Daily Media Summary Dec. 3, 2013

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


Foreign Minister Ngafuan, recent talks with United Arab Emirate’s Ministers on Liberia’s Collaboration, Pres. Sirleaf Harsh Message to Rapists, Liberia, European Union Signing  of Voluntary Partnership Agreement, a call for Liberians   To Under Go HIV Test – To Achieve The Three Zeros as well as General Services Agency (GSA) Director Broh recent statement against  Wastage in Government  are dominant stories captured from today’s local dailies.

 Dominant Stories

Foreign Minister Ngafuan Discusses Liberia’s Collaboration With Ministers from the UAE Energy, Education and Port Management top discussion

An inside story of the Heritage newspaper reports that Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, has been holding discussions with a top level Ministerial delegation in Paris, France as a follow up to a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The talks, which were held on the margins of the holding of the election for the country to host the 2020 World Expo, allowed the Liberian “Foreign Minister to discuss with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the Minister of Energy and the Minister of the Economy among others. In their separate meetings, Minister Ngafuan discussed the progress Liberia has made over the past years. He emphasized the need to seek more help and collaborations in the areas of energy, investment, roads infrastructure and ports. The Liberian Foreign Minister stressed the need to support Small and Medium Enterprises, (SMEs) as a way of promoting job creation and positively impacting the growth of the economy. He said these small businesses will have direct impact on value added on Liberian businesses and at the same time create jobs for Liberians as well.

Related CaptionForeign Minister Discusses Collaborations With UAE (Insight), Foreign Minister Ngafuan, UAE Ministers Discuss Liberia’s Collaboration (SUNTIMES), Ngafuan Discusses Liberia’s Collaboration With UAE Minister(In Profile Daily)

Ellen Frowns On Rapist Teachers – Calls For Drastic Action Against Perpetrators

After several calls to end the act of rape being perpetrated by teachers against students, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday, December 2, warned that her government would take drastic action against any teachers found guilty. “School is the second place of training after the home, a place where parents depend on the teacher to provide education as well as proper discipline; it is regrettable to see some teachers squandering this trust and using it to abuse our children,” the President stated. The President warned the would-be-pedophile teachers, “Children are in your care to educate them and not to go against the ethics of the profession, and you are violating their rights by raping them in school, because of this fact, my government will not reward any teachers found into such habits,  just the opposite, we will expose them (rapists); we will put them in the papers,” Resident Sirleaf affirmed when she spoke at the re-launch of the 16-Days of Activism against gender-based violence at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Lynch Street in Monrovia, theDaily Observer newspaper reports.

Relation Caption: Ellen Sends Harsh Message to Rapists (Inquirer)

EU & Liberia Celebrate VPA Enforcement with Signing of Funding for CSOs

The European Union and Liberia Monday, December 2, 2013 celebrated the entry into force of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forestry and Timber products. Thus celebration was marked with the signing of funding projects with Civil Society Organizations in support of the protection of the environment in Liberia. In the context of a panel discussion that took place in Monrovia to mark the event, Mr. Pierre Amilhat, Director for Western and Central Africa of Europe Aid, who is on a working mission to Liberia remarked: the European Union warmly welcomes the entry into force of the EU-Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade in Timber Products, the Heritage writes.

Related Caption: Liberia, EU Celebrate VPA (Inquirer)

Gov’t Renews Commitment To Fighting HIV & AIDS Epidemic – Mother To Child Transmission Can Be Eliminated: Keynote Speaker

The Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), has renewed its commitment to reducing the rate of HIV and AIDS infection in the country. Presently, according to the National Aids Commission (NAC), the prevalent rate of infection in Liberia s 1.5 percent. This figure is based on the 2007 Liberia Demography and Health Survey (LDHS).  This means that at least 33,671 persons are living with the HIV virus, which leads to AIDS. Sixty percent of this number is females, according to the UNAIDS. The Government’s renewed commitment was made by Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah. He stated that the Ministry of Health has set up testing centers all around the country so that people could go there and be tested in order for them to know their statuses and live a healthy life, the Daily Observer newspaper reports.

Related CaptionLiberians Urged To Under Go HIV Test – To Achieve The Three Zeros (SUNTIMES), ‘We Need To Work Together To Reduce New HIV Cases’ – UNAIDS Country Director (Daily Observer), “Liberia Making Progress in HIV/AIDS Response( the News newspaper ) 

Broh  Weary Of Wastage In Gov’t

The Director-General of the General Services Agency (GSA) Mary T. Broh, has expressed concern about “wastage”  in government, especially under its current vehicle policy. She said between 2008 and 2010 the running cost of government fleet of vehicles soared to about US$29 million annually, covering purchase, insurance, maintenance, drivers and car washers among other costs. “Some of this money could be saved and used for health and education,” Director Broh told the Liberia News Agency at the weekend in Monrovia. The GSA boss said the Agency was developing a “Fleet Management Policy” to help control government’s expenditure on vehicles, an undertaking whose framework the Cabinet has approved, the INSIGHT newspaper reports.

Related Caption: GSA Boss Talks Tough on Wastage in Government (Heritage)

Other Stories

Chinese Embassy Launches New Scholarship Scheme – Over 300 Liberian Students To Benefit Annually

The Chinese Embassy in Liberia has launched two new local scholarship schemes, namely; the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship (CAS), and the Chinese Enterprises Scholarship (CES). Both scholarships are for students from universities and other higher institutions of learning across the country. The CAS, which is the first of its kind on the African continent, aims to benefit a substantial numbers of under-privileged students annually in Liberia. This would help close up Liberia’s huge human resource capacity gap in the country. Beneficiaries of the two scholarships, when combined would total 313,450.  The Daily Observer asserts that during a ceremony commemorating the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Embassy and heads of some of the selected institutions, Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said, it was a milestone for him to establish the CAS.

 Alpha Phi Alpha Joins The Fight Against GBV

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, renowned for engaging in host of worthwhile activities, has once more come to the fold with another milestone program in an effort to fight against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). At a well-attended program, marking 16 Days of Activism (November 25 – December 10), to end gender-based violence, the Alpha Phi Alpha led a parade from the Fish Market in Sinkor to the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on the United Nations Drive where a program was held. The exercise which brought together the business community, students, civil society groups, market women, health practitioners, athletes had several speakers, including Mr. T. Nelson Williams, II, Alpha Phi Alpha president. The occasion was quite a memorable one that brought both sorrow and joy as caskets symbolizing children killed as a result of rape were displayed, while there were inspirational music and a host of chanting as people said no to SGBV, the Daily Observer newspaper writes.

UL Authorities Cited Over 2012 & 2013 Entrance Results

University of Liberia (UL) Authorities are to appear before the Independent Information Commission (IIC) Thursday, December 5, 2013 to answer to a complaint filed against that institution by one Mr. Peal Nyenkan of Lakpazee Community, Sinkor. The hearing takes place at the Commission’s office on 10th Street Sinkor, adjacent the St. Stephen Episcopal Church. Mr. Nyenkan complained that he made a Freedom of Information request to the University of Liberia seeking information on the 2012 and 2013 University of Liberia entrance results such as questionnaires, answer sheets and the methods used in the grading processes, but was denied, theHeritage reports.

‘Don’t Mix Politics and Education’ says Deputy MICAT Boss

The Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Information cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT), Mr. Morris Tweh, has cautioned Liberian students against mixing politics and education. He said Liberia’s educational institutions are not meant for politicking, but instead to develop the nation’s human resource capacity, especially the young generation who are considered future leaders of the country. Minister Tweh made the statement on Friday at a program marking the 45th Anniversary of the William V.S. Tubman High School in Sinkor, Monrovia. The program coincided with the birth anniversary of Liberia’s 18th President William V.S. Tubman after whom the school is named, the Heritage writes.

Need for the Empowerment of Liberian Women Underscored

The Executive Director of the International Organization for the Advancement of Humanity (IOAH) has underscored the need to empower Liberian women to get the best out of them. Madam Eugenia Sandy noted that the empowerment of Liberian women is critical to the socio-economic development of the country, adding that women play a significant role in society. She made the remarks recently when she was honored by the National Grassroots Women of Liberia in Monrovia. According to Madam Sandy, Liberian women have been neglected over the years in many aspects, thereby rendering them incapable of contributing their quota to the growth and development of the country, the Heritage writes.

LWSC Extends Water Supply

The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has announced that it has made further extensions of its services to residents in Monrovia and its environs. The expansion is art of plans by the corporation to restore piped borne water to all of Monrovia.  The process of expansion begun when the Management of LWSC purchased and installed two electric high lift pumps at the White Plains Water Treatment Plant in March this year, thus enabling it to increase its supply from an average of about four million gallons per day (4mgd) to six million gallons per day (6mgd). According to a release issued yesterday by the LWSC this endeavor represents an increase of 50% in water pumped into Monrovia, the Inquirer reports.

 New Petroleum Prices

The Government of Liberia, through the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has released new prices of petroleum products on the Liberian market. On November 26, 2013, the two institutions released a new price for petroleum products including gasoline for both retail and wholesale operations in the country. According to a release, the wholesale price of gasoline in US$4.00 with fuel oil (AGO) coming in at US$ 4.18. While the retail pump price of gasoline in US$4.18/L$ 335.00 with fuel oil selling for US$ 4.36/L$ 355.00., the  In Profile Daily reports.

Smiles, Hope Return To Liberian Children –As CSI And Firestone Liberia Care For Children In Need

Children’s Surgery International (CSI) in partnership with Firestone Liberia has brought smiles to the faces of many Liberian children suffering from abnormal facial and pediatric conditions, through its fifth mission to the Firestone Medical Center in Duside. The 25-member medical team met with children and  parents from across Liberia and the neighboring country of Sierra Leone to offer free medical attention to those in need, performing 98 surgical operations during its week –long visit, writes the In Profile Daily.