Daily Media Summary, Nov. 21, 2013

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


One of the dominant  stories in today’s news summary is  the controversy at the State owned University of Liberia (UL) where Faculty members are demanding the Resignation or  Dismissal of  the  institution’s Vice President calling for the  reinstatement of  the Suspended Instructors of  the University. Another dominating story is the observance of “16 Days Activism” By Gender Ministry on SGVB.

 Dominant Stories

Gender Starts 16 Days Activism On SGBV

The Analyst newspaper says although Liberia is under female leadership, leaders of the Government agency responsible to spread awareness of obstacles facing women and girls in Liberian society continue to showcase the dire circumstances in which male dominance in various facets continue to derail their actions. Speaking at the beginning of the second year of another elaborate sixteen days of activism against sexual and gender based violence; Liberia’s Gender And Development Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell updated the country on appalling incidences of rape in the country under her watch since last year. According to the paper, Gender Ministry officials along with local and international partners yesterday started sixteen days of activism on the troubling issues of rape and domestic violence in the country.

Related Caption:  Campaign Against Gender Violence in Sight (the NEWS), Men Take Lead ‘16 Days’ Activism Campaign-Campaigners Demand (Inquirer)

UL Faculty Wants Vice President Dismissed

The FOCUS Newspaper says it has reliably learnt that the Faculty Senate of the University of Liberia (UL) is demanding the dismissal of Dr. Wade Brownell, Vice President for Academic Affairs for allegedly taking administrative and instructional decisions individually, thus causing continuous students’ protests on both campuses of the state run university. Recently, there have been protests on both campuses of the UL on Capitol Hill and Fendell, thus disrupting normal academic activities. According to sources, members of the Faculty Senate comprising Heads of various departments of the University have complained of Dr. Brownell’s taking continuous administrative decisions that have caused serious rioting on both campuses of the UL.

Related Caption: UL Faculty Disengages...Wants Veep Quit; Suspended Instructors Reinstated(Inquirer), Resign or Else... (New Dawn)

Other Stories

New Liberian Business Dedicated Veep Boakai Urges Liberians

A back page story of the Inquirer newspaper pens that the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, has urged Liberians to engage in business in the country. Speaking at the dedication of Vasco Direct Incorporated, Importer and Distributor of Genuine Auto-Parts Business Center in Paynesville over the weekend, VP Boakai said small businesses provide more jobs than big businesses because the small businesses help train young people to know about spare parts and other things. He observed that most of the businesses in Ghana are owned by Ghanaians and therefore urged Liberians to get involved in business because it will also help them contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the nation, the paper  has informed.

UL Midterm Exams Postponed

Following days of protest by students on both campuses at Fendell and Capitol Hill, the Acting President of the University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU), Anthony Williams has announced that the Faculty Senate of the state run university has postponed the midterm exams to December 2, 2013. Speaking to cross-section of UL Students on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, Mr. William said the UL administration after negotiation has agreed that the time earlier announced for the midterm exams is untimely, the FOCUS writes.


The headline story of the NEWS newspaper report that the Japanese “Government has signed a Food Aid Grant with the Liberian Government valued at US$5.1 million. During an official signing ceremony of the exchange of notes between the Liberian and Japanese Governments held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill Tuesday, November 20, 2013, Mr. Elias Shoniyin, Acting Foreign Minister and Japanese Ambassador to Liberia Naoto Nikai represented their respective countries. Japan’s Food Aid to Liberia comes both bilaterally and through the United Nations’ World Food Program. It began since 2003, and saw Japan in 2012 also funding the World Bank’s West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program(WAAPP) in support of the Rice Research and Productivity Development Program. Acting Minister Shoniyin, on behalf of President Sirleaf, thanked the Japanese people and Government for a gesture he says will further accentuate Liberia-Japan partnership and ties, the News newspaper writes.

Liberia Nets US$12m As African & Arab Officials Sign Doxens Of Sideline Deals

As African officials and their Arab counterpart’s spread out in various hotel rooms in Kuwait City to put final inks on dozens of bilateral arrangements, Liberia on Monday sealed a US$12 million loan deal with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa or BADEA as part of funding towards its hydro rehabilitation project, the New Dawn says. The  Deputy Finance Minister for Dept and Expenditure Angela Bush Cassel signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while BADEA Director General Abdelaziz Khelef signed on behalf of his bank, the New Dawn reports.

Steps To Guarantee Public Confidence –Judiciary Appoints Civil society Actors To Ethics Committee

The Analyst newspaper reveals that the Judicial Branch of the Government of Liberia has appointed several prominent members of civil society to two of its key bodies for self-cleansing. The Judiciary has appointed Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Attorney Oscare Bloh, Imam Ali Krayee, Mr. Francis A. Dennis and Rev. Keturah York Cooper as members of the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Judiciary, while Emmanuel Bowier and Sis. Mary Laurene Browne has been appointed to the Judiciary Inquiry Commission.  The move by the Judiciary is intended to encourage civil society participation in the fight against corruption and other acts of impropriety within the Judiciary as a way of increasing “public confidence in the system”. The Judiciary noted that the appointment of civil  society actors to the Grievance and Ethics Committee, and the Inquiry Commission is critical to reform programs of it is undertaking to rid the Judiciary of acts of improprieties of judges and lawyers.

Consolidated Group Denies Seizure of Indians’ Passports

The Consolidated Group Inc. has denied allegation that its Chief Executive Officer Semeon Freeman seized the passports of four Indian nationals. Recently it was reported that Mr. Freeman allegedly seized the passports of four Indian nationals who were working for his mineral water company. In a press statement read at a news conference Wednesday by the Group Risk Assistant Supervisor, Peter Fayiah, Consolidated Group said at no time did Mr. Freeman seize the passports of the Indians as reported. The entity claimed that one of the four Indians whose passport was alleged to have been seized left Liberia Monday for his annual leave and is said to have arrived in India, reports the NEWS newspaper.

FrontPage Newspaper Set To Reappear

The FrontPage Newspaper is about to reappear after its Editor, who was jailed for damages in a libel lawsuit over reports about government corruption, was released and all charges against him dropped. The court had ordered that the paper be closed down until the damages were paid in full and Sieh was sent to jail, where he launched a hunger strike and spent much of his sentence in hospital following a rapid decline in his condition, but Sieh’s lawyer, Kofi Woods, said his client had been freed following negotiations between Toe’s lawyer and religious leaders in the west African nation, the FOCUS newspaper reports.

UL Algriculture College Begins Harvest

The University of Liberia Agriculture College has began harvesting about 25 acres of seed rice in the country. The harvest was aimed at empowering farmers through agriculture skills. Speaking at the program marking the harvest ceremony in Fendell, the Principal investigator of the project and Chairman of the Department of Agriculture, Prof. James Kaizolu revealed that the project is a two-year initiative, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation at the University of Liberia, the NEWS newspaper reports.

Lone Star Heads For Ghana

The local Liberia National Soccer Team (Lone Star) is heading for Kumasi, Ghana to participate in WSFU Zone B tournament that is expected to kick-off on Thursday, November 21, 2013. Liberia was accepted a place in Group B of the WAFU Cup after the withdrawal of Gabon from the competition. Gabon was initially entered into the tournament for the eight-team competition but has had to pull-out due to some problems back home. In their place, Liberia comes in and will compete in the group that includes defending champions Togo, Niger, and Senegal, the FOCUS reports.

CBL Opens Book of Condolence for Fallen Dep. Governor

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) yesterday opened a Book of Condolence for its fallen Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, the late Theophilus Totee Bettie in Monrovia. Leading an array of government officials and other executives of the CBL was Liberia’s Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, who eulogized the late Bettie for his numerous contributions to the Liberian economy through his professional work at the CBL. The Vice President who was at the bank to also represent who was at the bank to also represent President Ellen Johnson who is out of the country on an official visit said the loss of Mr. Bettie is one that does not only signal a blow to the CBL family but to the entire nation as he was an astute young Liberian whose contribution helped to accelerate the growth of the Liberian economy, the Inquirer writes.