Daily Media Summary 2017-03-09

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Thursday, March 09, 2017

News of The International Women’s Day and Colloquium being held at the SKD Sports Complex, Senior Staff at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning being dismissed, and the Launch of ATM E-Banking by the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment are among stories dominating the Liberian media today.


Dominant Stories: 

Ellen Honored at Colloquium


President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been honored at the climax of a two-day celebration of the International Women’s Day at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. The Women of Liberia, regional body ECOWAS and German Professor Frank Stangenberg-Haver Kamp, separately presented awards to President Sirleaf and read statements outlining her achievements and support to women’s issues and empowerment, reports the New Dawn newspaper. The event was graced by foreign guests including former Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidency Ms. Maria Teresa Fernandes De La Vega who co-convened the event, Rwandan House Speaker Ms. Donatille Mukabalisa and Foreign diplomats accredited near Monrovia, the paper said.

Related Captioned: President Sirleaf Opens Int’l Women’s Colloquium (FOCUS) ‘Transform from Worst to Best’ (Daily Observer), Women Colloquium Ends (Inquirer), Ellen Opens International Women’s Inspects Ongoing Works at Palm Grove Cemetery (Heritage) 

Senior Staff Dismissed, Several Others Suspended for Alleged Misappropriation at Finance Ministry


The FOCUS newspaper writes that the Ministry of Finance authorities have disclosed that they have discovered another corruption scandal linking Mr. Siaffa Chowoe, head of the State Own Enterprise. Chowoe is accused of withdrawing over US$40,000 and L$1.9M from two separate accounts without adhering to standard procedures. Finance and Planning Minister, Boima Kamara told a news conference Tuesday that Chowoe allegedly withdrew the money from an account that he and the former Comptroller General, Sekou Sannoh opened without the knowledge of the Finance Minister.

Related Caption: At Finance Ministry: Over US$40,000, LD$1.9M Missing SOEs Unit Boss Fired (Heritage), Heads Roll at Finance over Alleged Stealing (In Profile)



‘Let’s Fight to Kill Corruption’ says Finance Minister at Bomi College Graduation

The headline story of theInquirer newspaper reads that Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima Kamara is urging Liberians to continue the fight against corruption until it is eradicated. Serving as Keynote Speaker at the ceremony marking the 5th Commencement Convocation of the Bomi County Community College in Tubmanburg, Bomi County; Minister Kamara called on the citizens to manage the resources of the country properly adding, “We must fight corruption and kill it. God has endowed this country with so much and if we put in place the right measures, every Liberian will live a peaceful and prosperous livelihood,” Minister Kamara said. Speaking directly to the graduates, Minister Kamara said, “As you graduate today and seek for a space in the public and private sectors, be champions of peace and reconciliation, and positive change, you are the future of Liberia, go and embrace the future with great optimism that you will be a valued addition and not parasitic, the paper says. 

Land Authority Launches Regional Awareness Workshops Today


Barely five months since its establishment, the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) under the leadership of the Chairman Designate, Dr. Cecil T. O. Brandy, has severed support from the United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL) to conduct four regional awareness rising workshops for key land stakeholders in the country. The official program marking the start of the workshops is expected to be held today at a local restaurant in Monrovia beginning at 9am. The support acquired through UNMIL’s Quick Impact Project (QIP) scheme, is an initial support by UNMIL to the LLA, and was pledged by the Special Representative of the UN Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) to Liberia, Mr. Farid Zarif, during a recent meeting of the Liberia Land Donors Group, theInquirer newspaper has asserted.

Related Captioned: Land Authority Launches Regional Awareness Workshops Today (Heritage)

Court Sets Grounds Rules to be Followed During Trial

An inside story of the Heritage news daily reads that the Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C”, Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, has laid down the grounds rules to be followed by all lawyers in on-going bribery as involving the state and some former and current officials of the Government of Liberia when the case is called for trial. It can be recalled that in May of 2016, the Grand Jury for Montserrado County, separately and jointly indicted J. Alex Tyler, G. Varney Sherman, E.C.B. Jones, Christopher Onanuga, Richard Tolbert, Willie Belleh, Morris Satumah, Eugene Shannon among others following the release of a report by the UK-Based whistle Blower organization, Global Witness. The Report titled, “The Deceivers, accused the defendants of bribery in an effort to change the PPCC Law for the sole purpose of granting a company known as Sable Mining Africa Limited on-bidding rights to the Wologizi Mountain situated in Lofa County, the Heritage newspaper reads. 

For Education: USAID Unveils US$33.9M Contract 48,000 Out-of-School Liberian Children to Benefit


The headline story of the Insight newspaper writes that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the award of $33.9M contract to Education for Development Center for the implementation of USAID’s new Accelerated Quality Education for Liberia (AQE) activity, which focuses on over-age and out-of-school learners whose education was disrupted by the prolonged civil crisis. In particular, AQE will use various interventions through an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) to increase access to education for approximately 48,000 out-of-school children ages 8 to 15 in six targeted counties. ALP condenses six years of the primary education cycle into three years. It is based on the national curriculum and covers four core subjects: Maths, Science, English and Social Studies. The ALP curriculum is delivered in here levels, each equivalent to two years of primary schooling. Courses are delivered on an alternative afternoon schedule, the paper says. 

For Unfair Labor Practices, Wrongful Dismissals: Supreme Court ‘Nails’ FDA


The Supreme Court of Liberia has awarded 68 members of the Workers Union of the Forestry Development Authority (WUFDA) a total of LD$1,524,400 as salary arrears ad transportation reimbursement and US$22,386 for housing allowance. Of the LD$1,524,400, LD$1,197,600 is for salary arrears, while the balance LD$326,800 is for transportation, according to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, March 3. In the ruling read by Associate Justice Sie A’Nyene G. Yuoh in the Supreme Court Chambers, the high court made it clear that the awards were for unfair labor practices and wrongful dismissal of those union members by the FDA. It can be recalled that on October 7, 1998, the Workers Union of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) by and through its President Eunice Dagbe filed a motion to dismiss an appeal at the court of wrong labor practice against the Management of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Insight newspaper reads.

Two-Day Retreat for Heads of Diplomatic and Consular Missions

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with relevant ministries and agencies of Government will hold a two-day retreat for the heads of its 25 diplomatic and consular missions around the world. Liberia has 21 embassies, two permanent missions and two consulates-general accredited near various capitals in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The retreat, which runs from March 9-10, 2017, has as its general theme: “he Liberian Foreign Service: A Partner for Transformative Economic Development”. It is being held at the RLJ Resort, in Kedeja, ELWA. According to a Foreign Ministry release, the retreat will provide a platform for determining viable strategies and options that Liberia’s missions abroad can use to deepen engagements with host governments and the private sector in their jurisdiction to encourage investment in Liberia and enhance development partnerships, support and cooperation between respective countries, the Insight newspaper says. 

Police IG Seeks Community’s Collaboration


On Saturday, March 4 at the Bassa Governor Court on the Fairground in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Police Inspector General (IG) Gregory Coleman led a high power security delegation bringing together citizens to strengthen the community police relationship in response to crimes in the country. This was an interaction organized by the police bringing together the County Supt. J. Levi Denmah, amongst others. “We have made research about Community Policing in Uganda and Ghana, among other countries and have identified shortcomings and will find way in strengthening Police-Community relationship across Liberia; Col. Coleman emphasized. The In Profile newspaper reads. 

LBDI Launches ATM, Finance Minister Urges Banking Institutions to Promote Electronic Banking


TheFrontpage Africa newspaper reports that Minister of Finance and Development Planning Boima Kamara, has encouraged local banks to get involved in the practice of electronic banking as it helps to minimize currency circulation in the country. Speaking during the official launch of four new ATM machines by the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), Minister Kamara said the more cashless the society becomes, the stronger the impact of its monetary policy on liquidity. “I appreciate the fact that you have a goal of going beyond and thanks for taking this program to Grand Gedeh,” he said.

RELATED CAPTIONS: NOBEL Liberia Sponsored E-Banking Service at LBDI Launched (Inquirer)

Court Decides GW ‘E-mail Evidence’ Today

Criminal Court ‘C’ will today decide whether or not the emails obtained from the Global Witness (GW) bribery scandal will be admitted as one of prosecution’s evidences. The GW report involved former House Speaker Alex Tyler, a businessman and several other present and past government officials. Global Witness claimed that its report was backed by leaked emails and company documents seen by the accused, of which over US$950,000 in alleged bribes paid through Sable’s Liberian lawyer, Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount. They claimed that at the time of the payments, Sable Mining has headed by British businessmen Phil Edmonds and Andrew Groves, writes the Daily Observer. 



Upon her ascendency as Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, on June 4th, 2016, HE Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf constituted the ECOWAS Chairperson Coordinating Committee comprising of the Ministerial Committee, the Presidential Liaison Officer, and the Technical Working Group (TWG) to assist her achieve the following priority agenda she outlined during her acceptance speech, according to the Frontpage Africa newspaper. 

Parties Search for Running Mates


Several political parties here are in search of running mates for the upcoming 2017 October Presidential and Legislative elections. This comes amidst speculated names with in the local media linking individuals with parties standard bearer as suitable running mates. Ruling Unity Party standard bearer, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine has been leading the lists of presidential candidates to whom several individuals have been linked as possible running mate, writes the New Dawn newspaper.

FAO and GOL Agree to Promote Urban/Periurban Agriculture and Sustainable Forest Management

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) recently signed two projects agreements to promote urban and peri-urban agriculture in vegetables and poultry and the sustainable management of Liberia’s forest sector, according to the Daily Observer. 

Leading Liberian Rubber Planter, Bill Morris, Dies


The death is announced of Mr. William (Bill) Lyon Morris, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Morris-American Rubber Company, commonly known as Morris Farm of Todee District, Montserrado County, and Kaka, Margibi County. Bill passed peacefully at his home in New York City last Friday, March 3, 2017. He was 68. He was the son of Harris L. Morris, Liberia’s biggest rubber planter besides the Firestone Plantations Company, according to the Daily Observer. 

Out of Schools Kids Here to Benefit from USAID 33.9M Program


According to the New Dawn newspaper, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the award of a US$33.9M contract to Education for Development Center for the implementation of USAID’s new accelerated Quality Education for Liberia (AQE) activity, which focuses on over-age and out-of-school learners whose education was disrupted by the prolonged civil crisis. In particular, AQE will use various interventions through an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) to increase access to education for approximately 48,000 out-of-school ages 8 to 15 in six targeted counties.

Out-of-School Children to Benefit from New USAID Activity (Inquirer)



‘Cummings Unaffected by Code of Conduct’

The opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) has clarified that its standard bearer Alexander B. Cummings’ candidacy for the office of the President is in no way impacted by the Code of Conduct Act of 2014. ANC Chairman Layfette Gould told a news conference on Tuesday that amid the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, March 3, in the case Selena Mappy-Polson v. The Government of Liberia, there has been several false reports and rumors about Mr. Cummings’ ineligibility to contest in the October Presidential and Legislative elections, writes the Daily Observer.