Women Build Colleagues Capacity  …..Celebrates Int’l Day of “The Girl Child”

 

The Women NOG Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) has ensured the training of fifteen adolescent girls from across Liberia. The initiative was aimed at build the capacity of adolescent girls discover their potentials in their strive to defend the rights of women.

WONGOSOL’s Program Advisor Madam Lena T. Cummings revealed, the project funded by IBIS, OXFAM and the Netherlands  Government hopes to see young Liberian women prepare themselves  to  take over authority as aging women rights advocates gradually retire.

The training as part of this year’s Sixteen Days of Activism this year’s under the national theme, “Take the Girl Child to Work, and provided the selected females an opportunity to have firsthand reports as to the manner in which women and girls were being treated during the 2017 elections- day exercise in parts of the country.

The girls who were seen writing journals on their personal experiences during the process according to Madam Cummings, were selected from various junior and senior high schools and universities within the country.

WONGOSOL believes, Liberia as a part of the international celebration, has joined other girls around the world to celebrate such global objective geared toward eliminating the many challenges facing women, considering that women and girls are a part of the human race and that they deserve dignity and respect by all state parties around the world.

When they spoke to this paper Thursday with regards to their achievements, two beginner advocate, Christine C. Atuanya, Rachel Jallah thanked WONGOSOL and partners for the initiative .  They however revealed to this paper that they have gain a lot of new experience and even though their observations saw no sign of electoral discriminations among women.

According to The issue of violence against children, especially for girls, is very high in Liberia. Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is widespread with 13.6% of sexually active girls under 15 years reporting their first sexual experience was forced against their will.

A third of girls aged 15-19 are mothers or pregnant, and girls in south-eastern Liberia are four times more likely to be married early than girls living in Monrovia.

Meanwhile, a UN Women Report, there are 1.1 billion girls in the world who deserve equal opportunities for a better future. They are a source of energy, power and creativity. They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more.

Observer Missions Release Report

By: Teacee Gbeway

International election observers accredited to Liberian have released their preliminary findings of the October 10, 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections.

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) described the October 10, 2017 polls as peaceful and largely conducted in a transparent manner that allowed Liberians to freely express their will.

EISA Election Observer Mission commended Liberians, the National Elections Commission (NEC), candidates, the security agencies and stakeholders for a peaceful and well managed process.

They also appealed to Liberian stakeholders to maintain the same spirit of serenity and peace demonstrated during the entire process.

In its version, the Carter Center said the mission is deeply honoured to observe the entire-election process and commend Liberians for their clear enthusiasm and determination to peacefully express their will at the ballot box.

The Carter Center in their preliminary statement said they observed polling precincts throughout the 15 counties of Liberia.

Carter Center said the report showed that opening of polling precincts, closing, and the counting process were generally conducted according to procedures in the approximately 145 polling places visited.

President Sirleaf Congratulates Kingdom of Spain

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a message of congratulations to the King of Spain, His Majesty Felipe VI, on the occasion marking their National Day on Thursday, October 12.

National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) or Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) is celebrated as an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12. It commemorates when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.

The anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492, is widely celebrated throughout the Americas; it is known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Dia de la Raza in various Latin American countries.

Celebration of the anniversary in Spain dates to 1935, when the first festival was held in Madrid. The day was known as Dia de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain’s connection to the Hispandad, the international Hispanic community. On November 27, 1981, a royal decree established Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, extended cordial congratulations to King Felipe VI and the people of Spain

“I note the significant progress that our two countries have made over the past decades within the context of our bilateral ties which continue to build momentum in our political, economic and cultural relations,” the Liberian leader said.

She anticipates that this collaboration will continue to positively impact the bond of friendship subsisting between both countries; noting, “As we endeavor together to contribute to the attainment of global peace and security, may I assure you of Liberia’s fullest commitment and our intention to support international efforts in fighting global terrorism and climate change.”

The Liberian leader, then, extended best wishes to His Majesty’s personal wellbeing, and for the people of the Kingdom of Spain, happy celebration and continued peace and prosperity.

 

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NEC Assures Commitment

By Mafanta Kromah

 

With just five days to the presidential and representative elections, the National Elections Commissions has assured the public that it is committed to holding free, fair and transparent elections.

 

Speaking at the NEC regular press conference on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya said the commission is aware of news reports that some individuals and politicians have questioned the integrity of NEC regarding the number of ballots printed.

 

He assured the public that NEC has put in place full accountability mechanism to account for every single ballot, stressing that the number is at the level because there are others that might make errors and want to replace their cards.

 

At the same time, Korkoya noted that electoral preparations are in tight and it is working hard to meet the tight deadline in advance of the October 10 polling. He said the final batch of representative ballots and the remaining of all other elections materials are expected in the country today, October 5.

 

He further disclosed that the commission has taken delivery of a shipment of electronic equipment from South Africa including photocopiers, expressing thanks and appreciation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for making the request to the South African Government for which the equipment  in question were given to the NEC.

 

Chairman Korkoya noted that the deployment of elections materials is in progress and their operational personnel are in root distributing elections materials to NEC various warehouses across the country,

 

However, the Chairman has disclosed that there have been clashes of timetable between the Alternative National Congress and the Unity Party, indicating both parties submitted plans  for campaign rallies on the 7 of October but noted that the ANC submitted their full details of campaign activities to the NEC first.

 

He said an official communication is being sent to the Unity party to look for other options for holding its rally.

The NEC chair called on political parties and independent candidates to be responsible and not release unofficial election results that could mislead voters and supporters.

He noted that the NEC is the only body in this country that has the power and mandate to release election result.

Meanwhile, Korkoya has reminded political parties and independent candidate that campaign officially ends 12 midnight on Sunday, October 8 .

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Tony Elumelu Foundation To Host Largest Ever Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy dedicated to catalyzing entrepreneurship, on October4, 2017, announced that the 3rd annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the most diverse annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and SMEs – will take place on October 13-14 in Lagos, Nigeria.

This is the first year that invitation to the Forum is extended beyond the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 2017 cohort, to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from diverse nations across Africa; from Mauritius to Cape Verde to Kenya and more. Assembled SMEs will build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.

“Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Program – and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade – we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs,” said TEF Founder Tony O. Elumelu, CON. “In just 3 years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth.  On October 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking Program.”

The two-day Forum will feature plenary panels, masterclasses, sector specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.

TEF Chief Executive Officer Parminder Vir OBE said: “This is the first year we have opened the Forum up to include the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem. In doing so, we are enabling African SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships. I am looking forward to welcoming our invited policy-makers and investors to join us at the Forum, as we empower the next generation of African business leaders.”

Speakers will include: Wale Ayeni, International Finance Corporation; Stephen Tio Kauma, Afrexim Bank; Andre Hue, African Development Bank; Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria; Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme.

The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly its entrepreneurs, as the catalysts for the social and economic development of the continent.

Journalists Undergo Training In Ethiopia -In Covering Africa-China Engagements

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Participants at Ethiopia’s Eastern Industrial Zone on Tuesday

More than 20 African and Chinese journalists, selected through an application process, are undergoing a three-day training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The journalists are being equipped them with knowledge, skills and training for covering current Africa-China engagements, focusing on the crucial sectors of agriculture, industrialization/manufacturing, climate change, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2063.

Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform and the Wits University (South Africa) Africa-China Reporting Project are conducting the training.

The media training began on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, with a field trip to the Chinese-built Eastern Industrial Zone outside Addis Ababa and the launch and discussions of an Oxfam Research Report, titled: “New Actors, New Models, New Outcomes? African Countries’ engagement with China and other Development Partners in Achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063.”

Authored by Professor Chris Alden of the London School of Economics, the report highlights many issues on Africa’s engagement with global development partners to provide more effective support for implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. Major among them are: unpacking China’s ‘new deal with Africa’ as seen through key SDG targets and Agenda 2063, emerging and traditional development partners in Africa: how they support Africa to address the SDGs and Agenda 2063 and setting the stage: from MDGs to SDGs, among others.

Wednesday’s session was intensive with professors researchers and other experts from AU and UN as well as journalists making presentations on what journalists have to know as they play their roles in Africa-China engagements.

Topics discussed during Wednesday’s session included: The role of the media and journalists in Africa-China Partnership: opportunities and challenges; Reporting Africa and China from the Perspective of the Agenda 2063, FOCAC (Forum on China Africa Cooperation) and SDGs; Africa-China Linkages in the Agricultural Sector and Climate Change: Case-based Challenges and Opportunities and Reporting Africa-China Industrialization: The pros and cons based case studies.

Facilitators include: Dr. Bob Wekesa of Wits University, Dr. Yoon Jung Park of Georgetown University, Dr. Kassim M. Khamis of AU, Dr. Paul Mpuga, Dr. Mr. Adama Coulibaly and Mr. James Murombedzi of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNIDO Goodwill Ambassaodor, Ms. Helen Hai, Dr. Alebel Bayu of the Ethiopian Development Research. Some journalists also shared their experiences.

During the opening ceremony chaired by the Program Manager of Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform, Mr. Gideon Jalata, various speakers stressed the need for journalists to know their roles in shaping the trend of Africa and China engagements. Pan Africa Director at Oxfam, Mr. Apllos Nwafor; the Project Coordinator of Africa-China Reporting Project, Mr. Barry van Wyk; and the Head of China Permanent Mission to AU, Ambassador Kuang Weilin made opening remarks.

The workshop is expected to climax Thursday, September 7, 2017. with participants working in group to discuss reporting angles on topics of their choice within agriculture, industrialization/manufacturing, climate change, SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Background

Africa-China relations have witnessed rapid development over nearly two decades. What do these relations portend for the two partners but more so for Africa, perceived as the weaker partner? The media plays a pivotal role as platform for debate on these issues, and will continue to shape the contours of Africa-China engagements. Both the Wits Africa-China Reporting Project and the Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform (ACDP) have these issues at the core of their missions and visions. In this joint and synergistic workshop the Africa-China Reporting Project will draw on its experience in the field of media and communications, while the Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform will leverage its unique location in Addis Ababa as well as track record in the Africa-China policy space.

The Wits Africa China Reporting Project is expected to financially support some of the journalists to do fieldwork on specific stories after the workshop.

 

“Reversal of One-China Policy Is Not An Option” -Liberian Politicians Warned

Chinese scholarship beneficiaries with Chinese and Liberian officials

As Liberians gear up for presidential and representative polls on October 10, 2017, politicians have been warned not to reverse the “One-China” Policy.

Civil Servant Association’s President, Mr. Moibah Keller Johnson, reiterated the warning on August 22, 2017, during a symposium at the farewell reception for 2017/2018 Chinese Government scholarship students and trainees hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia.

“Let it be made clear that to all presidential candidates in the 2017 elections, that reversal of the One China Policy is not option,” Johnson sounded.

Johnson, also a product of the China’s bilateral scholarship and former President of the Liberian Association of Chinese-Trained Scholars (LACTS), reminded politicians that the policy is the diplomatic acknowledgment of China’s position that there is only one government for all Chinese people.

Under the policy, Johnson indicated that Liberia recognizes and has formal ties with the People’s Republic of China.

“In fact, in adherence to this policy, the 52nd Legislature passed Resolution No. 001 confirming and reaffirming Liberia’s total unwavering commitment to the One China Policy,” he said.

The Civil Servant Association President informed Liberians that, as the country transitions in January 2018, “our collective urge is for the continuous adherence to the policy”.

Johnson said the mutual relationship between Liberia and China is positively impacting Liberia. He named the ongoing construction of the Ministerial Complex, Roberts International Airport, annexes of the Capitol Building as some of the many interventions by the Chinese Government.

Besides, Johnson noted that Liberia and China have begun appreciating each other’s cultures, adding, “To this end, thousands of Liberians that have been trained as professionals in China are currently contributing their quota in the rebuilding of Liberia in all spheres of national life.”

He further recognized the introduction of Chinese Language teaching at the University of Liberia and warm reception by Liberians as an indication of the country’s overwhelming desire for Chinese culture.

Johnson then admonished the 2017/2018 Chinese scholarship beneficiaries to remain commitment in their educational sojourn in China. Sharing his China’s experience, he told the beneficiaries to pursuit academic excellence and at the same time maintain the image of Liberia at all times.

 

He used the occasion to commend the Chinese Government, through its Embassy, for the immense contributions towards the rebuilding of Liberia.

On his part, the Charge d’Affaires Ad Interim at the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Li Zhuang, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between his country and Liberia is developing both in scope and in depth with encouraging momentum.

Li said China has put education as one of the priorities in the China-Liberia cooperation. In this direction, he said, China has provided modern infrastructures, such as Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, laboratories at the University of Liberia, three primary schools in Montserrado and Bomi Counties as well as the extension of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC).

Since the resumption of the diplomatic ties between China and Liberia in 2003, Li recounted that his country has provided more than 400 government scholarships to Liberian students for undergraduate, masters and doctorate degrees and trained over 3000 Liberian personnel in various sectors in China.

“in 2017 only, China provided 27 slots of Chinese Government Scholarship, 16 slots of one-year Master Scholarship and about 200 training opportunities for Liberian students, professionals and military officials,” he stated.

By direct contacts with Chinese universities, Li revealed that several students have successfully obtained Chinese Government special scholarship; six Confucius Institute students have obtained the Confucius Institute Scholarship and 16 students of the University of Liberia Confucius Institute are expected to go to China for summer vocation camp this September.

Li then encouraged the 2017/2018 scholarship beneficiaries to overcome difficulties they may encounter in China and embrace the new environment with courage and open-mindedness. He reminded that they may come across a series of challenges such as language barriers and cultural differences.

Also gracing the occasion were government officials, officials and members of the Liberian Association of Chinese-Trained Scholars (LACTS) as well as the 2017/2018 Chinese Government Scholarship beneficiaries with their relatives, friends and workmates. Deputy Education Minister, Mr. Aagon Tingba, Deputy Agriculture Minister and representative of the scholarship beneficiaries, Mr. Thomas Gbokie, Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs and Mr. David Dahn, Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister, Emmanuel Munyeneh, made remarks outlining China’s contributions to Liberia. They also advised beneficiaries to take their studies serious if they must their scholarly status. The government officials then commended China for the efforts and reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment strengthening the country’s ties with China.

LACTS’ President, Mr. Clifton Garpeh and other panelists shared their experiences during the symposium, aimed at enlightening the scholarship beneficiaries who are leaving for China.

 

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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.