Over 30 Health Workers Attend Advanced IPC Training



The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization is conducting a close to two weeks’ advanced Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)  training for more than 30 health practitioners in Liberia.

The pilot project, as it is called, began on Monday, July 31, 2017 and will end on August 11, 2017 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.

At the opening ceremony on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country Director for Liberia, Dr. Desmond Williams, lauded those who have turned out from across the country to participate in the training.

Dr. Williams noted that there is a particular reason while he is always excited about Infection Prevention and Control, making specific reference to September 2014 when he arrived in Liberia at the time the Ebola scourge was at its peak.

According to him, any healthcare system is as strong as the people who are in it, and people who sacrifice and put their lives on the line everyday to save their fellow countrymen.

Dr. Williams said this was demonstrated during the Ebola crisis when hundreds of health workers died in the West African Region where the epidemic was discovered, as a result of which hospitals, clinics and other health facilities were closed down for many months and people could not seek medical attention at that terrible time in the Ebola-affected countries-Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He indicated that the IPC management is not a one day event or an overnight solution, but a process that calls for continuous practice that needs to be demonstrated in the hospitals, clinics and health centers about how to provide care for patients while practitioners themselves are very mindful of self-protection.

He thanked WHO and other partners involved in formulating the curriculum being used for the advanced IPC training in Liberia for focal persons, who are expected to make maximum use of what they would be taught to be transferred to other health workers who could not be opportune to attend the training.

Dr. Williams assured CDC’s willingness and commitment to always work along with WHO, the Ministry of Health and other partners in providing better healthcare delivery, hoping that one thing to learn from should be the legacy which Ebola made health practitioners to note during the devastating health crisis in the country.

He urged the participants to learn and properly utilize what they are taught and that a curriculum from such training can form part of the university’s curriculum for medical students.

At the same time, WHO Representative in Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira, commended the Ministry of Health for organizing the training program, and for demonstrating a strong leadership role in tackling challenges associated with Liberia’s resilient health system.

Dr. Gasasira observed that since the outbreak of Ebola and its containment, the Ministry of Health has strived to ensure a healthy environment in the country, by collaborating with partners in undertaking initiatives for better healthcare delivery, something he termed as laudable.

He encouraged health workers in Liberia to remain committed in combating diseases to save human lives, assuring that WHO will always support health-driven activities.

Dr. Gasasira, impressed with the development so far, admonished the participants to use the curriculum for the advanced IPC training as their daily guide in their places of work in fulfillment of combating infectious diseases in the country.

He said as far as his knowledge can serve him, the advanced IPC training is the first in the region hence it has to be taken seriously.

Meantime, Liberia’s Medical Doctor, Dr. Francis N. Kateh, who formally open the training workshop, said the Assistant Minister for Curative at MOH, Dr. Catherine Cooper, is symbolic of Infection Prevention and Control in Liberia who deserves  flowers while still alive.

He indicated that talking about improved health system in the country, some of the causes can be alluded to Dr. Cooper’s intervention.

Dr. Kateh also thanked Dr. Gasasira and Dr. Williams for their tireless efforts in collaborating with other partners and the Ministry of Health for possible interventions geared towards transforming the health system of Liberia.

He further hailed facilitators of the training who came from Geneva and elsewhere for showing interest in helping the country to address some of its critical health needs, especially following the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Kateh told the participants that the major bridge that connects one with an assigned duty is ‘passion,’ stressing that the practitioners should always have passion for the work they do.

Meanwhile,  a background information regarding the advanced training indicates that Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training and education forms one of the eight recommendations of the new WHO Guidelines on Core Components of IPC Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level, and one component of the WHO recommended multimodal improvement strategy.

Accordingly, a recent IPC workshop of Ministry of Health (MOH) representatives and relevant stakeholders from across Africa organized by WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Infection Control Africa Network, focused on IPC implementation challenges and opportunities.

A strong consensus emerging from the meeting was the need for strengthened training strategies, including the development of standardized training packages for IPC professionals in low-resource settings to support successful implementation and IPC country capacity building.

To address this need, the WHO IPC Global Unit is developing advanced IPC training module content that can be adapted and used by countries, in particular in settings with limited resources. The target audience for these modules will be IPC focal persons or health care professionals with at least basic IPC experience and competencies.

The objective of this project is to develop and publish (WHO web pages) a package of advanced IPC training modules in the form of- Materials to allow for training delivery by IPC professionals including PowerPoint slide sets, a trainer’s guide for each training module (including content reviewed by external experts and evaluated in a real-world training scenario) and a suite of case study materials and knowledge evaluation resources; Audiovisual and e-learning supporting materials of selected content.

The content for these advanced IPC training modules is currently being developed by WHO and a consortium of international institutions with extensive educational and implementation experience and expertise in developing countries. The materials will go through detailed expert revision and be adapted into e-learning package and other supporting tools. As part of the expert revision process, it is critical to pilot and evaluate the use of the training module content in a low-resource setting, incorporate the feedback received and review accordingly.

The data gathered from this evaluation will be used to strengthen and improve the course content, materials, timing, flow and suggested delivery strategies presented in the training modules. The training package is expected to be launched in late 2017.

Accordingly, at the above-mentioned international workshop on national IPC training programmes and curricula, Liberia presented their goals to further develop the IPC training programme as part of their strategic national vision.

Following the outbreak of Ebola virus disease, Liberia has taken concerted steps to improve IPC practices nationally and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, Liberia has developed a strategic national vision for IPC and implemented basic IPC training and monitoring across all 15 counties.

At the workshop, it is disclosed that the Liberian delegation discussed the next steps for this training programme and worked through a potential action plan for setting up IPC and quality training programmes across its education system from pre-service to in-service and post-graduate. The current proposal is meant to provide some technical support to these plans; writes Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

Liberians Complete Chinese Language, Vocational Skills Training

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

Many Liberians have successfully completed a week-long Chinese Language and Vocational Skills training in Monrovia.

This training was co-sponsored by Confucius Institute at University of Liberia and the China-aided Liberia Bamboo, Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Program. It was conducted July 24-30, 2017.

Making remark, Dr. Huang Baiqing, co-director of Confucius Institute, expressed the hope that the co-sponsored course can help alleviate the language barrier the students encounter when they learn the skills of bamboo and rattan weaving. He also expressed wish that all the students can work hard to become civil ambassadors of China-Liberia friendship and cultural exchange.

Also speaking, the Director of China-aided Liberia Bamboo, Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Mr. Nie Yongdou, thanked participants for their commitment to the training and said it will make their learning easier.

Mr. Zhang Xudong, representative of Economic and Commercial Counselor’s office of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Liberia, s that with the increase in the number of China-aided Liberian programs and Chinese Enterprises, a knowledge of Chinese can not only help students learn the skills of bamboo, rattan weaving and vegetable planting, but also help achieve diversification of employment paths for Liberian students.

For his part, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Boakai M. Jaleiba, expounded the importance of language learning from his own experience, and pointed out that with the largest number of Chinese speakers and learners, Chinese is gradually becoming a global language. “If the Liberian youths can master the Chinese language, they can become global talents,” he said.

During the week-long Language and Skills Training Course, teachers from Confucius Institute at University of Liberia gave lively and interesting lectures to hundreds of Liberian students. The students expressed sincere gratitude to China, Confucius Institute and China-aided Liberia Bamboo, Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Program

Distinguished guests that attended the opening ceremony of the training course were Boakai M. Jaleiba, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Zhang Xudong, Representative of Economic and Commercial Counselor’ s Office of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Liberia and Chinese teachers of Confucius Institute of the University of Liberia as well as hundreds of Liberian students.

Although the training course was the first time cooperation between Confucius Institute and China-aided Liberia Bamboo, Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Program, it was warmly welcomed by students and established a solid foundation for long-term future cooperation. The training prepared the students with basic Chinese language skills to help them learn bamboo and rattan weaving, promoted the publicity of Confucius Institute and China-aided Liberia Bamboo, Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Program, attracted more Liberian students and provided more job opportunities for them.



China Promises More Support to Liberian Army

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye



Liberia’s Defense Minister Samukai and Chinese Defense Attache Sr. Col. Zhang Gan toast during the reception at Chinese Embassy in Monrovia Friday


The Defense Attache to the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, Senior Colonel Zhang Gan, says the China-Liberia military relations has been growing in recent years and his country will continue to strengthen the friendship in taking the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to a higher level.

Col. Zhang recalls that the National Defense of China has been providing AFL with some necessary assistance such as training, personnel engineering technique training and logistic support.

The Chinese Defense Attache spoke Friday, July 28, 2017, during a reception in observance of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 90th Anniversary, held at the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia.

“In the future, we wish to further strengthen this good relationship. We will try to help AFL with its overall development by providing more support and assistance, we will continue to expand cooperation areas, innovate cooperation modalities and deepen cooperative level in order to elevate the bilateral military relationship to a higher level,” he assured.

According to him, while PLA is getting stronger, China continues to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is purely defensive in nature. Col. Zhang added that the Chinese military has always been a staunch force upholding world peace and regional stability. “China supports UN peacekeeping operations, it tops the other permanent members of the UN Security Council in the number of peacekeepers it has contributed and ranks the second on the list of fund-contributing  countries for UN peacekeeping operations,” he reveals.

Col. Zhang further explained that, from December 2003 to March 2017, a total of 10,297 Chinese peacekeepers had been dispatched to Liberia. Out of this number, Col. Zhang said 10,168 troops were in organic units and 129 military observers of staff officers.

He continued: “In the past 13 years, the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachments had completed the road survey and repair of 7,500 kilometers, construction and maintenance of 69 bridges. The transport detachments had transported 930,000-ton material of various kinds with an accumulated traveling distance of 13 million kilometers.” The Chinese Defense Attache maintained that the medical detachments had treated patients for more than 50,000 cases.

Col. Zhang used the occasion to disclose the current deployment of China’s Fifth FPU in Liberia, assuring Liberians of its cooperation with the local security in meeting future challenges.

At the same time, Col. Zhang said, fulfilling the commitment made by President Xi Jinping at the UN Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015, the Chinese military has been steadily pushing forward construction of the 8000-member Chinese peacekeeping standby force, trained nearly 700 peacekeepers from various countries and dispatched its first peacekeeping helicopter detachment to Sudan.

According to him, in the past nine decades, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the PLA has made great and historical contribution to the Chinese people’s liberation, socialist construction and reform, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, maintaining world peace and stability.

Col. Zhang then thanked officials and members of the Liberia’s security and other sectors for gracing the occasion.

Also speaking at the reception, Liberia’s Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai, on behalf of his country, congratulated the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on its 90th Anniversary and applauded its immense contribution to Liberia since the inception of the current administration.

“The historical path of the PLA has now blossomed into a contributor of international peace, and humanitarian undertakings. We extend our heartfelt felicitations and appreciation for all the PLA has done for Liberia especially since the inception of this administration,” Minister Samukai said.

He recounted the professionalism Defense Attaches from PLA have been demonstrating in Liberia, through whom he said their country has greatly contributed to the growth, reform and professional development of the AFL and civilian staff and the Defense Ministry.

In continuation of its assistance to Liberia, Minister Samukai revealed that, recently, the People’s Republic of China provided on a gratis, 20 million RMB to the AFL for the provision of non-lethal materials, medical equipment and supplies and spare parts for the engineering equipment already provided to the AFL.

He then extended special thanks to China, through Ambassador Zhang Yue and Col. Gan, recognizing cordial relations with the envoys.

The Liberia’s Defense Minister, who said it might be his last remark at such occasion as Defense Minister, reaffirmed his country commitment to strengthening ties with China. He also told the PLA to always assist Liberia as it has been doing in the past.


StarTimes acquires exclusive media rights for FIBA’s 2017-2021 national team competitions

StarTimes, Africa’s leading pay TV operator, has acquired exclusive media rights in Sub-Saharan Africa for FIBA’s national team competitions during the period 2017-2021, including the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.


Basketball’s world governing body awarded StarTimes exclusive free and pay transmission rights across all territories of Sub-Saharan Africa for its leading tournaments (with the exception of free rights in Angola and French pay rights in Francophone on non-exclusive basis).


StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, serving nearly 10 million subscribers through DTT and DTH platforms with 480 authorized channels.


Vincent Yu, StarTimes Media Division Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are so glad to offer the very best of national team basketball to our subscribers in Africa by having secured the broadcasting rights for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and all other leading events for the period 2017-2021. We are particularly excited to offer basketball fans in the region the chance to follow their favorite teams as they compete in the Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Continental Cups 2021.”


“This agreement is consistent with StarTimes’ mission and values to offer the best sport content, which has always been our priority. Our partnership with FIBA will clearly be a turning point for African basketball fans.”


FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “Thanks to this partnership with StarTimes, the extent of our reach across Sub-Saharan African is bigger than ever before and we can cater to the millions of enthusiastic basketball fans. Having the very best of our national team competitions broadcast in the region will go a long way towards growing our sport’s popularity and participation.”


The agreement is in effect for the following countries and territories: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of), Congo (Democratic Republic of), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia (The), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius (excluding French language), Mayotte (excluding French language), Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion (excluding French language), Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia (including Somaliland), Socotra, South Africa, South Sudan, St. Helena and Ascension, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania (United Republic of), Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


The agreement covers the following events: FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and its Qualifiers; FIBA Continental Cups 2021 and their Qualifiers; FIBA AfroBasket 2017; FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017; FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018; FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for Men and Women (2020); all remaining 2017 FIBA Continental Cups (FIBA AmeriCup, FIBA Asia Cup, FIBA EuroBasket, FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, FIBA Women’s Asia Cup); all 2019 and 2021 editions of FIBA Women’s Continental Cups (FIBA Women’s AfroBasket, FIBA Women’s EuroBasket, FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, FIBA Women’s Asia Cup); FIBA U19 Basketball World Cups for Men and Women (2019 and 2021), FIBA U17 Basketball World Cups for Men and Women (2018 and 2020).


The agreement was brokered by FIBA Media, the strategic partnership between FIBA and Perform, which continues to secure multi-year agreements related to FIBA’s new calendar of events.

ALU’s Executive Director Stresses High Standards -In Educational System

Dr. Emmanuel Bravy Daykeay

The Executive Director of the Association of Liberian Universities (ALU), Dr. Emmanuel Bravy Daykeay, has described the provision of advanced and high quality education by learning institutions in Liberia as their best show of patriotism for the Country grappling with challenges of restoring a once wholesome functioning education system.

Dr. Daykeay says in order to achieve Liberians’ much-craved infrastructural and human resource development, decision makers in the education sector need to step up the standards of their programs and encourage studies in technology and the sciences.

Commending President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for strong efforts she has made towards educational advancement, the Liberian educator expressed optimism that the goal of making Liberia’s education sector viably competitive can be actualized.

He said this can be done by universities and colleges projecting innovative means of reforming the current weak system. According to him, there is a clear possibility of Liberian education ranking competitively high among counterparts in Africa by firstly making sure ‘there is no place or accommodation for grossly incompetent teachers’.

The ALU Executive Director said, there is no other time better than now, for government to exercise stern measures against unqualified teachers roaming classrooms of tertiary learning institutions whom he believes were instead ruining the future of the Country’s next generation of leaders by the obvious inability to impart knowledge by passing on the requisite instruction.

When the right teachers and educational administrators are given appropriate placement in learning institutions, Dr. Daykeay said Liberia can rise up from the current slow pace of advancement and establish a strong system that prepares the youth for job readiness in the world of work.

“Other nationals who have attained the best quality of education do not owe it to Liberia in terms of putting in place the best system that works positively for society’s advancement, they owe it to their respective Countries so we have to employ the right people to get the right things done,” he stressed.

Dr. Daykeay emphasized that other nations whose education systems are well on course are not waiting for Liberia to grapple with all of its challenges but are continuing to advance further. He observed that Liberians need to take more action and talk less about strategic and serious policy matters by tackling head-on, problems debilitating Liberian education.

With qualified and competent instructional staff, he said universities can play significant leadership and stakeholder roles in partnering with government through the Ministry of Education, the Commission of higher education and international funding organizations in ensuring school advancement, curricular reviews and amendment to meet current realities and effective advisement programs to produce professionals based on job market demands.

In President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s recent reshuffling of the Grand Bassa Community College Board, she appointed Dr. Daykeay as a member. In a four-month period since his return home, Daykeay has been providing volunteer services to some learning institutions in Liberia through his non-governmental organization – ‘Education for Liberia.’

He has provided professional capacity building services to secondary and primary schools including Maretha Preparatory School. He currently serves the University of Liberia Graduate School, and AME University as Professor at senior level. Prior to his return to the United States of America recently where he is defending his dissertation for his second Doctoral Degree in education at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Daykeay served Starz College of Technology as Associate Dean for Research and School advancement.

He is said to be an applicant for the Presidency of the Bong County Community College located in Gbarnga City; even though he is yet to confirm or deny this.

China Is Liberia’s Development Partner -Amb. Zhang

By Macpherson C. Marbiah/0886442881-0777250370

Amb. Zhang with participants at the program

The People’s Republic of China, through its embassy near Monrovia, has reaffirmed its commitment in supporting Liberia’s developmental drive.

Speaking Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at programs marking the third edition of the Chinese Ambassador Cup Table Tennis Match Cum, Chinese Ambassador & Enterprise’s Scholarships awarding ceremony, held at the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill,  Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Zhang Yue, said China is helping to build Liberia through various initiatives.

Amb. Zhang said as part of educational exchanges and partnerships, the Chinese government through the Confucius Institute program, has provided two hundred and twenty (220) scholarships over the past seven years to young Liberians to acquire advanced education in Liberia and China.

He said the Confucius Institute program is free of charge and is currently ongoing at the University of Liberia and two other institutions in the country. “It is intended to teach Liberian students how to speak the Chinese Language and in return benefit from numerous scholarships to advance their studies in China,” the Chinese Envoy added.

According to him, over one hundred and forty (140) Liberian students have benefited from its scholarship, disclosing plans for more scholarships next year.

He said the event reminds him of the ‘good old days’, the relationship between the two countries as well as the people-to-people interactions and activities are major part of the international relations.

“We are glad to do this for the third time. We share cultural value and sports and we have lots to play soccer, Chinese arts and other activities,” he said.

For his part, Liberia’s Youth and Sports Minister, Saah Charles N’Tow, recounted that China has helped Liberia in discovering some of its hidden talents as many of them were going away.

Minister N’Tow said the Chinese government, through its embassy, has done so many things for Liberia including the construction of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC), Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, Ministerial Complex, Bamboo, Rattan & Weaving and Vegetable programs among others.

He said all of the initiatives undertaken by China help Liberia improve in its developmental quest, revealing that in the next six weeks the Youth and Sports Ministry and its Chinese counterpart will dedicate a newly renovated gymnasium at the SKD Sports Complex.

Also making remarks at the occasion, the Vice President of the University of Liberia, Dr. William E. Allen, said the relationship between Liberia and China has led to the Chinese opening the Confucius Institute at the UL so as to share its cultural exchange with Liberia.

Dr. Allen said through the Confucius Institute program, many Liberian students have benefited from scholarship to advance themselves in China.

According to him, the relationship between the two countries has promoted cultural exchange, adding that interaction helps to build long lasting relationships between nations.

The third edition of the “Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup” grand finale also witnessed the honoring of several students at the Confucius Institute who have benefited from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship and Enterprise’s Scholarship, with presidents from the various universities also receiving table tennis equipment from the Chinese Ambassador.

In the table tennis men’s single final, Holder Karbowhen of the University of Liberia defeated Armah Kamara of the Cuttinton University, while Lassana Weh won Jerry Zor three straight sets to zero in the Junior event and Celestine King Earge Lovetta Davies in the female category.

The event brought together government officials, Chinese Embassy staff, presidents of various universities, officials and students of the Confucius Institute as well as supporters of sports.

Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye, Editor for News & Editorial Services


A Perspective By Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

History, according to Robert Penn Warren (a poet, novelist, and literary critic), cannot give us a program for the future but it can give us full understanding of ourselves and our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.  Professor J. Corfield also pointed out   in her article that revisiting a country’s history, helps us to understand the linkages between her past and present.  Understanding a nation’s History   is not just ‘useful’, it is essential (royalholloway.ac.uk).

Understanding Liberia’s history for example, will   help us to re-build our socio-economic and political institutions, and as may well be necessary, also to change those behaviors that are not congruent to nation building. What we have become today in Liberia, is the result of   the seeds that were planted by Liberia’s founding fathers, many, many years ago; founding fathers that failed to heed the advice and wisdom of a visionary personality.

Madame Naomi Anderson Whittaker echoed in her article (Whittaker, CERS Working Paper,2015), that the black settlers in Liberia mimicked white rule from their arrival in 1822 in several ways, and became “proxy whites” through the prism of culture (Feagin, 2009). Claims to whiteness were tied to diaspora status and cultural affect, as well as one’s place on the scale of colorism or shadism. Joseph Jenkins Roberts and other Americo-Liberians at the time, took pride in their American-ness, and saw themselves as above the Indigenous Africans (Laidlaw, 2012), due to the language, religion and methods of industry that they had collectively brought with them (McCall, 1956), reproducing white supremacist hierarchies (Mills, 2014). One could argue that antebellum racial politics were transferred to Liberia through the colonized minds of the freed slaves, with the racism they had experienced being reproduced through their oppressed minds (Feagin, 2009), as well as the colorism that had developed among slaves in the US which had stopped them working together to escape (Whittaker, CERS Working Paper,2015). Irrespective of the misguided mindsets of Liberia’s founding fathers as reflected above, Liberia was blessed at the time with the presence of a man of honor and vision. God, in His infinite wisdom, gave Liberia a certain man during her initial inception as a sovereign nation. The following poem highlights such a man of honor.


“God, give us a Man! A time like this demands

Strong mind, great heart, true faith and ready hands;

Man, whom the lust of office does not kill;

Man, whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Man, who possessed opinions and a will;

Man, who had honor;

Man, who didn’t lie;

Man, who stood before President Joseph Jerkins Roberts and others

And damn their treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall man, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

In public duty and in private thinking;

For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,

Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,

Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps.

(modified poem: Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881)).

Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912) was that man. He was a Liberian educator and statesman. More than any other figure, he laid the foundation of West African nationalism and Pan Africanism. He was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on Aug. 3, 1832, of free, literate parents. He went to the United States in May 1850 and sought to enter a theological college but was turned down because of his race. In January 1851, he emigrated to Liberia, (biography.yourdictionary.com/edward-wilmot-blyden).

On July 27, 1857, he was Liberia’s Independence Day Guest Speaker in Monrovia. He spoke on the following topic: Liberia As She Is; And the Present Duty Of Her Citizens.

The highlight of his presentation is reflected below for the intellectual consumption of the reading public. Interestingly, some of the ‘evil attributes’ that he spoke about, continue to

take place in contemporary Liberia.


Liberia as She is; and the Present Duty of her Citizens.

(Dr. Blyden’s Speech, 170 years ago)

“What are the moral causes of the present evils in Liberia? … … as a people, we have been in too much haste to be rich. Relinquishing the pursuit of those attributes that would fit us for the faithful discharge of our peculiar duties as men, as Liberians, as an infant nation, we have used every possible measure to enhance our pecuniary importance; and in the precipitate efforts at wealth, we have not been careful as to what means we have employed. The desire to be rich, or to appear to be rich, pervades all classes. The love of money…has grown upon us to such a degree that all other avenues of distinction seem but trifling in comparison of those which lead to the acquisition of money. To be rich seems with many “the chief end of man”. Hence, no talents, no endowment of the mind, no skill or knowledge, no amount of education, is appreciated only so far as it will pay…. This fact has operated greatly in retarding the literary progress of our youth….




Another cause of our adversity may be seen in the unjustifiable extravagance in which we indulge; in that luxury of expenditure for houses, for dress, for furniture, for food, constantly made the reprehensible remark by thinking foreigners. We are in dreadful error regarding our country, if we suppose we are truly prosperous. Our prosperity is not real; it is false; it is fictitious. The prosperity of a nation is real when the springs of the prosperity are contained within itself, in the hands of its citizens; when it depends for its existence upon its own resources; when it is independent. But this is not the case in Liberia. We are, as a nation, upheld by foreigners. We are entirely dependent upon foreigners for our schools, for churches, for preachers, for teachers. Most of the talent of the country is in the employ and at the control of foreigners. Those thus employed must ever hold their talents and their efforts subservient, not to what they conceive to be the interests of their country, but to the desires and direction of foreign employers…. What we wish to bring before our minds today is the humiliating fact, that nearly all the talent of Liberia—talent not in ordinary men, but in our principal men—is supported by foreign means and controlled by foreign influence. And yet, in the face of these humbling realities, we boast of our civilization, of our prosperity, of our independence, and indulge in unjustifiable extravagance… * * * … the money lavished upon houses, which add nothing to health and comfort; upon dress, which does not increase the dignity and beauty of personal appearance; the large sums laid out in expensive furniture, … the great amount consumed in the luxuries of the table would go a great way in keeping our streets clear of weeds, in felling the dense forests around us, in reclaiming the wilderness, in cultivating the soil, in civilizing our … brethren. … Look at the numbers who … to advance to, or maintain this [extravagant] style of living, flock to the fostering arms and sheltering wings of these [foreign] societies. Thus dis- honesty stalks abroad under the semblance of piety; and impiety assumes the appearance of religion for the sake of gain. And … this extravagant manner of living…are made in the minds of many the standard of respectability…we attach more importance to display than to reality. There is very little that is substantial about us…  It is our duty to learn that there are other objects of infinitely greater importance than wealth in our rising country…A higher destiny is ours: our duty and privilege is the laying of the foundation of future empires in Africa…… It is our duty to curtail our superfluous expenditures. There should be retrenchment of our expenditures for splendid edifices….

Let our surplus means be beneficially expended; let it be vested in the improvement of our country, in placing our prosperity upon a safer and more permanent foundation—in rendering ourselves independent… … It is our duty to labor. We dwell in a country rich in resources, which with little exertion can be called forth in sufficient variety and abundance to render us comfortable and independent. But there is a fatal lack of productive industry among us…. The commerce of the country has always been in such articles as our citizens have had no part in producing; hence we acquire wealth from this source without helping to create it. We purchase the palm oil and camwood and ivory from the natives giving them in exchange articles of foreign production….

The prosperity arising from our commerce is almost as evanescent as that based on missionary appropriations. Foreigners on the one hand, and the natives on the other, are our supporters. * * * … we must either abandon our state of utter dependency upon foreigners, by creating the means of supplying our own wants, or relinquish our profession of liberty as a nation. A state of dependency is entirely incongruous with a statue of liberty…. …The…rich and fertile soil…invites us to its cultivation. Nothing should be allowed to interfere between us and the soil…(Blackhistoryheroes.com).”


I was moved with sadness   upon reflection of the content of Edward Wilmot Blyden’s   speech, relevant to the prosperity of our nation: “Our prosperity is not real; it is false; it is fictitious. The prosperity of a nation is real when the springs of the prosperity are contained within itself, in the hands of its citizens; when it depends for its existence upon its own resources; when it is independent. But this is not the case in Liberia. We are, as a nation, upheld by foreigners. We are entirely dependent upon foreigners for our schools, for churches, for preachers, for teachers. Most of the talent of the country is in the employ and at the control of foreigners…”

The legacy of Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden has challenged every Liberians, especially those seeking the highest office, to help Liberia live up to her true potential as a sovereign African nation.  Liberia’s past, even the relatively recent past, is, in the minds of most of us, shrouded by mists and only very vaguely perceived. Interestingly, some of the ‘evil attributes’ that he spoke about, continue to take place   in contemporary Liberia. Let us endeavor as Liberians to foster the spirit of true national reconciliation, and embrace all Liberians, be it Americo-Liberians, Mandingoes or Krahns , for Liberia belongs to us all.

Indeed, our ignorance of the past is not the result of a lack of information, but of our indifference to its lessons. Our view of history shapes the way we view the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer to solve our current socio-economic or political problems.

Happy “July 26” to all.


The AuthorMr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University, Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He can be contacted at: ezbargblor@aol.com




“More Opportunities Await Liberians” -Chinese Professor

By Macpherson C. Marbiah/0886442881-0777250370


Prof. He Rundong (middle) with another Chinese teacher, presents certificate to a graduate

A professor of Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL), Ms. He Rundong, has cautioned Liberian students to make use of the opportunities provided by the Chinese government through its Confucius Institute program to learn Chinese Language and culture. “More opportunities await Liberians if learn Chinese Language and culture,” she assured.

Ms. He asserted that if Liberian students can learn Chinese very well, they are going to benefit from scholarships to foster their studies in China, noting that it could be a great opportunity for them to go to China and open up their world.

The Chinese Professor made the assertion Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the second closing and first graduation exercise of the New Beginning School System in Jamaica Road Community, on Bushrod Island.

She said the importance of the program is to teach Liberian students Chinese and as well offer scholarships to help them study in China so they can in return bring back advanced technology to their country.

According to her, anyone who is interested in learning Chinese can go and register in their program as it is all about teaching Chinese and free of charge.

She recalled that since its establishment in Liberia in 2008, the Confucius Institute has been educating students of the University of Liberia (UL) as well as students from other institutions.

Apart from the UL, Ms. He revealed that the Confucius Institute program is currently at the Don Bosco and Heritage Model Primary Schools.

She further revealed that through one of her students, the Chinese Peacekeeping Force of UNMIL was able to visit the New Beginning School System and donated materials to the school.

“One of my students lives near this school and she asked me if I can come and teach the children Chinese. So we came to visit this place last year and we established this bridge between the school and the Chinese peacekeeping forces of UNMIL,” she explained.

According to her, the Chinese contingent of UNMIL donated to the school before it left Liberia in March 2017, adding that the children were very delighted to have the materials. Ms. He further said that the head master invited her to the program so that she can present certificates to the graduates.

She said they are hoping to open a classroom at the New Beginning School System in the near future when they have enough teachers because currently they have six teachers, which is very limited.

The female educator said it is her wish that Liberians can learn from China its lessons and technologies, assuring that China will do all it can in helping Liberia develop faster.

“We hope that Liberia can learn from China; because China is developing so fast and if Liberians can learn from us, our technology, I am sure it will help the country develop faster,” she said.

The Chinese Professor told the students that education is the key to the development of Liberia and expressed the hope that the Liberian government can put measures into place that will allow underprivileged children acquire quality education.

“I hope that they can always find a way to study and if their families are poor, they should also find a way to go to school because it is so important and I hope that the Liberian government can offer opportunities for underprivileged children to go to school,” she concluded.

Edited by Fredrick P. W. Gaye

AccorHotels expands in Ethiopia -With the signing of a new hotel in Addis Ababa

AccorHotels group and Tsemex Hotels and Business Plc are joining hands to finalize the construction of a new 218 keys MGallery by Sofitel hotel near the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

After the announcement of the signature of three other hotel management agreements (Mercure, ibis and ibis Styles) early this February, AccorHotels continues to reinforce its forthcoming position in Addis Ababa with this flagship hotel.

In line with the MGallery by Sofitel brand standards, the hotel will benefit from a unique modern design coupled with a strong African identity. The interior design of the hotel will be performed by DIAD, a renowned designer having already completed projects in Africa and in the Middle East.

The new MGallery by Sofitel Addis Ababa, which opening is estimated towards the second half of 2018, will feature 218 guestrooms and suites. It will also have some large meeting and event space, two restaurants (an all-day dining and a fine dining restaurant on the 8th floor) as well as three bars. In addition, clients will be able to enjoy a swimming pool, a gym and a spectacular spa.

The MGallery by Sofitel Addis Ababa, will benefit from its close proximity to the Africa Union’s headquarters, making it an ideal choice for business trips, conferences and other institutional events; but will also attract the increasing flow of leisure travelers to Ethiopia.

“We are delighted to sign this new management agreement in Addis Ababa, which brings our pipe of confirmed projects to over 1,000 keys across all market segments (economy, midscale and upscale). This project reaffirms our ambitious development strategy for Africa, with Ethiopia as one of the key-targeted markets. The new MGallery by Sofitel Addis Ababa will reinforce our role on the luxury segment by offering our clientele one of the best address in town.” said Steven Daines, CEO of AccorHotels for Africa & Middle East.

Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, has become a fast growing regional economic center. It is home to the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, foreign missions, regional NGO’s and the UN Conference Center.


AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,000  hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 2,500 of the finest private homes around the globe. Benefiting from dual expertise as an investor and operator through its Hotel Services and Hotel Invest divisions, AccorHotels operates in 95 countries. Its portfolio comprises internationally acclaimed luxury brands including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel Legend, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, one finestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman, and Swissôtel; as well as the popular midscale and boutique brands of Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio; the in-demand economy brands including ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel and hotelF1.

With an unmatched collection of brands and rich history spanning close to five decades, AccorHotels, along with its global team of more than 240,000 dedicated women and men, has a purposeful and heartfelt mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome. Guests enjoy access to one of the world’s most rewarding hotel loyalty programs – Le Club AccorHotels. AccorHotels is active in its local communities and committed to sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth. Accor SA is publicly listed with shares trading on the Euronext Paris exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and the OTC marketplace (Code: ACRFY) in the United States.


MGallery by Sofitel is AccorHotels’ collection of inimitably enchanting, unique boutique hotelsoffering the excellence of hospitality “à la française”. MGallery by Sofitel has 85 unique and fascinating addresses in 24 countries around the world, all of which are havens for those who relish off-the-beaten-track experiences. Each address is remarkable for its singular personality and deep-rooted local history.