Daily Media Summary Nov, 18, 2013

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


News Summary For Monday, November 18, 2013

Today’s dominant stories  in our  News Summary  is the news of the  nomination by President Johnson Sirleafs  of several individuals in Government  including  the appointment of  James  Verdier  and others,  as well as the commencement of the Bong Mines-Haindii  Road project by China- Union amongst other related stories.


Dominant Stories


Ellen Nominates Several Others To Gov’t…James Verdier Goes To LACC

The Inquirer newspaper reveals that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made another nomination in government affecting  the Human Rights Commission, LACC, LCAA; Ministries of State, Education, Youth & Sports, Commerce and Internal Affairs. The President also nominated the Acting City Mayors; and Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal & Financial Affairs. An Executive Mansion release disclosed that President Johnson Sirleaf has appointed the officials to act in various positions to ensure continued smooth functioning of the concerned entities pending their formal nomination by Her Excellency for confirmation by the Liberian Senate upon their return from recess. According to the paper, the President nominated at the Independent National Commission on Human Rights. Cllr. Gladys Johnson as Chair; Cllr. James Verdier, Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission replacing Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison whose tenure expires September 16, 2013.


 At the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority Board, President Sirleaf nominated Cllr. Rosemarie B. James as Chairman of the Board of Directors while at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.  The President nominated Mr. Elijah Seah as Legislative Liaison. Others are Mrs. Eleanor Cooper, Chief of Protocol Executive Mansion; Mrs. Ethel Holt-Toles, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Executive Mansion; Mr. Ramses T. Kumbuyah as Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Education. At the Ministry of Youth & Sports, Saah H. N’Tow was nominated as Deputy Minister for Youth Development; and Mrs. Clara Doe-Mvogo, Acting City Mayor of the Monrovia City Corporation. Still other nominations made by the Liberian leader include the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Daniel Dean as Assistant Minister for Administration; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Elvin C. A. Frank, Assistant Minister for Technical Services, amongst others, the paper noted.

Related CaptionPres. Sirleaf Appoints New Officials To Gov’t (The Insight)

China Union Breaks Ground For Road Project In Haindii,

A top back page lead of the Inquirer reports that China Union which is one of the largest concession companies working in Liberia has broken grounds for a modern highway that will connect Bong Mines to Haindii in Bong County. According to the Project Manager of Bong Mines-Haindii Road, JIANG LAIYUN, the project is one of the Chinese Government’s developmental initiatives.

JIANG LAIYUN said China amongst other things prioritized several developmental needs for the Government and people of Liberia to showcase its own side of the mutual and bilateral relationship that was established between the two nations since the two nation’s re-established diplomatic relations.


For her part, Fuamah District Representative, Korpu Barclay, has assured citizens of Fuamah District of more developments in the future. According to Representative Barclay, the people of Fluamah have suffered for a very long time to be left behind without any modern road construction in sight which is undeniably important. The Fuamah District Representative lauded the Government and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for fulfilling some of her developmental agenda, the Inquirer newspaper reports.

Related Captions: Relief  At Last – Haindii Citizens Jubilate As China Union Commences Bong Mines-Haindii Road project (Daily Observer), China Union Begins Bong Mines Road (New Democrat)

Reproductive Health Services Launch in Liberia

The New Dawn newspaper asserts that the Government of Liberia and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have launched the first-ever survey to assess the availability of modern contraceptives and essential life-saving maternal and reproductive health medicines in service delivery points here. 


According to the release, the survey will cover 128 primary, secondary and tertiary health centers across the country.  In addition to assessing the availability of these services, the survey will also gauge the perception of people who use or attempt to access the services at the facilities on the availability and the timeliness of receipt of services.  Speaking Friday at the launch of the survey, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said, “There is nothing more critical in reducing maternal and newborn mortality, and infant mortality than ensuring that reproductive commodities are always everywhere; accessible and affordable at all times. 


Minister Nyenswah added that “investing in reproductive health, including maternal and child health can accelerate economic growth and development and the wellbeing of citizens.” “Voluntary family planning can lower fertility and reduce maternal mortality;” he noted, according to the daily.

Related Captions:  Liberia Launches ‘First-Ever Reproductive Health Commodity Security survey’ (Daily Obsever)


Other Stories:

Cabinet Endorses Civil Servant Reform Program

The Liberian Cabinet has endorsed a number of recommendations in line with the ongoing reforms of the civil service. When fully implemented, the recommendations will bring an end to the practice of the dual payroll system, collapse various benefits such as gas slips and scratch cards into one compensation package for political appointments, and ensure uniformity in general allowances across the public bureaucracy.


According to the  Inquirer newspaper, the recommendations, which will be fully implemented by the end of January next year, could see Cabinet Ministers earn US$6,000 monthly; Deputy Minister and Ambassadors, US$4,500; and Assistant Ministers, US$3,000 and all would pay directly for their scratch cards, gas slips and vehicle repairs and maintenance.  The full implementation will also see the end of disparities in the disbursements of general allowances. The projected increase is also tied to the scrupulous implementation of the performance contracts signed between political appointees and the President.

LBS Dedicates 10 Kilowatts Transmitter

According to the New Dawn Newspaper, the compound of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) in Paynesville was the scene of euphoria over the weekend, when the institution for the fourth times in the history of the country to launch a 10-kilowatt transmitter for the expansion of its television coverage here. The launch brought together officials of Government, dignitaries, Ambassadors, and several media practitioners. 


The campaign which is intended to take radio and television coverage to other parts of the country was dedicated last Friday by the Vice President of Liberia, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.  Speaking at the occasion, the Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System, Darryl Ambrose Nmah, said, the aspiration of extending radio and television courage in the various counties is to relate information to the people. He noted that information dissemination is very essential to the development and growth of the country’s young democracies.


Mr. Nmah pointed out that the dissemination of information also helps to equip the institution and build the platform that moves the country forward, adding, “Bringing pride, unity, peace, and development to the growth of the country.  The Chinese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Zhao Jianhua, noted that the most effective media tool for the transformation of any country is television. 

He said radio and television stations serve as a significant factor that help to improve the spreading of work done by the government.  He explained that the China Central Television (CCTV) is in partnership with the LBS to compensate in the extension of the radio and television coverage in rural Liberia. 

Vice President Boakai said the idea of reaching out to people in other parts of the country is not to compete with local stations in the country, “but it is our responsibility as a government to provide quality equipment, because no matter how dirty yours look, you have to make an effort before others can come to your aid”, he concluded.

LEITI Hosts International Study Tour,  

A special Learning Exchange Program intended to enhance implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the African region has started in Monrovia.

The South-South Training Exchange Program which is sponsored by the World Bank and LEITI will promote experiences and knowledge sharing on EITI implementation amongst Liberia, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The program will be held from November 17-23, 2013.  According to a release from the LEITI, delegates attending the program include high level officials, including a Ministers and Directors in Government, Board Members from each country’s EITI governing body and Secretariat staff.   

The learning exchange will focus on Legislative Framework for EITI Implementation, Secretariat Operations, Forestry Sector Monitoring, Mining, as well as general stakeholders’ involvement in the EITI process. It is also intended to enhance the capacity of the steering committees to lead the effective implementation of EITI; strengthen good governance of natural resources for poverty reduction as well as advance the multi-stakeholder dialogues and the participation of citizens in Natural Resource Management. 

To facilitate the learning, the delegates will meet with key policy makers in Liberia including Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boikai; EITI Board Member, Senate Pro-Tempore Gbehzongar Findley as well heads of line ministries and agencies of government involved in EITI implementation and civil society organizations.  The delegates will also pay a tour visit to Arcelor Mittal Liberia’s operations site in Buchanan on Friday, November 22, 2013, to get experience of how extractive companies’ operations support EITI implementation in Liberia, the New Dawn newspaper reports.

Liberia Gets First Brazil Ambassador

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence from the first Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Adres Luis Azevedo Dos Santos.


According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, making remarks at a ceremony in her Foreign Ministry office, said both countries have enjoyed respected friendship for over 150 years when Brazil recognized the sovereignty of Liberia. The Insight newspaper quotes President Sirleaf as saying “Our two countries began to cooperate on more substantive fronts when we entered into a treaty of friendship and commerce diplomatic relationship since 1852,” she recounted.


The Liberian leader noted that more recently, in 2009, both countries signed Staff MOUs on the Establishment of a Liberia-Brazil Joint Commission; Establishment of a Mechanism for Political Consultations, Cooperation in Sports; and on Cooperation in Energy and Mining, the Insight newspaper writes.

Arab-Africa Ministerial Confab Opens in Kuwait  

The meetings of Foreign Ministers of Africa and Arab States got underway Sunday, as part of preparatory meetings ahead of the Third Afro-Arab summit in the Gulf State of Kuwait. 


At least about 33 Heads of States and 10 Prime Ministers have confirmed their participation at the Summit which kicks off on Tuesday November 19, 2013, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Saba Al-Khalid Al-Sabah told about 300 international journalists covering the summit Saturday. 


The 3rd Afro-Arab summit is being held under the theme; Partnership in Development. Mr. Al-Sabah said the initiative by the Kuwaiti government to host the summit stems from its desire to lay the foundation for a more collaborative effort between the two regions to preserve human dignity.


He said the objective of the conference is to first establish partnership and generate interest among the parties and reinforce investment cooperation between the two regions. “We need to generate a more conducive condition for investment,” he said. The Kuwaiti Deputy PM and Foreign Minister said Africa and the Arab world has a common interest.


“Ten members of the Arab League of Nations are part of the African Union. Therefore we have a common interest,” he said, adding “Africa is very important to Kuwait also.”  Mr. Al-Sabah said Africa and the Arab world share a lot of things in common. He named food security and peace and security in both regions as key to the parties.


He, however, acknowledged that translating the slogan of the Summit which is –Partnership in Development is itself a challenge, saying that there are disputed issues and conflicts, should not stop the two regions investing in areas that will reduce the conflicts. 


Responding to a question on the challenges China and some Lebanese who are spread on the continent in the Arab world, Mr. Al-Sabah said that should not be of a problem because Africa and the Arab world already have a lot of things in common. He said since major Arab countries are located on the continent, “we (Arab states) should also participate in its economic development.”  On the issue of migration, the Deputy Kuwaiti leader acknowledged that migration issue is a problem and that is one of the issues which were discussed at the Senior Officials (Deputy Foreign Ministers and Economic Experts) meeting from Thursday up to Saturday. 


However, he reminded journalists that it was good to focus on the positive aspect of the conference. The third Arab-Africa Summit follows the Sirte Summit of 2010, which established the principle of organizing the regular holding of the Africa-Arab Summit every three years, the New Dawn newspaper writes.

Liberia Gets 8M Euros From German Gov’t

The Government of Germany, through the German Development Cooperation, has made an 8-million Euros grant to the Liberian government in support of the country’s pre and post-war recovery program. The money, according to German officials, will be used for projects in three counties in southeastern Liberia, already identified under the German funded, Reintegration and Recovery program (RRP). Those counties are: Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Sinoe. Speaking last Friday at the Ministry of Finance during the signing ceremony of the grant, German Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Ralph Timmermann, said Germany was happy to provide additional support to the RRP program in Liberia in order to improve the living condition of the people in those counties. the Daily Observer newspaper writes.

First Qatari Ambassador Arrives In Liberia

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of the first ever Qatari Ambassador to be accredited to Liberia, Mr. Mohammad Ismail Al Emadi. Receiving his letters of credence, President Sirleaf told Ambassador Al Emadi that as his country’s first Ambassador accredited to Liberia, he has the historic task of setting the course and tone of diplomatic engagement between Liberia and Qatar. The Daily Observer newspaper quote President Sirleaf as saying I am convinced,” she said, “that you will use your best efforts to further strengthen these ties even further during your tour of duty.” The Liberian leader, speaking during the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry last week praised the ties of friendship between the two countries, which she said gained new momentum following her state Visit to Qatar in 2009 and establishment of diplomatic relations.

U$4M Marijuana Burnt

The New Democrat newspaper says Liberia’s Drug Enforcement Agency Friday evening destroyed nearly 300 kilograms of marijuana valued at about US$4 million at the Voice Of America (VOA) Community along the Robert International Airport (RIA) highway. The burning exercise was carried out under the watchful eyes of the Joint Security Forces of Liberia, UNMIL, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Information Minister Lewis Brown said.

U$500M Power Project For MRU Region

According to the New Democrat newspaper, African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) electricity networks interconnection project. The total financing by the AfDB) (African Development Fund, Fragile States Facility and Nigeria Trust Fund) amounts to US$195 million, representing roughly 40 percent of the total project cost. The project will secure power supply for the four Mano River Union member countries, and will be implemented between 2014 and 2017, the Daily Observer reveals.

No More Gas Slips, Scratch Cards – Says Cabinet-Endorse Disbursement Plan

The Analyst like the other dailies also pans that an Information Ministry press release issued in Monrovia yesterday says the Liberian Cabinet has endorsed a number of recommendations in line with the ongoing reforms of the civil service. When fully implemented, the recommendations will being an end to the practice of the dual payroll system, incorporate various benefits, such as gas slips and scratch cards into one compensation package for political appointees, and ensure uniformity, into general allowance across the public bureaucracy.


According to the Analyst newspaper, the cabinet of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reached the decision on Friday, November 15, after hours of deliberations. Turing he meeting, the Minister of Finance presented a comprehensive report on the current state of the Liberian economy, and the Director-General of the Civil Service Agency informed about the extent of ongoing reforms in the civil service. In welcoming the decision, President Sirleaf reminded the Cabinet of the urgent need to lower the recurrent expenditure of the government so as to invest the savings in much-needed Public Sector Investments Projects (PSIPs). According to MICAT, the President directed the Cabinet to cooperate with and assist in accelerating ongoing efforts to clean up the payroll of the government.


The level of cooperation, she said, would also help increase the salaries of civil servants and service personnel, including teachers and health workers, whom she referred to as the unsung heroes and heroines of the ongoing transformation of the country. Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia has included over two thousand health workers on its payroll. The health workers were previously paid by a number of international non-governmental organizations, the Analyst reports.

Publishers plead For Truce – Want Media Litigants Seek Non-Court Solution

The injunction the Civil Law Court issued in Buchanan against the holding of the General elections of the Press Union of Liberia did halt the process to elect new corps of officials for the union, all right. Many had though that the injunction would have just established a point of order and then fade away as furtively as came.  The Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL) says the dogged pursuit of legal settlement by the disqualified candidates Cholo Brooks and Omecee Johnson is more likely to divide and paralyze the union than benefit either litigant. The Association has called on journalists to stop reporting the injunction action in ways that have the potential to fan the flames of discontent and hate, particularly against Brooks and Johnson, the Analyst newspaper reports.

Weah Enters Hall Of Fame

Liberia’s Peace and Reconciliation Ambassador, George Oppong Weah, has again collected another prestigious award for services to humanity and for impacting the lives of millions of people through dedication and achievements. Weah, on November 8, 2013 was inaugurated in the Salon de Fama (World Football Hall Fame) in the Southern American Country of Maxico. The one-time soccer legend is expected into the country today. The historic city of Pachuca, where Mexico’s first football club was founded back in 1901, is host Baltter. Nominees for the honor are selected by an international honorary committee or panel of jurors. Presenting at this year’s occasion, which was marked by spectacular enthusiasm and ovation, was the President of the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Association (CONCACAF), Jeffrey Webb, who attended the third induction ceremony as part of his trip to Mexico for the 2014 World Cup first leg play-off between Mexico and New Zealand, in which the home side won 5-1, The New Dawn newspaper reports.

Fight Against Maternal Death Begins

Like other dailies, the news newspaper has reported that The Ministry Of Health & Social Welfare in collaboration with its partners has begun the first Reproductive Health Commodity   Security RHCS Survey throughout Liberia speaking last Friday at the launch of the at the program the resident representative of the united nations population fund (UNFPA)   In Liberia, Madam Ratidzai   Ndhlovu said the critical to the reduction of maternal mortality in Liberia according to the Paper. 

 MEDIA Practitioners Undergo Voter Roll Update Training

The national commission NEC has concluded the   last in a series of regional training for the media practitioners in Buchanan Grand Bassa County on the pending voter roll update exercise in Liberia.   The voter roll update is a process intended to include the names on Liberia who have turned 18 years and above and those who did not register during the 2011 elections, the news newspaper pans, theNews Newspaper says.

Weah Gets Hall of Fame Glory –CDC Applauds Political Leaders  

The Executive National Committee of the Congress for Democratic Change CDC has and thousands of its partisans nationwide congratulate Liberia’s Peace Ambassador George Weah for his fulfilled induction into the Salon De Fame (World Foot Ball 0f Fame)  Which Took Place In Pachuca ,Mexico On November 8, 2013.The party applauded its Standard Bearer For Continuously promoting the image of the country internationally as his achievements through sports and humanitarian work inspire a positive outlook of Liberia, the newspaper Says..

CBL Releases Funeral Activities 

The board of Governor, Management and Staff of the Central Bank of Liberia   CBL have release  the funeral protocol for the removal, wake keeping and burial of Deputy Governor Theophilus Totee Bettie. The bank in the statement said the book of condolence for the late Deputy Governor will be opened at the CBL on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2:00PM.  On Friday November 22, 2013, the corpse of Hon.  Theophilus  Tortee   Bettie will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlors in Sinkor and taken to the Saint Simon Church , Holton avenue,  capital Bye  pass, Monrovia .According to the statement wake -keeping over his mortal remains would commence at 6:00pm and on Saturday November  23, 2013  at 10:00 am ,  funeral rites over the late Deputy Governor will be held at the Saint Simon Baptist Church,  the Daily newspaper asserts .

Foreign Minister Ngafuan, Kuwaiti foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Meet

 The Reporter newspaper pans that Liberia Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan   has had a meeting   with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh sabah khaled  Alhamad Al-sabah in the oil rich state of  Kuwait, the Reporter said it reliably gathered that Foreign Minister Ngafuan last Saturday met with Sheikh Sabah who is also Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister,  when both Minister Ngafuna  and Deputy Premier Sheikh Sabah discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest,  the Reporter newspaper  has revealed. The paper says it was informed reliably that the meeting of the two officials was attended by foreign undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah, Director of the sheikh sabah’s office Sheikh Ambassador amongst others