Daily Media Summary 2017-12-04

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




News of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, assertion that the rule of law is essential for the country’s democracy, the Supreme Court’s pronouncement that December 7 is the date for final ruling into the Liberty Party and the Unity Party’s Bill of Exception, which calls for the reversion of the final ruling of the National Elections Commission and the United Nationals Development Program’s commencement of engagement and consultations with national partners on the preparation and design of a New Country Program Document (CPD) 2019 – 2023 for Liberia are stories dominating today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies.

The summary also includes Her Excellency Lois Cheche Lewis Brutus, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia to the United States, presentation of her Letters of Credence to U. S President Donald J. Trump.


‘Rule Of Law Essential for Liberia’s Democracy’-UNOWAS Head Ibn Chambas stresses

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has said that democracy cannot strive in the absence of the rule of law, and has therefore lauded the ongoing post-election legal processes in the country. After lauding the peaceful nature of the October 10 elections, Dr. Chambas, who is also the head of the UN Office for West and the Sahel (UNOWAS), noted that compliance with the rule of law and due process is essential for strengthening Liberia’s nascent democracy—while expressing the hope that the electoral process would be concluded expeditiously, stressing that legal challenges should be legitimate and in good faith. According to the Daily Observer, Liberia, since the October 10 Presidential and representatives polls, has been overwhelmed with a political impasse precipitated by allegations of ‘gross irregularities and probably fraud’—leading to two of the top three political parties, Liberty Party and the ruling Unity Party, using legal means in seeking redress. The daily says Dr. Chambas made these comments while addressing the media at the end of the 31st High-level Meeting of UN Missions in West Africa, held in Monrovia. The objective of the meeting was to provide insights and exchange views on peace and security dynamics in the areas of operations of respective missions and in the West African region. It was also meant to strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges in such areas as elections, transnational organized crimes, violent extremism and terrorism, security sector and constitutional reform processes, as well as democratic transitions.

Related Captions: UN Lauds Liberians For Peaceful Election (The New Dawn), Legal Challenge Should Be In Good Faith (The INQUIRER)

D-Day..Supreme Court Sets December 7 For Final Ruling In Electoral Fraud Case

The Supreme Court has heard arguments on the Liberty Party (LP) and the Unity Party (UP) Bill of Exception, which calls for the reversion of the final ruling of the National Elections Commission (NEC) pm the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections. Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Oswald Tweh of the Liberty Party told the Court that NEC made reversible errors by not disclosing the Final Registration Roll (FRR) to the polling places as the law provides. Responding in connection the admittance of challenges at NEC by its lawyers, Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard-Wolokolie termed the investigation following the issuance of prohibition as formal. Meanwhile, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has placed final ruling into the case to next Thursday, December 7, 2017, adding that the Court has seven days to hear and rule on elections cases. However, it is totally possible that the Court may also decide to hand down its opinion before next Thursday as it sees fit, reports FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Related Captions: S/Court Ruling Set For This Week (The INQUIRER), The Heart Stopper-All Await Supreme Court (The New Dawn)

UNDP Liberia Holds New Country Program Document Design Engagement

The United Nationals Development Program (UNDP) has commenced engagement and consultations with national partners on the preparation and design of a New Country Program Document (CPD) 2019–2023 for Liberia. The two-day exercise held in Monrovia 30, 1 December, brought together over 25 Representatives from line Ministries, Agencies and Commissions ( MACs) facilitated by UNDP Experts from its Regional Bureau in Addis Ababa. The five – year Country Program Document which is linked to a UNDP Strategic Plan outlines major development areas where UNDP has comparative advantage (example: governance, peace, justice, security, sustainable development etc), asserts the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Related Captions: UNDP Liberia Holds CPD Design Engagement (The New Dawn), UNDP Liberia Holds CPD Design Engagement (In Profile Daily)


Amb. Brutus Presents Letters Of Credence To Pres. Trump

The INQUIRER newspaper reads that Her Excellency Mrs. Lois Cheche Lewis Brutus, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia to the United States, presented her Letters of Credence to President Donald J. Trump on November 29, 2017. Quoting a dispatch from the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, D.C., the daily says the ceremony took place at the Oval Office of the White House. In remarks, Ambassador Brutus said Liberia and the United States are bound together by a unique relationship deeply rooted in common values and traditions, buttressed by a firm commitment to mutually beneficial objectives. Ambassador Brutus also outlined some areas which could be beneficial to both countries, such as security, health, agriculture, trade and infrastructure development, education, and human development. In response, President Trump recalled that the United States and Liberia share a special bond that dates to the first days of Liberia’s republic, and today the bond is stronger than ever. “As your steadfast and longtime friend, the United States and the American people remain committed to partnering with you to create a healthy, peaceful, and democratic future for Liberia,” President Trump noted. Prior to her appointment as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Madam Brutus served as Liberia’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.

Liberia Maintains Seat On International Maritime Organization Council

According to the FrontPage Africa newspaper, Liberia has again been reelected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization for the 2018 – 2019 biennium. The election was held as part of the 30th session of the Assembly of IMO, convening in London. Liberia has consistently maintained a Category C seat on the IMO Council since 2012. The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO that takes decision in the absence of Assembly. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council coordinates all activities of the Organs of the Organization. Other than Liberia, other African countries elected to the Council are South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt. Speaking shortly after the election, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the IMO, Ambassador Isaac Jackson, expressed gratitude to member states of the IMO for the vote of confidence in Liberia’s leadership in this global organization, which he described as a very wise decision.

Related Caption: Liberia Maintains Seat On IMO Council (Daily Observer)

Ghanaian Airline Launches Service In Liberia-AWA Commences Flights From Monrovia-Accra Starts Next Week

According to the Daily Observer, Liberia’s premier airport, the Roberts International Airport is not only experiencing major facelifts on its runway and terminals, but is at the same time attracting investments that are geared towards opening up the country for more investment, especially in realization of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional economic integration. Africa World Airlines (AWA), a Ghanaian carrier, has become the latest carrier within the region to begin flight to and from Monrovia. AWA, which is Ghana’s largest and that country’s fastest-growing regional carrier, is poised to begin its maiden flight to Liberia shortly, joining a host of other carriers that are making use of the RIA facilities and at the same time making Liberia their home. The start of a direct service by Africa World Airlines (AWA) between Ghana’s capital Accra and Monrovia is expected to deepen trade relations between the two countries, the Airline’s local Head of Commercial, Richard Kyereh told a forum of Liberia Travel agencies in Monrovia on Friday.

Related Caption: We Are Here To Serve…AWA Airline Assures Liberians (The INQUIRER)

“Tech Attracts Investment, Promotes MSME,” Commerce Minister Addy Says

The Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Axel M. Addy, said an innovative economy is a dynamic and attractive one, and showcasing progress on the Information Communication Technology (ICT) front can help Liberia to attract investment and promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) across the country. Minister Addy made the assertion Thursday at the kickoff of this year’s MSME conference held at the Liberian Marketplace in Sinkor. He called Liberian innovators, MSME stakeholders and policy-makers to embrace this year’s MSME conference to exchange ideas and share lessons learned, in order to derive innovative solutions and policy recommendations to ensure ICT’s full potential will be exploited. Minister Addy said the MSME conference is intended for key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to meet to discuss the challenges the country still faces to fully play a role in the digital revolution and what policy-makers, business community and civil society organizations can do to encourage and facilitate innovation in Liberia, asserts the Daily Observer.

 World Bank Cites Poor Management Over Failed Projects

World Bank Country Manager, Mrs. Larisa Leshchenko, says many governmental projects in Liberia and the world have failed due to poor management. “Many Government projects in Liberia and throughout the world have failed to deliver on their goals of economic stimulus and job creation because they are not sustainable or are not implemented in a transparent way,” Madam Leshchenko said recently at the Monrovia City Hall during the official launch of the post Ebola- reconstruction projects for Small, Medium and Large businesses across the country. The World Bank Country Manager says these projects direct credit in a non-transparent manner and in ways that undercut market forces, citing as an example, selecting unqualified businesses or distorting markets by mandating interest rate caps. In these types of projects, she observes that funds are disbursed but the projects quickly fail due to lack of oversight and non-repayment of loans as beneficiaries deem them to be “government handouts.” According to the World Bank official, the result is that little is achieved in terms of economic stimulus and job creation.
She observed that financial institutions prefer giving loans to larger, more established and less risky businesses. She notes that the World Bank is working with the Central Bank of Liberia and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in a broad-based program to increase financial inclusion, asserts the New Dawn newspaper.

For “Gross Disrespect,” Pres. Sirleaf Dismisses Labor Minister Neto Lighe

The Daily Observer reads that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has with immediate effect relieved Labor Minister-Atty. Neto Lighe of his position. According to an Executive Mansion release, his immediate dismissal is due to his continued gross disrespect and participation in wicked attacks and false accusations levied against the presidency.  

 Related Caption:  The Last Straw-Lighe Dumped (The New Dawn)

TRF Trains 13 Journalists On Illicit Financial Flows, Tax Haven Reporting

A three-day media training workshop under the theme ‘Foundation Wealth of Nation’ organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) to horn the skills of journalists in covering illicit financial flows and tax havens has ended in Monrovia. The training, which was held on November 23-25, covered illicit finance, elements of reporting on companies, as well as an overview and understanding of company accounts, brought together 13 journalists in Monrovia. Facilitator Rex Merrifield said the focused on improving coverage of national and international financial issues through detailed briefings, where appropriate. Wealth of Nations is an award-winning program run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in collaboration with some of Africa’s leading organizations, promoting excellence in journalism. The project is supported by Norway’s Development Agency (Norad), and was named the winner of the International Capacity Building category at the British Expertise International Awards 2017, which recognize outstanding international work done by UK based organizations, reads the Daily Observer.

FDA, SCNL and Partners Assure Community Involvement in GolaMa Project

The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia (SCNL) have pledged greater community involvement in the implementation of the GolaMa project. The Daily Observer asserts that the assurance was given recently at the third annual Steering Committee meeting held in Monrovia. The GolaMa project is aimed at conserving an internationally important forest corridor in the Gola forest in Gbapolu County. The project provides support to forest dependent communities to manage their own forest as well as improves livelihoods and establishes a pilot model for sustainable financing. FDA Deputy Managing Director Bowen Sayon said the GolaMa project will be used as a flagship program to carry out other conservation projects in the forest sector of Liberia. Mr. Bowen argued that the GolaMa project is one of the best models ever developed by SCNL and partners to conserve forest in Liberia. He said what FDA is interested in it to develop a vibrant protected area management mechanism that takes in to account the involvement of forest dependent communities, reads that Daily Observer.

FAO Strengthens MOA’s Capacity To Manage Fall Armyworms

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently completed a two day training workshop for 40 extension officers of the Ministry of Agriculture chosen across the country on how to sustainably manage “Fall Army Worms (FAW). The workshop was held at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County. FAW is a voracious feeder with a host range, and can survive on more than 80 plant species; capable of causing economic damage to varieties of cultivated species of cereals and vegetables. High infestations can lead to significant crop yield loss. According to the Daily Observer, the overarching objective of the exercise in Liberia is to build the capacity of stakeholders on the identification, impact and management strategies of the pests; assist the government develop a national action plan as well as advise the government on sustainable management of FAW. The Daily Observer reports that FAO Consultant (and former representative to Liberia), Dr. Winfred Hammond is currently visiting three West African Countries; (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) to identify the FAW and provide technical guidance that will effectively help governments control the pest. Dr. Hammond informed participants that the best practice to control the pest is to put in place a periodic surveillance/ monitoring system. Dr. Hammond also added that the ultimate goal of the training is to build the capacity of extension workers that they can raise the awareness among farmers on the impact of the pest. “FAO stands prepared to assist the Ministry of Agriculture to educate farmers on the danger of the pest.”