Wednesday 18 April 2018
(Bloomberg 10/10/17)
Liberians vote Tuesday to choose a new legislature as well as a president to replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from among 20 candidates who include a retired soccer star, a former warlord and a wealthy chicken farmer.
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah will never have a more realistic chance of winning the Liberian presidency than on Tuesday October 10 when some two million of his compatriots go to the polls to replace Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Of all the contenders for president, his candidacy is seen as the one that poses the most credible threat to Vice-President Joseph Boakai's chances of succeeding Sirleaf, rendering the race too close to call as the clock ticks inexorably to Election Day. Political pundits in Liberia say it is now or never for Weah, whose best shot at the presidency could never have...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - The Embassy of the United States of America in Liberia has appealed to Liberians to remain peaceful and respect the democratic process before and after the 10 October presidential and legislative elections in the west African country. “While this is a time to engage in vigorous debate, exchanges should be civil and should take place in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect,” the embassy said in statement on Monday. The 10 October polls begin a historic process towards the first peaceful transfer of power in Liberia from one democratically-elected head of state to another since 1944. The United States applauds Liberia’s successes in holding electoral contests in 2005, 2011, and 2014, and trusts that Liberians will continue...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - Liberia’s main airport in Monrovia will be closed to air traffic on the eve of the country’s landmark presidential and parliamentary elections for repair works on its runway. The Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) said in a statement on Sunday that it will shut the Roberts International Airport on October 9, to resume second phase rehabilitation work on its runway. According to the LAA, the rehabilitation will also include the installation of new aeronautical ground lighting systems. “In view of this development, and in consultation with the airlines, the runway will be closed to air traffic on Monday through Thursday, beginning on October 9” the LAA statement said. It said the alternative way to enter Liberia during the...
(AFP 10/08/17)
Liberians head to the polls on Tuesday to elect a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with hopes for a leader who will kickstart the economy and safeguard a fragile peace. Sirleaf will step down after 12 years at the helm of Africa's first republic, whose back-to-back civil wars (1989-2003) and Ebola crisis (2014-16) have stunted growth and left Liberia among the world's poorest nations. Twenty candidates are vying to replace Sirleaf, with footballing icon George Weah, incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, longtime opposition figure Charles Brumskine and soft drinks millionaire Alexander Cummings considered front-runners. Just one woman is seeking to follow Africa's first elected female head of state -- model-turned-humanitarian MacDella Cooper -- but she has near-zero chance of...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/17)
Liberian presidential candidate George Weah on Friday denied contact with ex-leader Charles Taylor as controversy erupted over the former warlord's alleged behind-the-scenes role in the country's politics. After stepping off a helicopter on his return to the capital, Monrovia, from a nationwide tour ahead of elections on October 10, Weah categorically denied speaking with Taylor, who is serving a 50-year prison term in Britain for war crimes and crimes against humanity. "I am not in contact in Charles Taylor, I repeat, I am not," Weah told AFP and France 24 journalists. The BBC quoted him this week as saying he had taken a phone call from Taylor recorded in January. Weah's vice-presidential pick is Taylor's ex-wife, Jewel Howard-Taylor, who told...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Dressed in identical printed skirts, a hundred Liberian women knelt in prayer after another long day in three weeks of fasting, appealing once more that their country be spared of violence. Ahead of elections next Tuesday, women of all ages are gathering from dawn to sunset on a roadside close to the party headquarters of several presidential candidates. Their daily injunction for peace echoes the female activism that helped end Liberia's civil wars, which ran back-to-back from 1989 to 2003. The success of their non-violent protests propelled the bloodied West African state into the world headlines and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for one of its leaders. "We led the process in 2002 and 2003 for the Liberian women's mass...
(APA 10/06/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has appealed to all political stakeholders, especially political parties, candidates and the media to act within the law to ensure peaceful presidential and legislative elections on October 10. “Elections are all about rules” the NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya told a weekly press conference at the commission’s headquarters in Monrovia on Wednesday. He enjoined all stakeholders to eschew spreading false information, which could erode public confidence and undermine peace and security in post-war Liberia. He appealed for non-violence, and urged recourse to the legal option for the settlement of any dispute that might arise from the polls. According to the NEC chief, the electoral process remains on course with security in place and...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - The National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Thursday began fielding an international delegation to observe the October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections. According to the NDI, the delegation includes 34 political leaders, civic leaders and election experts from Africa, Europe and North America. The institute’s International delegation is led by US Senator Gary Peters, Senator Ken Nnamani, former President of the Nigerian Senate and Dr. Fomunyoh, Regional Director, NDI. "In this election, Liberia has the opportunity for a historic transfer of power from one democratically elected president to another," said Senator Peters, adding: "I am honoured to be joining an international delegation to observe the process and to support transparent and peaceful elections." The NDI delegation will observe...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Liberia's female politicians profess near-universal respect for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as she steps down after 12 years as president -- but many also say the glass ceiling that Africa's first female leader cracked remains firmly in place. Sirleaf, 78, will not run in October 10's presidential election after a constitutionally mandated two terms. In 2005, she unexpectedly swept the country's first vote after a brutal civil war, and during her time in office the fragile peace has held. But "Ma Ellen", as she is known at home, is the first to admit her tenure has failed to deliver meaningful representation for women in Liberian political life. "We haven't worked hard enough for parity," she said in a recent CNN interview...
(APA 10/03/17)
APA-Monrovia (Liberia) - The women of Liberia are observing 15 days of countrywide fasting and supplication for next week's crucial general election to pass off peacefully. The fasting which began last week will end on the eve of the country’s historic elections, the lead up to which has been characterized by campaign violence. Women of all faiths have been camping in the open in Monrovia and other public spaces across Liberia to fast and brandish banners discouraging further violence and preaching the need for continuing peace and stability. “Don’t Touch our Peace” read a banner perched on the grounds...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(APA 09/25/17)
The campaign violence and the killing of three Liberian women in Canada dominate the headlines of Liberian newspapers on Monday. Several persons last Saturday sustained injuries at the official campaign rally of Montswerrado County Electoral District #3 Unity Party Representative Candidate C.D. Barshell. The event, which started on a good note became bloody when incumbent Representative Bill Twahway, led his supporters towards Barshell's office with another rally, resulting to violent confrontation. The Daily Observer newspaper published this story as its front page banner headline under the caption: Rival Campaign Violence Leaves Dozens Wounded...Properties Damaged on Both Sides. The NEWS newspaper also published this story as its front page banner headline under the title: Don't Provoke Violence...Weah Cautions CDCians. Family members,...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Voice of America 09/22/17)
Democracy is strengthening not just in Liberia, but across West Africa, the president of Liberia says. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who made history by becoming the first elected female head of state in Africa, now is intent on making history again: by ensuring that Liberia's election next month succeeds and, for the first time in 73 years, one elected leader hands off power to another. Johnson Sirleaf spoke to VOA's Peter Clottey on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week. She said she is confident the election will be free and credible. "Our elections commission have already established their credibility in three by-elections that have taken place, which the citizens accepted," she said. "There were no major complaints...

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