Daily Media Summary 2018-08-30

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




News concerning the Ministry of Commerce and Industry dismissing reports of rubber rice on the Liberian market, official start of the West African Tax Administration service training in Monrovia as well as President Weah’s Congratulatory message to Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa on Successful Election are stories dominating today’s headlines of our summary of the local dailies.



MOCI: ‘No Plastic Rice On Liberian Market’


According to the Daily Observer newspaper, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has said its investigation into reports of the alleged presence of ‘plastic rice’ on the Liberian market revealed that the information is false.  It can be recalled that on Monday evening, August 21, 2018, a video alleging the sale of plastic rice in Liberia went viral on social media, claiming the attention of stakeholders, ordinary Liberians and foreign residents. According to Deputy Commerce Minister for Administration, Wilfred J. S. Bangura, the situation further led the MOCI, being the agency of government responsible to regulate the market and protect the Liberian people, to swiftly convene a meeting of rice importers to investigate the allegation. At that meeting, Minister Bangura said, the ministry decided to quarantine the consignment of the United Commodity Incorporation (UCI), pending the release of the scientific test carried out at the National Standards Laboratory (NSL).


Related Captions:Commerce Dismisses Rubber Rice Gossip(The New Dawn), UCI Vindicated-GOL Says No “Plastic Rice” In Liberia(In Profile Daily)


WATAF Taxpayer Service Training Opens in Monrovia

According to the FrontPage Africa newspaper, a three-day Taxpayers Service Training for revenue authorities in West Africa opened in Monrovia Tuesday morning.  About 35 participants from tax administrations across West African countries including Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Gambia among others are participating in the ongoing training. The event organized by the West African Tax Administration (WATAF) in collaboration with the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), serving as host, seeks to augment the skills of taxpayer service attendants in ensuring effective customers relations. The training which is under the theme: “Enhancing Voluntary Tax Compliance through Effective Taxpayer Service”, is discussing ways to formulate strategies for the development and implementation of effective taxpayer services. Speaking at the opening of the training, WATAF Executive Secretary Babatunde Oladape stressed the need for the enhancement of service delivery at tax administrations across the region. LRA Acting Commissioner General Decontee T. King-Sackie noted that the training will help strengthen the role of tax administrations in the West African region in promoting domestic resource mobilization efforts.


Related Captions: WATAF Taxpayer Service Training Opens in Monrovia(INSIGHT), WATAF Taxpayer Service Training Opens(Daily Observer)



Pres. Weah Congratulates Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa On Successful Election.


 The President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency George Manneh Weah has sent a congratulatory message to His Excellency Mr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zambabwe on the occasion marking his election as President of that East African State. According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the Message to his Zimbabwean Counterpart, President George Manneh Weah, on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia, and in his own name, extended warmest congratulations and best wishes to the Zimbabwean leader on the occasion marking his successful election to the highest office, the Presidency of that country.   President Weah said by the election of Mr. Emmerson  Mnangagwa to the Presidency, the people of Zimbabwe have brought pride not only to Zambabwe but to the entire African Continent, which he noted is an indication of the progress made in the consolidation of the democratic process in Africa, reads the INSIGHT newspaper. 


Pres. Weah Consoles  U S Following Senator McCain’s Death


President George Manneh Weah has sent a condolence message to the Government and people of the United States of America, following the sad news of the death of Senator John McCain, Senator of the State of Arizona, the United States of America. Senator John McCain died Saturday, August 25, 2018 in Phoenix Arizona, at the age 81. According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the message to Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, His Excellency George Manneh Weah, on behalf of Liberia, extended deepest condolences to the Government and people of the United States, especially the McCain’s family for the irreparable loss sustained.   President Weah then prayed that the Almighty God will grant solace and consolation to the people of the United States especially the McCain’s family during this period of morning, reads rites the INQUIRER newspaper. 


Liberia To Align with China’s Belt And Road Initiatives-Pres. Weah to make Liberia’s Case At FOCAC Confab


The Daily Observer reads that President George Weah has told Chinese media that Liberia is ready to align its national development strategy, the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity, with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).The President departed the country early Monday, August 27, 2018, for Beijing, China, to join other African leaders who are in that Asian country for the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Prior to his departure, President Weah told Xinhua News Agency, one of the largest media outlets in China, that Liberia will seek development opportunities at the Summit to be held in Beijing from Sept. 3-4, 2018. President Weah described China as one of Liberia’s biggest partners, and that Liberia’s relationship with China is a win-win situation. “We believe that with China, we can achieve our goals,” he told Xinhua. Since his ascendancy to Liberia’s presidency, the President has persistently described road connectivity as his government’s top priority. At his inauguration in January this year, he said that his government will make every effort to enhance road connectivity, agriculture and education across the country.


Related Caption:Weah Arrives in Beijing to Attend 7th Summit of FOCAC (The INQUIRER).



UNDP Donates to National Security Councils

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated several items to the National Security Councils (NSC) in River Gee and Maryland Counties through the Office of the National Security Advisor. The gesture was made in an effort to strengthen and boost the capacities of the two Councils to continuously maintain peace, security and promote social cohesion. The donation of six (6) motorbikes (3 per county), two (2) computers and printers were done under the Cross-Border cooperation between Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia for Sustainable Peace and Social Cohesion (Cross-Border Project) with funding from the United Nations Peace building Support Office (UNPBSO).“The gesture is to acknowledge the importance of their (NSC) work, and to boast their capacity to continue maintaining peace and security in the counties reports, the FrontPage Africanewspaper.


LRRRC, UNHCR Survey 310 Acres of Land for Ivorian Refugees’ Integration

The Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), on August 15, 2018, began the survey of over 300 acres of land for refugees seeking local integration at the Bahn refugee camp in Nimba County. According to the Daily Observer newspaper the refugees, who are mainly from Ivory Coast, were hosted in the camp as a result of the Ivorian electoral-related violence in 2010 that forced over 225,000 Ivorians to seek refuge in Liberia. According to statistics release from LRRRC, with support from UNHCR, as part of the durable solution program, is expected to construct 100 housing units for refugees who are opting for local integration, while some community residents within the refugee camp are to benefit from the housing program as well. The recent commencement of the survey was witnessed by Nimba County local authorities, LRRRC’s partners, and the refugee leadership. While digging the earth to plant the first cornerstone, LRRRC Executive Director Festus Logan hailed Bahn residents for assisting the refugees over the years.


Stakeholders Brainstorm to Strengthen Collaboration on Human Rights Issues

In an effort to further strengthen collaboration among key institutions in the country on issues relating to human rights, the peace-building project of the Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) is sponsoring a two-day technical working session with relevant institutions. The working session, which commenced on Tuesday, August 28, 2028, in Monrovia, is being attended by staffers of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform, and members of the Legislative Staff Human Rights Association .Roosevelt Jayjay, Human Rights Officer of OHCHR, who provided an oversight of the technical working session, said the activity is one of several activities of Peace-building project that the OHCHR in collaboration with INCHR and CSO Human Rights Advocacy Platform is implementing, pens the Daily Observer. 


Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Outlines Strategic Vision First; Tourism Investment Conference Expected Before Year-End.


Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Cultural Affairs and Tourism Lance Gbagonyon has revealed a plan that will make the tourism sector in the country become a million-dollar industry in the next six years. The strategic tourism development plan set a target of 15 million international visitors to the country by 2023, with a projected direct economic impact of between US$20 to US$40 million. According to the Daily Observer newspaper, Min. Gbagonyon said that Liberia is one of the few countries in Africa that has a wide variety of tourist attractions, especially given its position in Africa as the first black independent country, putting Liberia in a favorable position to attract more visitors if the right marketing techniques are put in place.


Chamber of Commerce is Ready to do Business’-Assures Wendell Addy

Wendell Addy, President-elect of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) has informed members of the business community that under his leadership, the entity is ready to do business with all registered businesses and business associations in the country. Addy promised that the Chamber will also promote a vibrant business environment for citizens to network, and showcase their local made products in the diaspora. Mr. Addy spoke last Monday, August 27, at a program where 23 Liberian-owned companies showcased their products at a pitching contest and fundraising event organized by the LCC in collaboration with the Ezzat N. Eid Foundation. The contest, among other objectives, aimed to vet Liberian entrepreneurs, producers of made-in-Liberia products for the up-coming AGOA festival in New York City, USA later this year, reads the Daily Observer newspaper.


Burleigh Holder Passes..Former Minister of National Security and of National Defense, Author

Mr. M. Burleigh Holder, former Minister of National Security and of National Defense during the Tolbert administration, died yesterday, August 29, in Plymouth, Minnesota, United States of America, following a protracted illness. He was 89.Burleigh was born in the Township of Crozierville, Montserrado County, on August 3, 1929, to the union of Mr. Sammy Holder and his wife, Mrs. Kate Urey Holder. Mrs. Holder hailed from the high yellow Urey family of the City of Careysburg, a few miles from Crozierville. All of the Holder children carried her complexion, very light. Burleigh obtained his early education at the Henry’s School near White Plains, about 10 miles from Crozierville, where he graduated from the eighth grade, head of his class. He later attended high school in Monrovia .A graduate of the University of Liberia, where he was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree; Mr. Holder got a scholarship to study in London, where he earned the LLB degree in Law. Burleigh, during the war, joined his family in the United States. 

Liberian Scientist Gets Medical Research Award


Liberian medical doctor and inventor, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan was over the weekend presented with a Medical and Research Award by the Liberian Community Association of North Jersey for his excellent work in science, medicine, and innovation, and his service to humanity. During the ceremony, Dr. Nyan called on Liberians to stand up for excellence and stand up against mediocrity and hypocrisy for the survival of Liberia. The situation in Liberia is critically serious and requires serious attention said Dr. Nyan, who further emphasized that we must stand up now so that Liberia does not fall



Stakeholders Brainstorm on ‘Ozone Depleting Substance Protocol’

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 held a one-day stakeholders training workshop on amendment made to the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion. On October 15, 2016, parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer met in Kigali, Rwanda, an made amendment to the protocol referred to as the ‘Kagali Amendment’ to phase-down Hydro Fluoro Carbons (HFCs). The Montreal Protocol has put the ozone layer on the road to recovery by phasing out ozone depleting substances and in the process mitigate climate change, reports the INSIGHT newspaper,


Liberia Engages Yamaha Motor for Manufacturing Fishery Plant

The FrontPage Africa Reads that Liberia has started engaging a Japanese company to establish a fishery plant that will enable the country export through its aquaculture sector.Addressing a news conference recently in Monrovia, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Emma Matieh-Glassco said NaFAAL has begun a conversation with Yamaha Motor Company Limited for the establishment of a manufacturing plant in Liberia to produce motorized boats for artisanal fishermen as a way of industrializing the sector. Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products including boats and outboard motors, and other motorized products.


Fire Renders Several Residents Homeless

Fire recently retendered several residents homeless in the Bong Mines Bridge community in Bushrod   Island of District #16, Montserrado County. The fire which razed  bedroom house of 30 bedroom house of 30 tenants was situated within the vicinity of the Liberia National Fire Service Station 2 that is responsible to render services to the people of Bushrod Island and surrounding Communities in the event of any fire outbreak. Even though the cause of the fire was not established with any casualty reported, Pukie George, daughter of Mother Victoria Toe owner of the house said that prior to the incident, she was laundering her clothes in the yard while her daughter was in the house sleeping because she was sick, the INQUIRER newspaper reports.


UCI Vindicated GoL Says No ‘Plastic Rice’ in  Liberia

The Government of Liberia, GOL through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, says there is no ‘plastic rice’ on the Liberian market as was widely speculated in some quarters and on social media. In a bid to authenticate the report, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry immediately contacted all of its inspectors to probe the matter so as to establish whether the report of ‘plastic rice’ being sold in Liberia was true or not. The ministry said all importers of rice were contacted as part of its investigation to establish that reliability of the report. The investigation was also fueled by rumors that the United Commodities Incorporated, one of the major rice importers in the country, allegedly imported the ‘plastic rice’ in question, the In Profile newspaper writes.


Margibi Flood Victims Smile as ZOA Distributes Relief Items

In an effort to assist victims recover from their misfortune following the recent flood disaster across the country, ZOA Relief, Hope and Recovery Organization has identified with several flood victims along the Reborts International Airport, RIA Highway. The institution on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 in the Joeblo Town and Sugar Guest House Communities in Unification City, Margibi County, distributed several food items to 180 flood victims in those communities, the In Profile newspaper reads.