Saturday 27 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/13)
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has suspended exports of unprocessed rubber from Liberia in a bid to force companies to process the commodity in the West African country, saying this will provide a boost to domestic economic activity. An executive order issued by Johnson-Sirleaf late on Thursday said the export ban was aimed at ensuring new job opportunities and development. It said urgent action was needed to stem a decline in its rubber sector amid illegal rubber tapping. "The intention is to add more value to our production ... This will help to open new factories," Robert Kpadeh, Deputy Minister for Technical Services told Reuters. Kpadeh said there would be a short term drop in government revenues, without providing further details. Agriculture...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/13)
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth should accelerate to more than 5 percent over the next three years, far outpacing the global average, but the region must do more to convert this into reducing poverty, the World Bank said on Monday. In its latest Africa's Pulse analysis of prospects for the region, the bank saw increased investment, high commodity prices and a pick-up in the global economy driving this expected growth surge in the world's poorest continent. It said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa were projected to increase to record levels each year over the next three years, reaching $54 billion by 2015. This compared to $37.7 billion in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase in a year when FDI...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/10/13)
Carlyle Group (CG.O) is looking at a number of banks in east and west Africa for a potential investment, its Africa co-head said on Wednesday, as the U.S. private equity firm focuses on the continent's growing consumer market. Carlyle, which last year invested in a pan-African grain trading firm, has recently signed a second deal, Marlon Chigwende also told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit. "Banking is very interesting today, and that is the general statement across a lot of sub-Saharan Africa," Chigwende told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg. "Certainly, there are several opportunities of fast-growing banks, good management teams, interesting market positioning." Although private equity is still at a nascent stage in Africa, investor interest in the fast-growing...
(Voice of America 04/09/13)
A coalition of Liberian activist groups has decided to call off a mass protest that had been scheduled for this Friday. Vandalar Patricks, vice president for international affairs of the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia, denied allegations the coalition cancelled the protest in exchange for a bribe from the government. Patricks said the protest was postponed following appeals from various sources, including foreign diplomats, religious groups and elders. “We temporarily suspended the planned peaceful assembly which was scheduled for April 12, 2013. It was due to several pleas from the diplomatic mission in Liberia, the Liberian Council of Churches, the traditional council, and civil society organizations. And, having listened to them, I think it’s our moral responsibility to give...
(The Associated Press 04/02/13)
GANTA, Liberia (AP) -- Officials say that Moses Blah, the man who served as Liberia's president for two months after Charles Taylor stepped down, has died. He was in his mid-60s. The Information Ministry says Blah died of a medical condition early Monday at the country's largest John F. Kennedy Hospital in the capital, Monrovia. It did not give details of the condition. Blah had recently complained of heart troubles, and sent out appeals for medical attention overseas. Blah was Liberia's vice president until Taylor stepped down on August 11, 2003. A former ambassador to Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, Blah served for two months as president and then handed power over to transitional head of state Charles Gyude Bryant who...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
"BRICS, Don't Carve Africa" reads a banner in a church hall in downtown Durban where civil society activists have gathered to cast a critical eye at a summit of five global emerging powers. The slogan evokes the 19th Century conference in Berlin where the predominant European colonial states carved up the African continent in a scramble historians see as epitomizing the brash exploitative capitalism of the time. Decades after Africans threw off the colonial yoke, it is the turn of the blossoming BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa to find their motives coming under scrutiny as they proclaim an altruistic-sounding "partnership for development, integration and industrialization" with Africa. Led by that giant of the emerging powers,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of four African nations this week, all of which are cited in a new report for effectively increasing spending on agriculture to combat extreme poverty and hunger. The report by the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group co-founded by Irish rockers Bono and Bob Geldof, said Senegal, Malawi, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone either met or were close to meeting targets for increased budget spending on agriculture. All of the countries, except Cape Verde where there is little data, are also on track or close to meeting a U.N. target of halving extreme poverty by 2015, the report said. The African leaders will visit the White House on Thursday to showcase their fledgling democracies, but...
(The New York Times 03/26/13)
BEIJING — As President Xi Jinping of China continues his first overseas trip as his country’s leader, arriving in South Africa late on Monday after Russia and Tanzania, he meets with much goodwill – but also some concern among Africans that China may be a “new colonial power,” extracting resources and selling manufactured goods, as I reported on Sunday. China knows it. In a speech in Tanzania, Mr. Xi sought to calm the concerns, as my colleagues Chris Buckley and Jeffrey Gettleman reported. “China frankly faces up to the new circumstances and new problems in Sino-African relations,” Mr. Xi told an audience of Tanzanian politicians and officials in Dar es Salaam, the country’s economic hub and a center of government,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/13)
Catholics in Africa and Asia on Thursday greeted the election of Pope Francis from Argentina as a historic breakthrough that would pump the developing world's vital energy into a struggling Church and amplify the voice of the planet's poor. While there was disappointment that Pope Benedict's successor did not come from the African or Asian continents, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's Third World origins spurred hopes of a kindred spirit among Catholics from Manila to Maputo. Argentina, in Latin America's southern cone, is as far from Africa and Asia as Europe, the prime source of previous pontiffs. But these rapidly developing southern continents of the globe, where poverty still looms large, are now home to the world's fastest growing Catholic communities. African...
(Allafrica 03/06/13)
The Faith-based media group the Christian Media Center says recent developments in Liberia show how volatile and fragile the peace in the county remains. The Christian Media Center in a release issued Tuesday says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has spiritually lost control of the state and there is serious need for Liberians to pray for God's intervention to advert what lies ahead of the Liberia. The faith-based group noted that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is largely to blame for most Liberians loss of faith in her government and recommends that the president and leaders of the three branches of government take a spiritual retreat to ask God to help them maintain sanity of Liberia. Christian Media Center in the release...
(Allafrica 03/05/13)
The African Petroleum Corporation Limited or AP says it has made some new oil discovery off the Liberian waters. The company in a joint statement released with the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL on Wednesday said it encountered the 48 meters of oil bearing Turonian sandstone, at the Bee Eater-1 Well in Multiple Zones in Block LB-09 in the same sequence as a previous discovery in Narina-1. In an apparent continuation of managing public expectation on the oil sector, African Petroleum and the regulating body, National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) jointly issued a release in Monrovia Tuesday, revealing that the Bee Eater-1Well was drilled 9.5 km west of the original Narina -1 oil discovery, and was targeting...
(Allafrica 03/05/13)
Illegal timber from Liberia worth thousands of Euros has been discovered at a French port less than three weeks before a new EU law prohibiting the importation of illegal timber came into force, Global Witness revealed on Monday. Under EU Timber Regulation which took effect Monday, the importation of illegal timber is prohibited and violators could face up to two years imprisonment or a 50,000 Euro fine. Senior Campaigner at Global Witness Alexandra Pardal said, "The discovery of illegal Liberian timber in Europe just as the new law kicks in underlines the need for European companies to make sure they're complying or face some very heavy penalties." Alexandra said almost all timber from tropical rainforests carries a high risk of...
( 03/04/13)
Monrovia. Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed a pledge on her government’s commitment to end violence against women and girls, making her the 19th Head of State to do so. According to an Executive Mansion press statement, the commitment was in keeping with the UN Secretary-General’s campaign code named: “UNITE to End Violence Against Women”. UN Women is leading a drive for governments to publicly express their commitment and dedication to ending violence against women and girls. At the signing ceremony in her office Monrovia, President Sirleaf concurred with the global campaign that it is the responsibility of all governments to protect their citizens, while intensifying efforts to end impunity against violence. “By signing the commitment,” she said, “I...
(The Guardian 03/04/13)
Female university students are mobilising to change a culture where academic success is often dependent on sexual favours During her first few days at the University of Liberia, a male student asked Famata Adrekis if she was taking the "Sex 101" class. "I said: 'What do you mean?' I was shocked," says the fourth-year sociology student. "Sex 101" was a reference to the expectation that female students will have sex with their male lecturers to get good grades or pass their degree courses. The practice is often referred to as "transactional sex" – sex for grades – and it's common not only in Liberian universities but also throughout sub-Saharan Africa. A 2011 survey conducted by ActionAid in three Liberian universities...
(Allafrica 03/04/13)
Illegal Liberian timber worth thousands of Euros was sitting in a French port less than 3 weeks before a new EU law prohibiting the import of illegal timber came into force, Global Witness revealed today. Under the EU Timber Regulation, which took effect yesterday, the import of illegal timber is prohibited and could land the importer with up to two years imprisonment or a 50,000 Euro fine. "The discovery of illegal Liberian timber in Europe just as the new law kicks in underlines the need for European companies to make sure they're complying or face some very heavy penalties," said Alexandra Pardal, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness. "Almost all timber from tropical rainforests carries a high risk of illegality and...
(Voice of America 03/04/13)
Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee has warned that recent developments are undermining Liberia’s young democracy. Her warning comes amid a dispute between Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpaan and members of the House of Representatives. The lawmakers reportedly requested funding for certain development projects, but Kpaan refused to fund the projects saying some of them were full of “ghost names.” A secret recording purported to be the voice of Representative Edward Forh was heard to be soliciting portions of the development funds. The lawmakers charged Kpaan with contempt and sentenced her to 72 hours in jail. A group of women, led by the acting Monrovia Mayor Mary Broh, went to the city’s central prison to stop Kpaan’s imprisonment. Gbowee said...

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