Daily Media Summary, 30-03-2016


Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




News of the presentation of the Letters of Credence to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by the new Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdoms of Spain and Thailand and President Johnson Sirleaf’s acceptance of the resignation of Liberia Maritime Authority’s boss, Mr. Binyah Kesselly, are stories highlighted in today’s edition of the summary of the local dailies.



Envoy From Spain Presents Letters of Credence

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of the new Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Spain accredited to Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Luis Prados Covarrubias and the Kingdom of Thailand, His Excellency Mr. Wijhak Chittarat. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf expressed appreciation on behalf of the Liberian Government for Spain’s involvement in Liberia’s socio-economic development prior to the civil crisis, peacekeeping efforts in Liberia and during the Ebola crisis. President Sirleaf recalled the long standing relations and her State visit to Spain in 2007. She praised Spain for its support to the many international organizations that are involved with supporting the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Liberia. She expressed the hope that Spanish investors, who helped Liberia’s economic transformation in the past will resurface for investment initiatives in Liberia. Receiving the Letters of Credence from the New Ambassador of Thailand, President Sirleaf reflected on the longstanding relations between Liberia and Thailand as well as Thailand’s role in many global institutions including the Group of 77. She acknowledged the country’s support to education, the United Nations and the processes that led to the development and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She pointed out that Liberia and Thailand share values in the development arena particularly with focus on rice production and advancement of the agriculture sector. “I believe Liberia can benefit from Thailand’s experience particularly with value addition and advanced the concept of developing a framework that guides technical and bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Presenting his Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf earlier, the Spanish Ambassador H.E. Mr. Covarrubias said he was honored and privileged to represent Spain in Liberia, indicating that he is aware of the longstanding traditions of Liberia/Spain relations and the fruits of said tradition. He expressed condolence for the many deaths in Liberia due to Ebola outbreak and congratulated President Sirleaf and the government for successfully defeating the further spread of the virus. Ambassador Covarrubias promised to work hard to foster the relations stating that an appreciable level of dialogue is already ongoing between the two nations.  He informed President Sirleaf about an initiative with the health sector that involves plasma development for the treatment and prevention of infection. For his part, Thailand’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, H.E. Mr. Wijhak Chittarat reflected on his over 35 years of diplomatic experience and expressed joy for his assignment to Liberia and other countries which represent his first assignment on the continent. He told President Sirleaf that Thailand is an agriculture-based country with a climatic condition similar to Liberia. He named rice and rubber as grown in his country. “Thailand was the number one rice producing country for over 30 years, a status that was lost to India a year ago but has been reclaimed. The country has a project that seeks to give expertise to African countries to help boost rice production and other commodities; Liberia can tap into this project”, he indicated, reports the INSIGHT newspaper.


Related Captions: President Sirleaf Receives Letters Of Credence Of New Ambassadors(Women Voices), Thailand Vows To Boost Agriculture Here(The New Dawn)



Binyah Kesselly Quits Government

The New Dawnnewspaper quoting an Executive Mansion release says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has accepted the resignation of Liberia Maritime Authority’s (LMA) boss, Mr. Binyah Kesselly. According to the daily, in a statement, the President’s office says the outgoing LMA Chief Executive Officer seeks to move on in his professional pursuit after eight years of service as head of the country’s Maritime program. The Executive Mansion release says Commissioner Kesselly informed President Sirleaf that after eight consecutive years of service at the entity, he will like to pursue other professional options. 



Related Captions: Maritime Commissioner Kesselly Resigns (Daily Observer),Binyah Kesselly Resigns(In Profile Daily), President Sirleaf Accepts Request From Commissioner Binyah Kesselly(Women Voices)






Ellen Commends The Gambia’s Role in ECOMOG

The In Profile Daily reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended the West Africa nation of The Gambia for its role and invaluable contributions towards the ECOMOG initiative aimed at the search for lasting peace in Liberia during the height of the civil conflict coupled with the country’s solidarity in hosting Liberian political parties and interest groups that determined the formation of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) in 1990.  According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking when Her Excellency Mrs. Fatou Ndeye Gaye, Ambassador-Designate, Republic of the Gambia with residence in Freetown, Sierra Leone presented her Letters of Credence in the Cabinet Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 in Monrovia.  She expressed delight in progress The Gambia has made in the tourism sector and how it was impacting the economy and noted that Liberia is ready at all time to benefit from the expertise and experiences of The Gambia.  For her part, Ambassador Fatou Ndeye Gaye, conveyed on behalf of her President a special message to his ‘sister’ – President Sirleaf for the kind of leadership that continues to occasion Liberia.  Ambassador Gaye called for private partnership between Liberian and Gambian entrepreneurs to forge areas of common interest and explore new horizon of economic cooperation.




President Sirleaf Lauds Liberia-Ethiopia Historical Ties

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the historic ties subsisting between Liberia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia amid the tremendous contributions both nations have made together in promoting Pan-African spirit through the formation of the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) in the early 60s. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the commendation when Her Excellency, Mrs. Gifti Abasiya Ababulgu, Ambassador, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia accredited to Liberia with residence in Accra, Ghana presented her Letters of Credence on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.  She said Liberia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia share unique historical similarities of not being colonized by any colonial power and recounted the close relationship between the late President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia and  Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, who worked tirelessly towards the formation of the then O.A.U. to forge a common African solidarity and brotherhood.  She praised the people of Ethiopia - recognizing their resilience having emerged out of the tentacles of severe famine cum conflict in the early 80s to a country of transformation and unprecedented development. She described Prime Minister Hailemariam  Dessalegn’s predecessor Meles Zenawi as a visionary leader and said she has no doubt that PM Dessalegn would continue in the path of such lofty legacy. She stressed the need to rekindle previous Joint Cooperation Agreements in the interest of both countries and their peoples by giving meaning to their relevance.  Earlier, Ambassador Gifti Abasiya Ababulgu thanked President Sirleaf for the audience and noted that there was a compelling need to accelerate the pace of closer cooperation that will bring benefits to our two countries. She acknowledged progress made under the leadership of President Sirleaf, which has largely brought hope to her country and people. She then conveyed a special message of warmth and best wishes from Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn to his Liberian counterpart. She said Ethiopia was prepared to work along with Liberia particularly at the level of the African Union (AU) to promote and advance the mutual interest of the two nations and aspirations. She expressed the hope that the relationship will continue to be nurtured in the coming years, according to the FOCUS newspaper. 


Related Caption: Liberia Praises Ties With Ethiopia(INSIGHT)




South Africa To Train 7 In Health Research

According to the Daily Observer, the South Africa envoy accredited to Liberia, Mr. Vanapalan Moodley, has disclosed that his Embassy has extended an invitation for seven health researchers to be trained in South Africa this June and July on research methods, particularly in blood sampling and other testing. According to a Foreign Ministry, the South African diplomat made the disclosure Tuesday, March 22, when he paid a courtesy visit to Foreign Affairs Minister Marjon V. Kamara. It was their first meeting since she became Foreign Minister. During their deliberations, Ambassador Moodley’s informed Foreign Minister Kamara that they at the South African Embassy are very much interested in further promoting and strengthening diplomatic ties between both countries. “We are here to support your democratic transition in any way possible and support those social development initiatives that you are undertaking [and will undertake],” he indicated, adding that they would like to support the country’s Agenda for Transformation. He further informed Foreign Minister Kamara that his courtesy visit was to also tell her about the African Union’s Vision 2063, which stresses the aim of promoting more intra-African relationship. The South African envoy said, “Relationships can’t just be being good friends; it has to go beyond that with intra-African trade and intra-African economic activities, including support for peace and security through intra-African structures and countries in Africa.” He disclosed that his Embassy is working with other government parastatals including the National Investment Commission (NIC), Ministry of Health, National Elections Commission, among others to provide capacity-building to some of its employees. Citing his government’s assistance, Ambassador Moodley said they recently extended an invitation for seven health researchers to be trained in South Africa this June & July on research methods, particularly in blood sampling and other testing.




Saah Joseph Leads Medical Team To Liberia

According to the New Dawn newspaper, Montserrado County Electoral District #13 Representative Saah Joseph, is leading a medical team that is providing health services to Liberians. The daily quotes Representative Joseph as saying that for the past two weeks, he and a U.S.-based medical team, Liberia Medical Mission have been in few counties to conduct medical treatment to citizens. He said since the team’s arrival in Liberia, it has treated 1,106 persons in Central Monrovia, District#13, and Jacob Town in Paynesville, and was on its way to Margibi County. He said the people of Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia allegedly turned the team away because their leaders said they had no prior knowledge. The Liberian lawmaker said some Liberian doctors and nurses have volunteered to work with the foreign doctors to help save lives. Meanwhile, Representative Joseph has disclosed that on Saturday, 2 April two 40-foot containers will arrive in Liberia with medical equipment, including 700 hospital beds and mattresses. He said he liaise with the Ministry of Health to have the supplies distributed to various hospitals and clinics across the country. 



UNICEF Donates To Health Ministry

According to the Women Voices newspaper, UNICEF through its Country Representative in Liberia, Sheldon Yett on Monday donated over 12 high-tech incinerators to the Ministry of Health for use in 12 health facilities across the country. Handing the items to Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn, the UNICEF Representative said the incinerators were necessary t dispose of hazardous medical waste, and prevent the spread of disease. The incinerators were provided with funding from the Government of the Netherlands. Dr. Dahn in brief remarks lauded the UNCEF for the donation and assured that the material will be used for the intended purpose.




Methodists Dedicate US$30K Multipurpose Science Lab

The Daily Observer reports that the Ganta United Methodist School recently dedicated a multipurpose science laboratory to enhance learning at the institution. The science lab contains two compartments for biology and chemistry and a computer lab. The school’s principle, Pastor Roger Domah, put the cost at over US$30,000. He explained that the project was funded by partners in the United States including missionary Ken Delker. The United Methodist Church of North Carolina is planning to supply some vital equipment.




EU Envoy Pays Visit To National Traditional Council Leader

European Union Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, and National Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders leader, Chief Zanzar Karwor, exchanged views on a wide range of issues during the visit of the EU Envoy to the Chief at his office in Monrovia on Friday, March 25, 2016. Ambassador Intelmann recognized the National Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders for its work in ensuring that Liberia remains peaceful. She welcomed the Council’s recent intervention on the proposal to make Liberia a Christian State, agreeing with the sentiments expressed at the recent National Peace Building Retreat, the INQUIRER newspaper writes.


Related Caption: EU Envoy Pays Visit To National Traditional Council Leader(FOCUS)



Mercy Corps Expands Campaign Against Ebola

In response to the recent outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Mercy Corps expanded its social mobilization activities in Liberia’s border areas so that communities can be better prepared against possible flare-ups of the devastating virus. In addition to community engagement activities, such as town hall meetings and house visits, the organization is also partnering with local radio stations in Bong and Nimba Counties that are promoting vigilance measures, including hand washing; safe burials and timely reporting of suspected cases. The awareness activities are being done through the second phase of the Ebola Community Action Platform (ECAP 2), funded by USAID, the INQUIRER newspaper writes.



Decent Work Conference Kicks off Today

The Ministry of Labor has announced that as of Wednesday, March 30, 2016 it will commence a 2-day Conference aimed at planning the future of Liberian workers. The conference is expected to include key stakeholders of the Ministry in partnership with the Liberia Labor Congress. According to the Labor Ministry, the conference will focus on three key areas of labor administration which includes decent work for all, the restructuring of trade union it’s pros and cons, the roads and responsibilities of Employers and employees in the workplace, the FOCUS newspaper writes.


Lonestar Makes History…Wins Djibouti 5-0; Jebor Scores 2nd Hat-Trick

The front page story of the INQUIRER newspaper reads that The National Team of Liberia, Lonestar recorded its biggest win ever in the history of the country’s football with a 5-0 win over Djibouti yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in continuation of the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. South Africa-based Anthony Laffor scored in the 8th from the penalty spot after Spain-based William Jebor was upended Sweden-based Sam Johnson made it 2-0 as a result of poor goalkeeping from the visitors’ goalie and the Lonestar could have increased the lead had it not been for poor finishing.