Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Liberia's new President George Weah on Tuesday pledged to fight corruption as he spoke about conditions in his "broke country" on the first day of an official visit to Paris. The former international football star who, took office on January 22, is faced with a dire economic situation in Liberia following two civil wars and a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-2015. "I inherited a country that is very broke, depleted by political malfeasance. We have to make sure that the things that happened will not happen again," Weah said during a conference. "I ordered a complete audit to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government." Weah also spoke about another...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Morris Kidir gestures at a wide expanse of dark-green land he says was earmarked for a school or clinic in his northern Liberian village, now covered in young oil palm trees. In October last year, he recalls, workers from Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby arrived at the plot and began filling in the only gap left in a forest of palms that stretch as far as the eye can see. Kidir, an elder in the village of Gbah, Bomi county, is on the front line of a national dispute over land ownership dating back to the mid-19th century that could now define the presidency of George Weah, the ex-football star sworn in for a six-year term last month. "We beg you...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Liberia's new president, the ex-footballer George Weah, will visit France later this month and meet President Emmanuel Macron, the Elysee Palace announced Thursday. "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". Weah, 51, took over from 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...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday won the rarely-awarded Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.1 million euros), which is paid over 10 years, and $200,000 annually for life from then on. Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female head of...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Liberia's new president George Weah has bowed to intense pressure and replaced his choice for justice minister after local media reported lawyer Charles Gibson was stripped of his licence for embezzling a client. A statement withdrawing the nomination "with immediate effect" was issued late Wednesday following the first serious hiccup for the ex-football star since being sworn in for a six-year term on January 22. Gibson, a high-profile legal figure, was once suspended by the Supreme Court for duping a client out of $25,000, and was ordered to repay the costs.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Liberian President George Weah said Monday he would seek to remove a "racist" clause in the country's constitution that restricts citizenship to black people, and pledged to take a pay cut in a dire economy. Liberia was founded by freed slaves from the United States in 1847, who inserted the requirement into the constitution to create "a refuge and a haven for freed men of colour". Weah said in his first state of the nation address that he believed this...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia’s newly sworn-in President George Weah pledged to cut his own salary by a quarter on Monday, in a nationwide address in which he warned of tough times ahead for a “broke” country. “The state of the economy that my administration inherited leaves a lot to do and to be decided,” the former international soccer star said in an address apparently aimed at lowering high expectations following his election victory at the end of last year to...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Liberian President George Weah filled the vast majority of remaining cabinet seats on Saturday while controversy grew over allegations of past criminal behaviour by his justice minister. Weah gave posts to a mixture of inexperienced but loyal figures from his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, along with some key members held over from the former government, according to names released in an official statement. Newly appointed interior minister Varney Sirleaf is a stepson of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and previously served as deputy minister, while her information minister Eugene Nagbe keeps his role in the new...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
New President George Weah is nothing less than revered among Liberia's youth, who view his rise from the slums to stellar success in European football as proof he can also turn around their fragile economy. In his inaugural address on Monday, Weah thanked young voters for propelling him to power, telling them: "This is your government." But depressed commodity prices, an inexperienced administration and a straitened budget could cloud their dreams and stir resentment, experts caution. "We know that change...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
New Liberian President George Weah has appointed the first members of his cabinet, all of them men, largely naming party allies but picking a foreign minister close to former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Ex-international footballer Weah was sworn in on Monday at a stadium surrounded by ecstatic supporters, and filled some key ministerial posts later the same day. In his inaugural speech, Weah vowed to crack down on entrenched corruption and encourage the private sector. But the picks from his...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
Former football star George Weah promised to tackle Liberia's economic and social problems as he was sworn in on Monday in the first democratic transfer of power for more than 70 years. Here are five things he has pledged to do since his election: - Tackle corruption - Failing to tackle endemic corruption among public officials was a key criticism of the outgoing administration of president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah said in his inaugural speech that voters had specifically tasked him with rooting out graft. "I believe the overwhelming mandate that I received from the Liberian people is a mandate...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
MONROVIA (Reuters) - George Weah, the former international soccer star who won the presidency of Liberia last month, promised a crackdown on corruption as he was sworn in on Monday. Thousands of exuberant supporters and regional presidents and dignitaries packed into a stadium in the capital Monrovia to watch as Weah, who rose from the city’s slums to become one of Africa’s greatest footballers, took the oath of office. His swearing in marks Liberia’s first peaceful, democratic transition of power in over seven decades. Weah rode to a landslide run-off victory last month on the back of heavy support from the youth and the poor. Delivering his speech before the crowd in flowing white African robes...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
To the cheers of a crowd fired by his promise to bring them jobs and prosperity, former football star George Weah was sworn in as president of Liberia on Monday, completing the country's first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. Weah, 51, took over from Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who over 12 years steered the country away from the trauma of a civil war, although prosperity eluded her. Weah was sworn in as president by the chief justice of...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
Former international footballer George Weah will be sworn in as Liberia's new president on Monday, a landmark moment that marks the troubled country's first peaceful democratic transition since 1944. Weah will become the 25th president of the West African nation, taking power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after 12 years, with expectations running sky-high among Liberians that he will deliver on his promises of jobs and better schools. The inauguration is due to begin at 9.45 am (0945 GMT) in...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
George Weah emerged from Liberia's slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has spent the last 13 years building political credibility to match his status as a sporting icon. Weah, 51, put education, job creation and infrastructure at the centre of his policy platform to beat outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai to the presidency, and expectations are sky-high he will deliver for the country's youthful population. "I am a human being, I strive to be excellent, and...
(AFP (eng) 01/21/18)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize as a champion of women's rights, is stepping down after making history as Africa's first elected female president in Liberia. Taking the reins of a nation that had just emerged from a civil war leaving an estimated 250,000 dead, Sirleaf will be remembered for maintaining peace and attracting massive donor funding as she rebuilt her country from scratch over 12 years in power. "We were a nation exhausted from three...

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