Daily Media Summary 2017-12-06

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


News of the holding of the Second National Dialogue on Social Protection in the country by the Government of Liberia and the International Labor Organization is our lone story highlighted in today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies.


Gov’t, Partners Hold Second Dialogue On Social Protection

According to the Daily Observer, the Government of Liberia and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have begun holding the second National Dialogue on Social Protection in the country. The meeting is in line with the second strategic objective policy mechanism that seeks to support poor and vulnerable groups – which include children, the elderly and persons living with disabilities – and to attain an improved minimum standard of living in line with minimum social protection. The dialogue is being held at a resort in Monrovia and is expected to agree on key minimum guarantees for the establishment of the social protection floor in Liberia. Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, who addressed the opening session, described the holding of the Dialogue as an important milestone in the history of the country especially when it seeks to address the needs of less fortunate Liberians.

Related Captions: GOL Partners Hold Second Round Dialogue On Social Protection (The INQUIRER), GOL Partners Hold Second Round Dialogue On Social Protection (In Profile Daily)


President Sirleaf Congratulates Finland On Its 100th Independence, Flag Day

The INSIGHT newspaper quotes a Foreign Ministry release “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a congratulatory message to the President of the Republic of Finland, His Excellency Mr. Sauli Niinistö, on the occasion of his country’s 100th Independence Anniversary and Flag Day. Finland’s Independence Day is celebrated annually on December 6 and marks the Declaration of Independence from the Russian Empire by the Finnish Parliament in 1917. According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Sirleaf, in her message said, “It gives me great honor and pleasure, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Liberia and on my personal behalf, to extend sincere best wishes and enhanced prosperity of your country.” Referencing the excellent, cordial and long-standing relations subsisting between both countries and peoples, which she categorized as “very pleased”, the Liberian leader indicated that it is her ardent hope that in the spirit of friendship, both leaders could explore more rewarding bilateral cooperation of mutual benefits especially in the areas of Science and Technology”.  

Corruption Pervasive in Mining Sector-New report on sector discloses

It has been no secret that Liberia’s economy has been solely reliant on the extractive sector, which has also been poorly managed and turned up marred by corruption and shortchanged. What many did not know was the pervasiveness of the menace in the country, especially under the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led administration, until the damning May 2013 Moore Stephen audit report that opened the lid on the huge corruption that existed in the sector. The central message of that report, which was ordered by the Liberian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI), was that of the 68 concessions—many of them multinationals—signed with the government, only two met international standard, with the rest marred with flaws and manipulations. That report, while serving as an eye-opener for the public, also gave Liberians an insight into how “Business as usual” had transcended to another level. A new research report has also highlighted the many irregularities that continue to overwhelm the sector since the release of the report, with no corrective measures being put in place, reports the Daily Observer.

Liberian Scientist, Others Invited To Africa 2017 Biz Forum

Liberian scientist and medical doctor, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, is among a select group of twenty African innovators invited by the Government of Egypt to participate in the Africa 2017 Business Forum and the Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED) event. The Egyptian Government and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) invited Dr. Nyan to present his groundbreaking invention that detects and identifies three to seven infectious diseases in 10 to 40 minutes using one test. The Africa Business Forum is a landmark event organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of the Egyptian Government in conjunction with the Regional Investment Agency of COMESA. This year’s event will be held under the theme, “Business for Africa, Egypt and the World – Driving Investment for Inclusive Growth” and hosted in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh from December 7 to 9, pens the Daily Observer.

LIPO Calls For Strong Intellectual Property Strategy Kicks Off development of National IP Plan

The Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO) has begun a 12-day stakeholders’ field trip intended to develop a national intellectual property strategic plan to be integrated into the government’s national development agenda. The field trip comes at a time when investors, inventors and artists in the creative sector (film, music, innovation, etc), are taking steps to ensure that government pays more attention to this lucrative creative industry. Since the country enacted the Intellectual Property Law, no government – past or present, has fully given recognition to the creative sector as an engine of growth due to what they describe as ‘lack of a road map for the sector.’ Accordingly, the 12-day LIPO field trip is expected to change things as part of its trajectory will be the development of a national strategic intellectual property (IP) plan that will encourage and facilitate useful creations, critical developments and management and protection of IP at the national level, as well as giving more subsidies to creative industry societies, asserts the Daily Observer.

US$14.2M Police Salary Allotment Raises Eyebrows-UNPOL, EU Reps Alarm

The US$14.2M out of the US$16.3M allotted to the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the 2017/18 fiscal budget for compensation to include salaries for civilian and paramilitary personnel overshadowed the release of a report on the Security Actions for Everyone (SAFE) Project yesterday. An honorarium and special and general allowances were also captured in the US$14.2 million, with US$3.1 million accounting for “non-financial assets.” The US$3.1 million, the police said, was intended for support and operations during the 2017 presidential and legislative elections. The report, released in Monrovia, covered police facilities and operations in four of the 15 counties, including Bong, Lofa, Montserrado, and Nimba, as well as police-community engagement, reports the Daily Observer.

Liberia’s ECOWAS Parliamentarians Highlight Progress in Country Report

Liberian legislators at the ECOWAS Parliament have represented their Country Report, bordering on progress and challenges the country has faced since its last report in May of this year. Presentation of Country Reports at the ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature by the various lawmakers from the 15 ECOWAS countries at the Parliament is part of routine legislative activities at the level of the regional parliamentarian body. A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the December Country Report, presented on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, covers the political and security situation in Liberia, the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS Community Levy, the ratification of the community protocols and conventions, and the implementation of the ECOWAS’ community programs, reports the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Related Caption: Liberia’s ECOWAS Parliamentarians Highlight Progress (In Profile Daily)

AFCONS Launches Meal Program For Public School Kids In Grand Bassa

For them, it is part of their social corporate responsibility, but for the kids and their parents who can only afford daily meal once a day, it is a gift from the heart. The local residents couldn’t stop thanking AFCON for its voluntary daily meal program for students of the JMM Gbardyu Elementary Public School. To some of the parents they were grateful to the company because feeding for their kids in school in that part of the country was not one of the things they expected so soon, especially from a company. Afcons Infrastructure Limited (AFCONS) is a part of the Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group which is the third-largest construction group in India. Over the past five decades, AFCONS has emerged as one of the leaders in infrastructure EPC industry by continuously delivering world-class services in areas of Marine, Highways, Bridges, Metro, Tunnels, and Onshore and Offshore Oil & Gas. According to the Buchanan City mayor Julia Bono, besides the voluntary school meal program AFCONS has contributed to the development of Buchannan city, providing food assistance for orphanages in the city of Buchanan, reports the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

LIHL Keen On Enforcement Of International Humanitarian Treaties

The FrontPage Africa reports that the Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee, (LIHL) says, it is keen on the enforcement of international humanitarian treaties but wants these laws domesticated in the country. A report presented at the Boulevard Palace Hotel following an ICRC ECOWAS Seminar in Abuja, Nigeria in October 2017, noted that the domestication of these treaties would protect people faced with humanitarian crisis in Liberia. The report streamlined various issues ranging from the ratification of conventions, signing of agreements, integration of humanitarian laws into the security sectors to action of transfer of arms, amongst others. It also calls for the promotion and structure collaboration among member states of the Mano River Union for implementing and domesticating international humanitarian laws within the region. Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee further recommends the continued domestication of the Arm Trade Treaty, including drafting of a proposed National Arm Transfer Law in the country.

Ellen Seeks Support For Liberia’s Educational System

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appealed for support to rebuild Liberia’s educational system, which was destroyed during the years of civil conflict in the country. According to a dispatch from the United States, President Sirleaf made the appeal on Monday, December 4, 2017, when she spoke at the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series of the Clinton School of Public Service of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas. Addressing students of the Clinton School of Public Service and hundreds of distinguished guests who crowded the auditorium, President Sirleaf said despite the progress Liberia has made since the end of the civil crisis, the educational system has been one of the weakest areas in the country’s recovery. President Sirleaf noted that progress made in upgrading the educational system has led to an increase of two million students enrolled in school. She, however, added that there is a serious deficit of qualified teachers to properly mold the minds of the young people. Serving as moderator during the interactive question and answer period, former U.S. President Bill Clinton lauded President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for the progress Liberia has made in its post-war recovery, and assured that the Clinton Foundation will continue to be a partner in Liberia’s progress, according to the INQUIRER newspaper.

Election Magistrate Admits To Error In Nimba

An Elections Magistrate in Nimba County, Saniquille District #4 has admitted to discovering errors during the October 10, 2017 elections for which he had to address it through a scan document to the Executive Director of NEC without making any changes. According to Magistrate Princeton Monmia who testified on the witness stand before the Hearing Officer at the NEC on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, he encountered the error when one of his workers only identified as Miss Nimely left for Monrovia, reports the INQUIRER newspaper.