Daily Media Summary (06-20-2019)

BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

CAPITOL HILL, MONROVIA

 

NEWS SUMMARY, THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2019

 

 

Today’s edition of our daily News Summary highlights stories about President George Manneh Weah holding discussions with World Bank-Liberia officials on the prospects of the Liberian economy; the launching of “She’s You Movement.” by First Lady Clar Weah; the move by LEC to step- up operation in Maryland and Grand Gedeh counties as it commence the collection of Bills as well as the donation by the Qatari Government of S-350 Mercedes Ben to the Government of Liberia.

 

Other news include: stories about the issuance of Proclamation by President Weah declaring Thursday, June 20th as World Refugee Day as he Cautions Liberians to Join in the Observance of the event; the signing of Handover and Acceptance Notes by Liberia and China and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection pledging its commitment to protect “Child Rights as Liberians join the world in the Observance of the “Day of the African Child” amongst other news headlines.  

 

DOMINANT STORIES

 

Weah Discusses Prospects Of Economy…With World Bank-Liberia Officials

President Dr. George Manneh Weah has held talks with officials of the Liberian office of the World Bank Group and reiterated Government’s commitment to tackling the prevailing economic challenges facing the country. Meeting the World Bank officials Wednesday, June 19, 2019, President Weah recounted concrete actions that his government has been taking to salvage the ailing economy inherited; saying transparency and accountability policies at all levels of government are being enforced. He said Government would continue to uphold the independence of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) towards implementing measures to resuscitate the country’s economy. President Weah said his recent appointment of some officials of the CBL ahead of a vetting process to pick a new CBL Governor is part of efforts to ensure a credible and independent Central Bank,The News reports.

 

RELAPTED CAPTIONS:Liberia gets new World Bank Country Manager (New Dawn), President George Manneh Weah Discusses Prospects of Economy With World Bank-Liberia Officials ( Heritage)

 

Clar Weah hosts West African First Ladies

Liberia’s First Lady Madam Clar Weah has received Ghanaian First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Sierra Leonean First Lady Fatima Maada Bio as guests for the launch of her flagship women program, “She’s You Movement.” Ahead of the launching exercise, the two visiting West African First Ladies were separately received by Mrs. Weah at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County on Wednesday, 19 June in preparation for the official program scheduled for Thursday, 20 June in Monrovia. According to the Office of the First Lady, the name of the program “SHE’s You” (She is you) comes from the backdrop that Mrs. Weah presents herself as one of those being … abused and that she feels the pains and trauma that survivors experience, understands their plights and she is now standing up for them, says The NewDawn newspaper.

 

West African First Ladies Here for Clar Weah’s “She’s You” Launch (Daily Observer)Ahead of SHE’s YOU Movement Launch Today: Ghanian First Lady, Other High Profile African Women Leaders Arrive in Liberia (Heritage)

 

LEC Steps Up Operation in Maryland, Grand Gedeh-Begins Collecting Bills

According to the INQUIRER newspaper, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) will effective June, 2019 commence the commercialization of the rural electrification grids in Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties. A LEC release noted that following commercialization, residents and business connected to the grid in both counties will commence payment of electricity bills. Customers will be classified in two categories: Metered and unmetered customers. Metered customers will be billed at the end of the month for payment while the unmetered customers will be placed on flat rate and an agreed amount will be deterred based on a customer’s consumption or load, the release addressed.

CAPTION:In Grand Gedeh and Maryland this month: Customers to Begin Paying Electricity Bills.( Heritage)

 

Qatar Donates S-350 Mercedes Benz…To Liberia; Promises To Deepen Cooperation

The Government of the State of Qatar, through its Embassy near Monrovia has donated S-350 Mercedes Benz, as a gift from the Government of Qatar to the Republic of Liberia.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the presentation ceremony took place in the Conference Room on the 4th floor of the Foreign Ministry. At the colorful ceremony, the Handover/Acceptance Notes were signed between the State of Qatar and Liberia. Liberia’s Foreign Minister Milton Gbezohngar Findley signed for Liberia, while the Charge d’Affaires of the Qatari Embassy near Monrovia, Mr. Fahad Rashid Al- Merakhi signed on behalf of his government. The Qatari good way donation to Liberia at this critical time is in the framework of the bilateral cooperation between Liberia and Qatar which the Qatari envoy stressed will help cement the friendly relations between Qatar and Liberia. Presenting the vehicle on behalf of the Government and people of Qatar, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the State of Qatar, Mr. Fahad Rashid Al- Merakhi said the gesture is a demonstration of his government’s unflagging desire to strengthen the bilateral cooperation subsisting between Liberia and Qatar, the The News newspaper says.

RELATED CAPTION: Qatar Donates S-350 Mercedes Benz to Liberia…Promises to Deepen Corporation ( Heritage)

 

MGCSP Commits to Protecting Child Rights, Admist Observance of DAC

On the Occasion Marking the Observance of the Day of the African Child, the Ministry of Gender Children and Social protection has renewed its commitment, coordination, and collaboration to ensuring that the Liberian Children are protected and have access to services through social protection, health and education among others. The 2019 DAC is being observed under the global theme” Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Right First and Under the National Theme: Children’s Rights are Human Rights-Liberia is no Exception; Let’s Take Action.” The Heritage newspaper quotes Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr as saying during the celebration held at the Ministry on Monday that the Government along with partners, communities, civil society groups and other local and international stakeholders, as well as the Liberia National Children Representative Forum will make tremendous efforts in fighting Gender-Based Violence in the society.

RELATED CAPTION:Gov’t Launches Initiative Against Sexual Violence(INQUIRER)

 

President Weah Issues Proclamation Declaring Thursday, June 20th as World Refugee Day; -Cautions Liberians to Join In Observance

President George Manneh Weah has by Proclamation declared Thursday, June 20, 2019 as "World Refugee Day” and is to be observed throughout the Republic as a Working Holiday. World Refugee Day is particularly commemorated to acknowledge the difficulties faced by refugees forced to cross international borders as well as those who remain within their countries as internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to a Foreign Ministry release, the official ceremony of this year’s “World Refugee Day” in Liberia, will be celebrated in Monrovia as well as in refugee concentrated counties including Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties. The event will be celebrated under the theme:”#Taking A Step With Refugees#" The Proclamation is calling on all citizens and foreign residents, national and international youth organizations as well as government agencies concerned to join Liberia Refugees Repatriation Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) to execute appropriate programs befitting the observance of the Day, writes The NewDawnnewspaper.

 

 

Dubai’s Council General pays Speaker Chambers courtesy visit

Amb. Arun Panchariya, Council-General of the Emirate of Dubai with extended representation for the UAE, has paid a courtesy visit to the Office of the Speaker of the 54th Legislature, Dr. Bhofal Chambers. The UAE’s envoy in a meeting with Dr. Chambers says his visit is countenance on the prospects of President Weah’s recent visit to the UAE and he has come in efforts to further strengthen the partnership and friendships between the two countries. The UAE is the United Arab Emirates; it is a federation of seven constituent monarchies including the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, and Fujairah, Ras. Dubai has an according autonomy and a ruler; it is the largest and most populous city in the (UAE).
According to the UAE’s Envoy his government is willing to work with Liberia in several ways to foster the relationship. Amb. Panchariya divulged that he looks forward to working with the Liberian government to attract Liberia’s small scale businesses and big scale business institutions to their counterparts in the UAE, The NewDawn newspaper writes.

RELATED CAPTION: Dubai’s Council General to Liberia Pays Speaker Chambers Courtesy Visit( Heritage)

World Bank announces US210m funding

According to the The NewDawn newspaper, outgoing World Bank Country Director Dr. Henry Kerali announced here Wednesday June 19, 2019 that the Bank would increase its funding to Liberia in the tone of US$210 million over the next three years. The pronouncement comes in the wake of increasing economy hardship, amidst inflation and growing depreciation of the Liberian Dollar against major foreign currencies such as the United States Dollars, this has resulted to liquidity problems at local banks with many suspending loans facilities to local businesses. Dr. Kerali, who has until his pending departure served as the Bank Country Director for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana made the disclosure about the increase funding when he along with Bank Country Manager for Liberia, Larisa Leshchenko and her successor KhwimaNthara paid President George Manneh Weah a courtesy at his Foreign Ministry office Wednesday. He notes that it is a great opportunity working with President Weah and his government, adding that the World Bank Group remains committed to helping Liberia.

  

Liberia, China Sign handover And Acceptance Notes

The Government of the Republic of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday, June 18,2019 signed the Handover and Acceptance Notes for the phase 4 of the China-Aided Broadcasting Technical Assistance Project to Liberia, for the Liberia Broadcasting System, LBS. According to a Foreign Minister Release, the signing ceremony took place in the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the Exchange of  Notes between Liberia and the People’s Republic of China of   March 1, 2016, China consented to implement the forth  Phase of the China-Aided Broadcasting Technical Assistance Project aimed at enhancing the Liberia Broadcasting System’s  capacity. In this regard, the China Building Technical Group Corporation, Ltd was commissioned to implement said project, which commenced January 1st, 2016 to December 31, st2018. Accordingly, China has fulfilled its obligation as stipulated in the Exchange of Notes (agreement) and that both sides have acknowledged the full completion of the project. In brief remarks after the signing of Acceptance Notes, Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Gbezohngar Milton Findley Lauded the Chinese Government for its immense technical and humanitarian assistance to the Government and people of Liberia, which he noted, has impacted various sectors including the Liberia Broadcasting System., LBS. Foreign Minister Findley on behalf of President George Manneh Weah extended thanks and  deep appreciation to China and expressed confidence that  Liberia and the PRC will work together to promote government’s development agenda geared towards promoting the livelihood of the  Liberian people. He stated that” China is one of Liberia’s strong and reliable partners” pens, the Heritage newspaper.

 

 

USAID Pledges support to Liberian Gov't Network Platform

The Mission Director of The United States Agency for International Development, Anthony Chan has pledged the organization’s commitment and support to the Liberian Government Network Platform. The Government Network Platform is intended to impact Government’s Operations in Profound ways through electronic connectivity of Ministries and Agencies as well as commissions of the Government. The USAID official was speaking in Monrovia when the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation officially launched the Government Network at the Monrovia City Hall.

 

Gov’t, Partners Launch ‘Spotlight Initiative’

The Daily Observer newspaper is reporting that Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, launched the Liberia Spotlight Initiative in Tienii, Grand Cape Mount County. The initiative seeks to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, a press release has said. The Liberia Spotlight Initiative, a global joint initiative of the EU and the UN, according to the release, is funded by the EU. Liberia is one of eight countries in Africa to benefit from the initiative. A total of US$18.5 million will fund the first phase of the four-year period of the Liberia Spotlight Initiative. Funding for the second phase will subsequently be based upon results achieved, as outlined in the program document. The initiative will focus on reducing the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence, and harmful practices and increasing women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. The Liberia Spotlight Initiative will be implemented in Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Montserrado and Nimba, the five counties with the highest prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence.

 

Post & Telecommunication Ministry Launches GovNet to Enhance Service Delivery

According to the Daily Observer newspaper, the Government of Liberia has launched a new platform, called “GovNet”, which is geared towards improving efficiency of government ministries, agencies and commissions in public service delivery. GovNet is a platform which aimed at improving the government’s service performance and brings government closer to citizens by enhancing its internet and computer technology capability. Cllr. Cooper Kruah, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, in remarks during the launch of the GovNet platform over the weekend, said the platform is a secured and dedicated wide area network that connects government ministries, agencies, and commissions for minimal cost and information sharing. “The creation of GovNet will enhance tax revenue and improved tax administration, enhance budget management and expenditure through the effective use of the IFMIS database, and support the National Biometric Registry among others,” he said.

 

EPA, UNDP Mobilize Private Sector Investment for Climate Change Adaptation

A two-day intensive training regimen organized by the administration of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with support from the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project to raise awareness and build capacity within the private sector ended over the weekend in Ganta, Nimba County. The NAPs project, according to an EPA release, supports the Liberian government to advance its plans and processes in climate sensitive sectors. The project, the release said, focuses on strengthening institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAPs process, expanding the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, building capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulating financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international, asserts the Daily Observer newspaper.

 

 

Speaker Foresees Better Economy…Calls for Diversification

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr. Bhofal Chambers has called for the indulgence of the country’s economic managers to accelerate efforts aimed at fixing, whilst working to diversify the Liberian economy. Speaker Chambers said government’s efforts to consider other potential revenue generating sectors in the economy will contribute in a positive way. The Maryland County District #2 Lawmaker stated that Liberia’s fishing industry has the potential to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economy and national budget. The Speaker said the forest sector is another viable sector that will significantly improve the economy, adding that bad laws were used to decrease the forest potential. Speaker Chambers stated that the Legislature stands ready to work with other branches of government to legislate or make new laws that will affect the forest and other potential sectors in the Liberian economy in a positive and sustainable way, The News writes.

 

UNDP Elections Project Supports Electoral Reform…In Liberia

The The News is reporting that UNDP/Elections Project is supporting the National Elections Commission (NEC) rollout of series of regional sensitization campaigns and consultations leading to a reform of the current election laws of Liberia. Donors funding the elections project include the European Union, the Irish Aid, Canada and the Government of Sweden through its Embassy in Monrovia. On 18 June 2019, NEC commenced the regional awareness campaigns across the Country beginning in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. This will be followed by Gbarnga, Bong County on June 20, 2019. Two additional events are also scheduled to take place in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on June 24 and in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on June 27. This latest effort which is part of interventions under the 2019 Elections-Project work plan, is gear towards supporting the National Elections Commission address some key recommendations of both national and international elections observers on the 2017 general and presidential elections and by extension, improve elections administration in keeping with international best practices.

 

 Gov’t Dedicates Timbo River Bridge….On July 15

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has disclosed that the dedication of Timbo River Bridge in Rivercess County has been scheduled for July 15, 2019. Appearing before the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, June18, 2019, Public Works Minister Mabotu Nyenpan said the Buchanan to Greenville road is one of the critical corridors in the country for the movement of goods and services in southeastern Liberia. Minister Nyenpan said the Government of Liberia in 2017 contracted the Jupiter International company to rehabilitate the Timbo River and two other bridges in the country. He said the company initially assessed three bridges, including the Timbo River Bridge to link Grand Bassa and Sinoe Counties. The Minister stated that the contract cost for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of three bridges is estimated at US$3.245.609 million. He said May 21, 2017, an amount of US$900.000 was paid to the contractor and another US$500,000 paid on April 19, 2018 to the contractor for the construction of the bridges, The News writes.