirleaf's decision was against the backdrop of a deal between Auditor General Kilby's private company (from which he reportedly relinquished himself in October 2012-a month after his confirmation by the Liberian senate) and the General Service Agency. Must Be Holistic, Not Selective. "Conflict of interest", itself, is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest, and is independent...
( 07/17/13)
Africa’s oil and gas industry is poised for momentous growth despite its grappling with severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the continent, fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills, according to a review issued by PwC. PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ of developments in the African oil and gas industry is the third in a series of reviews of the sector by the tax, assurance and advisory solutions firm. Uyi Akpata, PwC Africa oil and gas industry leader/deputy country senior partner, Nigeria, says: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies...
(The News 07/16/13)
Liberia and Mongolia are the most corrupt country in the world, a survey conducted in nations around the world has revealed. The survey quotes more than half of the world's population as saying that corruption in the public sector is a very serious problem. Anti-corruption nonprofit Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer surveyed residents in 107 countries. According to the survey, 94% of Liberians say the police are corrupt. In both Liberia and Mongolia, the survey indicated 86% of residents believe corruption in the public sector is a very serious problem. Residents in the vast majority of countries around the world believe corruption has only gotten worse in the past two years. The world's corrupt nations differ in many ways. Four...
(The News 07/16/13)
The Ministry of Finance has defended a previous position that US$13 million European Union money provided to the Government of Liberia via its direct budget support was not squandered. The Ministry says report about the amount being squandered was a myth. The Finance Ministry’s position is based on emerging information and data that have been released to the public by a local consultancy group. There has been a barrage of reports that there exists no information relative to the accountability of the fund. “This half truth surrounding the status of the money created a standoff between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,” a release from the consultancy group is quoted as saying. But the...
(The News 07/16/13)
The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) says government officials and others will not receive bribes unless the ordinary citizens give it to them. Minister Lewis G. Brown said the report shows that ordinary people are the highest givers of bribes, while the police stand as the highest receivers of bribes in Liberia. Speaking over the weekend, Minister Brown said out of the 1,000 respondents, 750, constituting 75% admitted paying bribes over the last twelve months for services in Liberia. “If we were to arrest now, we need to look for those 750 and lock them up first as part of the prosecution of corrupted people…this is not the way to fight corruption; all of us need to stop...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...
(Front Page Africa Online 07/15/13)
A closer examination of records and circumstances surrounding the alleged diversion of some $US13 million dollars given the Liberian government by the European Union suggests that the Ministry of Finance complied fully with the PFM and National Budget Laws in dealing with the EU budget support to the post-war nation. As the EU prepares to continue its support to the health sector by providing additional funding under its 11th EDF, the facility through which it administers aid support to the GOL, analysts believe the EU has received the appropriate explanation from the GOL and has decided to continue financing through the "sector budget support" mechanism, a framework introduced some three years now. However, Multiple sources in both government and international...
(The News 07/15/13)
Transparency International has revealed the lack of public faith in politicians and widespread public concern about graft in nations around the world. On a scale of concern about corruption ranging from one to five, Liberia is recorded 4.8. The survey reported that 27% of respondents had paid a bribe -the most direct experience of corruption for a person - with police the most often bribed institution. The survey also revealed that police bribery rates were highest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (75%), Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. One in four people paid a bribe in dealing with public services and institutions in the past 12 months, according to a global corruption survey. In the world's...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/13)
African leaders called for increased funding Monday to contain HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as a continental health summit opened in Nigeria's capital. Among the 10 heads of state in attendance was Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Nigeria is a member of the ICC and has a legal obligation to arrest Bashir but defended the invitation by saying it did not have the authority to bar him from an African Union summit. UN Population Fund executive director Babatunde Osotimehin pointed to key gains made against the diseases over the last decade. In 2001, "HIV treatment in Africa was almost non-existent. Just 11 years later,...
(Sunday Independent 07/15/13)
This week Nelson Mandela celebrates his 95th birthday. Thebe Ikalafeng reflects on this man's. vision for Africa, and how he created an enabling environment for Thabo Mbeki to express our identity on the continent. Throughout its history, South Africa has had a dichotomous relationship and identity with “Africa”. Apartheid South Africa was the pariah that united Africans against the last white rule – the final frontier in the decolonisation of Africa. Post-apartheid, fellow Africans have flooded the most industrialised and wealthiest sub-Saharan African nation in search of a better life, and an expectation of “payback” for the years of support during the apartheid years. But they have not always been met with an expected embrace, mainly because of the perception...
(Voice of America 07/13/13)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is calling on African nations to boost their private sectors to advance intra-regional trade. UNCTAD’s new report on the Economic Development in Africa 2013 says reducing trade barriers alone is not enough to turn regional trade into a winning enterprise. In a newly published report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development says African governments must boost private industry and entrepreneurs if they are to compete successfully with foreign firms unencumbered by trade barriers. The report says Africa has a lot to do to catch up with the world's other intra-regional trading blocs. It notes that trade among African nations was low, just 11.3 percent of total trade in...
(Heritage 07/12/13)
Finance Minister Amara Konneh has highlighted the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the runways at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and the reconstruction of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric plant to boost the economy and create more jobs for ordinary Liberians. During a meeting with the visiting President of ECOWAS Bank for Investment Development Mr. Bashir IFO at his office Thursday, July 11, 2012, Minister Konneh called for the Bank’s quick intervention to guarantee those crucial infrastructure projects including Mt. Coffee, roads and ports are carried out. Minister Konneh disclosed that Government of Liberia(GOL) is focused on investing more in the economic transformation agenda so that major economic corridors are functional to ensure a sustainable long term economic growth and...
(Front Page Africa Online 07/12/13)
The Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Governor Mills Jones has received a ringing endorsement of his micro-financing loan scheme from the bank's Board of Governors who issued a strong statement of support Thursday in support of Governor Jones. In a statement released Thursday evening, the board declared that it can confirm that all policies, decision and instructions issued to date and duly executed by the Management of the Central Bank of Liberia, including the work with microfinance institutions, are valid and legal in keeping with the CBL Act of 1999. The statement continued: "The board also confirms that all decisions regarding its stimulus initiatives are approved by the Board and should not be construed as unilateral decisions of...

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