Daily Media Summary 2017-12-01

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Our summary of today’s edition of the local dailies highlights among other stories news of President Sirleaf’s commissioning of Mr. Richelieu Archibald Williams as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Morocco, the release of Liberia’s first Mental Health Act by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of China pledge of its continued assistance to the Liberia National.

Pres. Sirleaf Commissions Richelieu Williams As Ambassador to The Kingdom of Morocco

The FrontPage Africa newspaper reads that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commissioned Richelieu Archibald Williams as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Morocco. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf performed the commissioning ceremony on Thursday, November 30, 2017 in the Cabinet room of her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia. President Sirleaf urged Ambassador Williams to build and strengthen strong relationship that would enhance closer cooperation and foster bilateral ties. She described the decision to name Ambassador Williams to his new assignment as a hard one to make. She challenged him that as he takes up a new assignment, his focus will be to strengthen closer cooperation and enhance mutual relationship. In remarks, Ambassador Williams thanked President for what he referred to as yet another opportunity to serve our dear nation. He assured President that the confidence conferred on him will indeed bear fruits.

Mental Health Act Made Public

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reportedly released the country’s first Mental Health Act and distributed the official handbill in Liberia.   According to a Carter Center release, distribution of the handbill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs, signals the official enactment of Liberia’s first law to improve health care for people with mental illnesses and prevent discrimination against them. The bill passed by the Liberia House of Representatives on May 24, protects people living with mental health disorders from discrimination and will give access to quality mental health care in all 15 counties. The bill signed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, establishes, for the first time, oversight of mental health care through the Ministry of Health and creates a national advisory body on mental health issues. Act also protects the property of people with mental health conditions.  The enactment of this Mental Health Act was needed to markedly improve the health and lives of all Liberians,” said Dr. Eve Byrd, Carter Center Mental Health Program Director, In Profile Daily writes

Related Caption: Liberia Releases First Mental Health Act (FrontPage Africa)

China Pledges More Support To Liberian Police Capacity Building

The Government of China through its Ministry of Public Security has pledged its continued assistance to the Liberia National Police (LNP) in providing professional Police service to the people of Liberia. China wants the LNP to continue its services in protecting Chinese investment and citizens in Liberia. Making the commitment at the LNP headquarters in Monrovia, Thursday, November 30, China’s Deputy Inspector General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Public Security, Madam Ll Ll informed LNP Inspector General Gregory Coleman that her government will continue to assist with training of the LNP. According to her, these trainings would place emphasis on Form Police Unit (FPU), promising international training opportunities for officers of the Liberia National Police to China. In response, the Inspector General of Police, Col. Gregory Coleman, expressed gratitude to the Government and people of China for the level of contributions, they continue to make to the Liberia National Police, and described the Chinese as a reliable partner. IGP Coleman assured the delegation of full protection for all foreign nationals to include all Chinese residing in Liberia in line with the laws of Liberia, which calls for equal protection, reads the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Liberia Makes Case For Re-Election To International Maritime Council

Liberia has made an impassioned case for it reelection to the Council of the International Maritime Organization, at its 30th regular assembly currently convening in London. The FrontPage Africa newspaper says the plea was made in Liberia's principal statement read on behalf of Maritime Commissioner Dr. James Kollie by Liberia's Permanent Representative to the IMO, Ambassador Isaac W. Jackson, Jr. The statement recalled Liberia's position as the world’s major flag states with more than 150 million gross registered tons, including its "rich history in facilitating the international maritime industry through a favorable framework within which ship-owners compete in global trade and commerce.” According to Dr. Kollie, Liberia has consistently played both far-reaching and pivotal roles in regulating the public dimension of uniform global maritime transport standards. He said Liberia's commitment to the founding objectives of the IMO remains on course, as reflected through it consistent ratification of all major IMO Conventions and ensuring effective implementation of these instruments both nationally and internationally. 

MOE Welcomes Payment of Student WASSCE By Politicians, But…

The Ministry of Education (MoE) says it welcome organization willing to assist in relieving the burden of West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees from students families but warned that the correct process for doing so is to coordinate with the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which administers the exam.  According to the MOE it has previously only subsidized the Liberia Junior High School Certificate Examination (LJHSCE) fees, and it continues to do so. “Now that the LSHSCE is being replaced by the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which is a much more comprehensive exam carried out over five weeks rather than five days, families will continue to be responsible for the majority of the cost, asserts the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Related Caption: Education Clarifies Senior High Exam Payment Issue (The INQUIRER)  

Private Sector Boosts-MFDP And CBL Launched US$4.8M Loan Scheme For Liberian Entrepreneurs

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on Tuesday unveiled US$4.8 million to boost private sector development by empowering Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The FrontPage Africa says the amount was provided by the World Bank as a grant under the Post Ebola Reconstruction Project (MSME-REPERP) of Liberia to lend to MSMEs. Unveiling the amount at the Monrovia City Hall under the theme “Access to Affordable Domestic Finance for MSMEs in Liberia,” Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara said the project is reserved for less fortunate Liberians involved in small and medium-sized businesses. Minister Kamara, whose statement was contained in a speech delivered on his behalf by Deputy Minister for Economic Management Alvin Attah, revealed that the loan to small businesses will be done by financial institutions. The Minister named: Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI); Afriland First Bank; GN Bank; BRAC Liberia; Business Link; Foundation for Women and Diaconoa MDI, as institutions responsible for giving out loans to the private sector on behalf of the government.

Related Caption: MSME Confab gets Underway…Pres. Sirleaf Outlines Gov’t’s Achievements (The INQUIRER)

Supreme Court Hears LP/UP Bill Of Exception

The recent appeal of the Liberty Party (LP) and the Unity Party (UP) that was denied by the National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected to be heard by the full bench of the Supreme Court today after the parties have filed their Bill of Exception.  The Board of Commissioners denied their appeal based upon the Honorable Supreme Court’s definition of fraud as the employment of trick, artifice or deception to cheat or mislead another, and that it is not sufficient to merely allege Fraud as a basis for relief; it must be established by proof.  The Bill of Exception field by the (UP) and (LP) indicated that the NEC has committed a reversible error in its final ruling by dismissing their case, “although the specific allegations of violation of the Constitution and Elections Law of Liberia, the massive fraud and gross irregularities effectively remain undeniable by the NEC, the INQUIRER newspaper reports.

CPA Intensifies Campaign For Children Welfare

The National Coordination of the Concerned Parents Association (CPA) Liberia Branch, Joseph Y. Tamba, has disclosed that the organization has intensified its campaign for the wellbeing of Liberian children in order to protect children who are found selling during school hours. Tamba said the campaign is aimed at encouraging parents to spot using their children as bread winners. Tamba made these statements in an interview with the In Profile Daily during the organization’s regular visit with parents in different neighborhoods in and around Monrovia and its environs, encouraging parents to join the group because according to him, children are precious jewels.

NIR’s Update Revealed

The In Profile Daily quotes the Executive Director of the National Identification Registry of Liberia, J. Tiah Nagbe as saying that the Registry has kicked off Identification card registration for residents and citizens of Liberia. Mr. Nagbe said the process was opened since November 15, 2017.  Speaking at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing on Thursday, 30 November he says the National Identification cards have two components: the data base that covers all citizens and residents and the identification instruments that are being issues. Mr. Nagbe explains that three key instruments are being issued to the public, namely; Citizen’s National Identification Card, Resident’s National Identification Card, and the ECOWAs Standard Citizens Identification Card, which will be designed and implemented in a way that in the future, it would be used as travel document throughout the region to make traveling convenient for citizens. He adds that the data base will provide information that will be used to help deliver services in both private and public sectors better to enhance development planning and implementation. The NIR boss announces that registration has started at the national headquarters in Congo Town with efforts underway to open sub-centers around the country. He says a total of 11 centers are expected to be opened across Liberia besides mobile teams that will in communities to conduct enrollment, stressing that registration for those cards is not by choice, but a duty.

Green Cities Launches Urban Recycling Project

In an effort to ensure clean environment, income and sustainability, Green Cities Incorporated, a youth-based social enterprise operating in the solid waste sector of Liberia, has launched the urban recycling project in Monrovia. The project is aimed at bringing together 10 slum communities in Monrovia, training community residents on waste collection, management and how to make the environment clean, safe and at same time ensure income generation. The three-month project launched in Buzzi Quarter along the UN Drive in Monrovia, kicked off with training, which targeting 100 youth from 10 communities between the ages 18-35 years. According to the Executive Director of Green Cities Inc, James Mulbah, the community leaderships will take ownership of the project along with the direct beneficiaries and the indirect beneficiaries. The project is supported by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and implemented by Green Cities Incorporated, a local organization, reports the FrontPage Africa newspaper.