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.

ABOUT ACCORHOTELS

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.

ABOUT MGALLERY

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.

New Yourpea Youth Launch Association

Group photo following the program

Many citizens from New Yourpea Town in Kparblee Administration District, Nimba County, residing in Montserrado County and other parts of Liberia defied the heavy down pour of rain on Saturday, June 24, 2017, to grace the official launch of their youth organization and fund-raising program.

The launching of the organization, dubbed and styled: New Yourpea Youth Association (NEYOYA), took place in the Peace Island Community, Congo Town.

According to organizers, the idea of forming the association came 2015 having observed and seen the need to unite young people from New Yourpea for empowerment as well as to contribute to the development of their town. Titus Baryou, Acting Secretary of the Association, said the group is also established to foster peace and unity among young people of New Yourpea.

Addressing the occasion, the Editor for News & Editorial Services at the In Profile Daily Newspaper, Fredrick P. W. Gaye, challenged officials and members of the association to work with their mother organization, New Yourpea Development Association (NEYODA).

Journalist Gaye, who is also a citizen of New Yourpea, said while every human is a political being, political activities should not supersede the aims and objectives of the group.

He cautioned them not to involve in or to be used in violence during the pending elections. The Liberian journalist also urged the young people to take serious their education and other activities that will brighten their future.

Speaking on the theme: “Can this hatching bird be the first to fly,” he expressed the hope that the the New Yourpea Youth Association (NEYOYA) can be second to none in Kparblee District and Liberia at large if members and other citizens are willing to support the group.

Gaye said he was encouraged by the short time it took for few young people to organize such a program after deciding the official launch of the Association. “If few young people can take three months to launch such an organization, I believe NEYOYA can be second to none in our district if we support the Association with our whole heart,” he stressed.

The New Yourpea young people also used the occasion to raise fund for the upkeep and other activities of the program.

Also attending the occasion were officials and members of New Yourpea Development Association (NEYODAY), Nimba County District #6 representative aspirant and also a citizen of New Yourpea, Attorney Preston N. G. Karkerzeah, representatives of Aspirant Michael Wiles, and other prominent residents of Kparblee District, who made their contributions and pledges.

In his remark, Atty. Karkerzeah praised the young people for establishing such a youth organization that will foster unity among them. Kakerzeah declared himself as a full member of the group and pledged his unflinching support.

The youthful lawyer and representative aspirant also told the young people to fight for generational change, wherein the issues of young people’s empowerment will be prioritized at national level.

Karkerzeah recently won the Nimba County District #6 primary as representative aspirant on the ruling Unity Party’s ticket.

Acting leadership of the Association includes: Alexander G. Baryou, Chairman; Deekay Deah, Co-Chairman; Titus M. Baryou, Secretary; Angeles Kerslah, Financial Secretary and Samuel Youdee, Treasurer.

ORANGE Liberia Launches 4G LTE Outside Monrovia

The management of Orange Liberia says it has officially launched Liberia’s first 4G LTE network outside of Monrovia.  The company celebrated the launch of the LTE network in Kakata, Margibi County, over the weekend at a colorful program held in the City Hall.

Making the keynote address at the launching program, Orange’s Director for Government & Legal Affairs, Mr. William F. Saamoi Jr. told the audience that Orange Liberia was rolling out the high speed internet network in Kakata as part of a larger vision of Mr. Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Group and Chairman & CEO of Orange MEA (Middle East and Africa). .   Said Mr. Saamoi: “During his speech at the launching, Mr. Mettling promised that Orange would begin to invest heavily to ensure that the LTE high speed network would be deployed in all major cities outside of Monrovia.  True to that promise, we are here today to officially launch the first ever 4G LTE network outside of Monrovia.”

Mr. Saamoi promised that the launch of 4G LTE network in Kakata would be followed by successive launches of new 4G LTE networks in cities across the country.   He stressed that Orange was investing in moving the technology, not only because of the company’s view that ‘Monrovia is not Liberia,’ but also because of the recognition of how the high-speed network will transform the way  people live and do business.   “Our dream is that the people of Kakata will now be able to connect with the world, in real time,  for business, agriculture, e-commerce, education, health and more without having to leave the comfort of their homes,” Mr. Saamoi said.

In response, officials of Margibi County praised Orange for its efforts.  Margibi County Superintendent John Buway recognized Orange’s many contributions to the city over time. He recalled support for the C.H. Rennie Hospital during the Ebola crisis as well as Orange’s ongoing support to the County’s community radio stations.   “Orange has always been there for us and this is another example of Orange going the extra mile for the Liberian people,” the Superintendent said.

Both the Mayor of the City of Kakata, Mr. Eddie Murphy and Margibi’s District #3 Representative, Stephen S. Kafi, hailed the launch of 4G LTE in Kakata City.  Mayor Murphy said: “We appreciate the effort and development. Your presence here today demonstrates that you are truly a company for the Liberian people. We know that this network will certainly make a difference for the people of Kakata.”

Rep. Kafi encouraged students in Kakata to take advantage of the 4G LTE service to better their education by using the internet as a library and research tool to enhance their education.

As promised, Orange has vowed to roll out additional 4G LTE sites across the country in coming weeks and months.

“China, Africa Can Fight Poverty Together” -Chinese Foreign Minister

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

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and AU Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat at the forum

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and AU Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat at the forum

 

A two-day Africa-China High-Level Dialogue and Think Tank Forum has ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the Chinese Government reaffirming its commitment to fighting poverty together with Africa.

Held at the African Union (AU) Headquarters, the forum focused particularly on the way poverty has been dealt with in China and in Africa in the past two decades. It drew lessons from the two decades of poverty alleviation experience of government and civil society organizations. Particular focus was given to rural poverty and to the type of policies and programs that have made the most impact. Selected case studies from Africa were presented to allow scholars, policy makers, and civil society organizations, to identify main features of policy directions in successfully alleviating poverty.

Making an opening statement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and African nations can work together to eradicate poverty from the world.

He said that while Africa needs to lift 400 million out of poverty, China still has over 40 million living below the poverty line.

“This is the responsibility we should shoulder today for our future generations. This is also the common goal that Chinese and African people are working for,” Wang said.

A new book by President Xi Jinping has been central to the debate at the Africa-China High-Level Dialogue and Think Tank Forum. The theme of the forum, is Fighting Against Poverty for Common Prosperity.

The book, Up and Out of Poverty, published in English at the end of 2016, is a collection of speeches and articles by the president when he was Party chief of Ningde prefecture of Fujian province almost 30 years ago.

When Xi went to the province in 1988 at the age of 35, the prefecture had a GDP per capita of $198. Last year it was $8,000.

“The thoughts and ideas of the book are important, such as the emphasis on clean government and the focus on the economy. They are as important today for China to eradicate poverty but also for developing economies,” Wang said in his keynote speech. “The book has been warmly welcomed in many, many countries, I believe it can also shed light on useful experience for our African friends.”

Wang also emphasized that the Chinese government remains committed to eliminating all poverty in China by 2020. This, he said, was a key part of its central goal to become a “moderately well-off society” by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 2021. “Eradication of poverty is one of the important preconditions for this.”

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union, told the forum that China and Africa were united in their determination to eliminate poverty.“It is a two-way relationship and we can learn considerably with humility from one another,” he said.

The forum, co-chaired by the AU Leadership Academy and the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, was also addressed by Huang Youyi, who was responsible for the translation of Xi’s book.

The vice-president of the Translators Association of China said the book’s message is that poverty can be eradicated only by people not looking “to others for the answers” to their problems but to look to themselves to find solutions.

He added that Xi’s success in Ningde was about each village in the prefecture specializing in what it did best. Each village was to focus on a specialized product, whether it was grapes, tea, mushrooms or aquatic products,” Huang said, citing Xi’s book “Since the local industry was rather weak, he proposed they must develop the processing industry by using local resources.”

Arkebe Oqubay, inter-ministerial coordinator for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said the book had valuable lessons for countries like Ethiopia, which is trying to establish itself as a major manufacturing center.

President Sirleaf Dedicates LACE-implemented Projects

Pres. Sirleaf cutting ribbon to the building 

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), has been featuring prominently in projects dedication and inspection by the Liberian Leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as she crisscrosses the Country district-by-district, appreciating citizens for supporting her two terms as President.

 

President Sirleaf has nicknamed her final tour of the Country as the ‘Last Mile’. Accompanying the President on these tours are development arms of the government in close consultation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, which is implementing some basic infrastructural development projects of the Government, mainly the Legislative Support Project (LSP), has been in the limelight of the President’s tour.

 

In all 73 electoral Districts of the Country, LACE is implementing GOL Legislative Support Projects being facilitated by Senators and Representatives in the 53rd Legislature who play some key roles in project needs identification in consultation with their constituents.

 

On the latest leg of her ‘Last Mile’ appreciation tour of Lofa, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties, President Sirleaf dedicated and inspected a number of LACE-implemented projects. In Lofa, President Sirleaf cut ribbon to and dedicated the Sorlumba Market Building, Vezala Police Station and inspected ongoing construction works on the Dormitory to the Lofa County Community College.

 

According to structural design, each of the Dorms has a capacity to accommodate 32 students desirous of attaining higher education at the LCCC from the seven districts of Lofa County.

 

Finishing works are being carried out on the Foya Health Center, and Foya Youth Center projects under LACE’s implementation.

 

In Rivercess, LACE has completed the construction of a modern Women Center in Cestos. Also in the Capital of the County, the Agency has commenced construction work on a modern High School, and in Yarkpah Town a Youth Center project has met full completion.

 

In Grand Bassa, President Sirleaf cut ribbon to Gio Town Market fitted with Latrine and Water facilities as well as storage for goods, and later moved over to Compound #2 Youth Center where she also cut the ribbon to open the facility to public usage.

 

En route to Compound #2 where she held a Town Hall meeting with citizens before dedicating the Youth Center, the President cut ribbon to Buchanan City’s first modern Car Wash, and a Sports Academy, another historic infrastructure in the existence of Grand Bassa County.

 

All of these projects outlined are being implemented by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) through Government’s budgetary allocation. Using updated PPCC regulations, the Agency vets accredited construction companies to sub-implement the Legislative Support Project.

 

The projects range from Markets to other public buildings including Magisterial Courts, Clinics, Schools, Commissioner’s Compounds, Presidential Palace, Nurses Quarters, Conference Halls, Youth Centers, Dormitories and Auditoriums.

 

Also included is the construction of Roads, Bridges, Culverts, WASH compact, Fencing of Football Fields and capacitating existing structures with needed equipment for functional operation.

 

The Legislative Support Project is allowing for smoother coordination and collaboration between the Legislative branch of government and the Executive, mainly the Office of the President in achieving the shared single goal of community empowerment through the provision of basic social services.

 

Linking Towns and Villages by constructing roads thus promoting unity and food security, and the provision of other basic social services are shared goals of both the Legislative and Executive branches of the government.

 

The Executive Director of LACE, Julius K. Sele, has led strategic delegations of the Agency to all project locations of the President’s tour. Through direct interaction with her, she expressed joyous impression in the quality she said can be clearly seen in the projects LACE is implementing on behalf of the government.

Civil Society Organizations Push for Referendum

By Mafanta Kromah

 

The Civil Society Coalition held a “multi-stakeholders dialogue” on June 2, 2017 in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County with Law Reform Commission and a cross section of Liberian Senate. The group is working to promote Nationwide Consultations on the Constitutional Review process with the intends to encourage an accelerated action on a joint resolution leading to the referendum bill by the National Legislature.

The dialogue was climaxed by critical review and procedural discussions on the propositions pending before the House of Senate and propounding possible steps for a Constitutional referendum bill within 2017 by the National Legislature.

The dialogue brought together 15 Senators, two Supreme Court Justices (Cllr. Philip A.Z. Banks and Cllr. Kabineh M. Ja’neh) and the leadership of the Law Reform Commission, the Grand Bassa County Superintendent, and the Leadership of Civil Society Organizations on the Constitutional Reform, and local authorities of Grand Bassa County.

Speaking during the discussion, Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, made presentation on the topic: “Towards a Constitutional Amendment.  Justice Banks’ presentation inspired and motivated the Senators who promised to take timely action toward reviewing, discussing and working to get a Referendum Bill considering that they have better clarity to work toward amending the Liberia Constitution.

For his part, Cllr. Boakai N. Kanneh, Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, presented on proposals for Amendment, his presentation layout on the entire 24 recommendations from the Constitution Review Committee report with statistics on what were voted or and against during the national conference to assist the Senators deepen their understanding of what were the issues discussed around the country.

Some Senators who gave reasons for the delay in discussing the constitutional propositions, indicated that the delays were due to procedural error earlier observed from the Executive Branch, but based on the precision from the presentations made by constitution lawyers including Justice Banks and Cllr. Kanneh, provided the technical basis to precede discussions to amend the Liberian Constitution.

Following the presentations, the discussion session prompted series of questions and answers, which provided many Senators the opportunity to engage Justice Banks for clarity noting “we are now fully being prepared and equipped to move ahead in reviewing, discussing and presenting a referendum bill for the Liberian voters to decide,” one Senator said.

In addition, Grand Bassa County first female Senator, Yornblee Karngar-Lawrence, assured that a joint committee meeting with both the Houses of Senate and Representatives could be possible to review and discuss the propositions in which a report will be provided to the plenary for action.

On his part, Nimba County Senator Thomas S. Grupee, who is the Chairman on the Internal Affairs, Good Governance and Reconciliation said the Liberian Senate will review and discuss all 24 recommendations which derived from the Gbarnga national Conference and make a decision through a report to plenary to resolve on a possible referendum bill and indicated that the senate could probably add new issues that will improve governance in Liberia.

Meanwhile, Grand Bassa County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, who is the Chairperson on the Committee on Executive, pledged to work with her colleagues to promote the process that will lead to a national constitution referendum that is overdue since 2015. “This will ensure that the Liberian citizens will have their voices heard through voting for or against final propositions,” she indicated.

The Constitution of Liberia is the supreme law of the Republic of Liberia. The current constitution, which came into force on January 6, 1986, replaced the Liberian Constitution of 1847, under a Military Regime, which had been in force since the independence of Liberia.

Liberian people desire a new and better constitution after 170 years of independence and on August 13, 2015, the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf submitted the final Constitution Review recommendations to the Legislature through the President Pro-Tempore to be studied for possible legislative action that could constitute propositions for amendment through a national referendum. This process is still pending at the Liberian Senate.

This initiative is being undertaken by the the concerned Civil Society Organizations including (NAYMOTE, PMU, LDMI, IREDD and SAIL) supported by the United Nation Development Program in Liberia.

The five CSOs however recommended  the Law Reform Commission timely expedite to give all legal support to the House of Senate and the necessary documentation that will assist in reviewing, discussing and making decision for a National referendum bill leading to referendum.

That the Committee on Internal Affairs, Good Governance and Reconciliation as well as the Committee on Judiciary at the Liberian Senate, takes leadership actions in reviewing, discussing, reporting to the plenary for onward introduction on the floor for deliberations based on the presentations and lesson learned from Constitutional Lawyers including Justice Philip Z.A. Banks and Cllr. Boakai N. Kanneh, Chairperson, Law Reform Commission during the dialogue.

They also requested that the Law Reform Commission and Civil Society Organizations continue working with the House of Senate and House of Representatives to pass a Bill of Referendum prior to their annual agriculture break in 2017.

Meanwhile, Eddie D. Jarwolo, member of the CSO organizations said, amendment of the Constitution through a referendum will contribute meaningfully in addressing some of the governance challenges facing the country including dual citizenship, reduction of tenure of elected public officials, decentralization, and the elections of local leaders.

The five CSO Coalition on Constitutional Reform commended the Law Enforcement commission, the Liberian Senate and Lawyers for honoring the initiative.

They affirmed that they are optimistic that based on the presentations by Justice Philip Banks and Cllr. Boakai N. Kanneh, Chairperson, Law Reform Commission, the Senators will take needed responsible leadership role in formulating propositions for a national constitution referendum based on the current reality and would manage with the procedures error that was done realizing that since 1847 Liberians have never participate in any constitution reform process, this is therefore an opportunity that should not be missed

Debt Payment Fraud -Who’s Responsible To Refund Stolen Money?

MFDP building

In its reaction to two publications by the In Profile Daily Newspaper on the alleged financial improprieties surrounding domestic debt payments, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on May 30,2017, issued a statement.

We began reporting on series of alleged financial indiscipline and stealing characterizing the debt payment process.

But the Ministry, according to the release, admitted of being aware of the alleged malpractices, without disputing any of the irregularities reported by this paper.

Also, the Ministry disclosed that it has taken administrative actions in the situation without disclosing the content (s) of investigations leading to the administrative actions and without explaining the administrative actions taken, though it said the Ministry of Justice has concluded investigations into the issue.

Be as it may, the dismissal of an official or officials in the Debt Management Unit (DMU) reportedly based on the issue at bars without telling the Liberian people who is responsible to refund the money stolen in the process creates more questions than answers. The Ministry has revealed the dismissal of DMU head.

Classified documents in our possession indicate that payments indented for many vendors landed in the wrong hands based on forged identities presented by unscrupulous individuals in collaboration with some officials at the Ministry.

One of the vendors is the Intestate Estate of the Late John Francis Marshall (The Nancy B. Doe Jorpken Town Market) on 9th Street in Sinkor, whose debt payment checks were issued to one Edmund B. Coleman, who is not the right person to collect the money.

The government had purchased a portion of the land from the Banks and Marshall Families and government owed them US$826, 000.00 (eight hundred and twenty six thousand United States dollars): US$300, 000. for the Banks, which the family has confirmed receiving and US$526,000.00 for the Marshall family which is still in limbo.

On February 11, 2016, the government allegedly issued a US$300,000.00 check to Edmund B. Coleman and on May 6, 2017, allegedly issued a US$226, 000.00 its equivalent of L$20,085,000.00 check to Edmund, totaling US$526,000.00.

Edmund Coleman presented a warranty deed to the government before receiving the money, when he is not the owner of the property. The deed is said to be fake because it was issued by Godwin Marshall, Mai Thompson and he (Edmund B. Coleman), when the property belongs to four sisters including Mary Marshall, Anna Marshall, Williette Marshall and Maud Marshall Smith. These four rightful owners have respective deeds in their possession.

In a communication to Finance Minister, Boima S. Kamara, dated October 10, 2016, the Taylor & Associates Law Offices representing the legal interest of the Marshall Family, told the ministry to intervene in the matter, indicating that Edmund B. Coleman had denied receiving money from the government.

Edmund Coleman has reportedly denied also of receiving the second check of US$226, 000.00 equivalent of L$20,085,000.00, at the Monthly and Probate Court. However, photocopies of check bearing his name, his Voter’s Card and ECOWAS Citizen Union-Liberia Chapter ID Card in our possession indicate he received the money.

The transactions started a year following the issuance of “Power of Attorney” on November 18, 2013, to Mr. Jefferson Douglas Coleman as administrator of the property. The family issued the Power of Attorney in the United States.

Despite this power of attorney, the Ministry sent payment authorization, along with the first check of US$300,000.00, bearing the name of Intestate of John F. Marshall/Edmund B. Coleman, dated March 11, 2016, to the Director of Banking at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to be encashed.

As far as Marshall family’s lawyers know, their clients have not received anything from the government since Edmund B. Coleman denies receiving the money and also since he is not the administrator.

On his part, administrator Jefferson Douglas Coleman, in a cell phone conversation with this paper on Wednesday, called on the government to go beyond mere dismissal by bringing to book those who allegedly received the money. He stressed the need to investigate family members who are claiming the property by issuing “fake deeds.”

Meanwhile, Senior Debt Analyst, Madam Patricia P. Dixon, has reiterated her calls for authorities at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to make public a comprehensive report of the entire domestic debt payment level so far if they must prove her wrong. Madam Dixon, who calls herself a “whistle blower” said she will continue to expose the alleged financial impropriety at the ministry until the Liberian people’s money is paid back by those who are responsible.

She considers the MFDP’s press statement issued on Tuesday as a complete admission to her allegations and thus calls for a full scale investigation into the matter and other alleged malpractices at the ministry, adding, “I want those who are stealing the Liberian people’s money to pay back and so I will continue to expose their deeds because my boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told me and any other Liberians to expose corruption.”

Madam Dixon said the blocking of her account to the Commonwealth Secretariat and Debt Recording Management System (CS-DRMS), coupled with the admission by the Ministry as well as threats to transfer her, has reinvigorated her more to battle corruption at the Ministry.

She said the Marshall property is the representation of how the entire debt payment process was being marred by alleged corruption because many vendors are still claiming their money, after payments were done on consolidated list, fragmented list and in face-value forms of the same amounts.

Below is the MFDP’s Press Statement issued Tuesday, May 30,2017, in reactions to our previous two publications:

Communications Unit

Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP)

                             Cell: 0775059916 / 0886518209 Email: abwaritay@mfdp.gov.lr/abwaritay@yahoo.com

 

PRESS STATEMENT

 

MFDP REFUTES AND CLARIFIES IN PROFILE PUBLICATIONS

 

Monrovia – Tuesday May 30, 2017: The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Categorically Refutes the In Profile Daily Newspaper’s Publications of Thursday, May 25, 2017 And Monday, May 29, 2017 With Headlines: “Debt Payment Fraud” And “Finance In Huge Fraud”.

Accordingly, the MFDP informs the public that it is aware of a situation of breach of duty by the Former Director of the Debt Management Unit of the MFDP.  The said breach of duty (failure to follow established financial procedures and instructions from superiors) was reported to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) over four months ago – (January 16, 2017); while the staff involved was forwarded for investigation.

The MOJ concluded its investigation into the reported gross breach of duty by the then head of the Debt Management Unit.  The MOJ investigation established that the head of the Debt Management Unit was in gross violation of financial procedures relative to the payment of claims against the government of Liberia and sections of the Civil Service Regulations .

Consistent with the findings of the Ministry of Justice and in addition to the law pursuant, the MFDP hereby informs the public that it has taken administrative actions by terminating the employment services of said Director with the MFDP.

The MFDP assures the public that the Administration will not tolerate and condone or lend support to any fraudulent act of any of its employees as it has a duty to the Liberian people and the Republic of Liberia to protect the people’s resources.

SIGNED:_________________________________

BERNARD ABRAHAM WARITAY

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATONS

 

Our investigations continue…

MFDP Refutes, Clarifies In Profile’s Publications

 

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has categorically refuted the In Profile Daily Newspaper’s Publications of Thursday, May 25, 2017 and Monday, May 29, 2017 With Headlines: “Debt Payment Fraud” And “Finance In Huge Fraud”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, MFDP said it is aware of a situation of breach of duty by the Former Director of the Debt Management Unit of the MFDP.  The said breach of duty (failure to follow established financial procedures) was reported to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) over four months ago – (January 16, 2017); while the staff involved was forwarded for investigation.

“The MOJ concluded its investigation into the reported gross breach of duty by the then head of the Debt Management Unit.  The MOJ investigation established that the head of the Debt Management Unit was in gross violation of financial procedures relative to the payment of claims against the government of Liberia,” the statement said.

Consistent with the findings of the Ministry of Justice and in addition to law pursuant, the MFDP disclosed that it has taken administrative actions by terminating the employment services of said Director with the MFDP.

It added: “The MFDP assures the public that the Administration will not tolerate and condone or lend support to any fraudulent act of any of its employees as it has a duty to the Liberian people and the Republic of Liberia to protect the people’s resources.”

The statement was signed by Mr. Bernard Abraham Waritay, MFDP Director Of Communications.

However, the Ministry’s press statement fell short of explaining how money stolen in the alleged scandal will be refunded or who is responsible.

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ECC Ends Policy Dialogue in Eight Counties

By Mafanta Kromah

The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has concluded a policy dialogue with representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, local government officials, youth groups and women organizations in Gbarnga, Bong County. The forum brought together more than 60 participants.

An official of the ECC, Eddie Jarwolo, said the policy dialogues are being held in eight counties including Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba, Bomi, Grand Gedeh, Montserrado and Lofa.

Mr. Jarwolo who served as the lead facilitator said the forums are designed to educate the representatives of political parties, CSOs and the media on the importance of the exhibition process to citizens as well as the Corrections, Claims and Objections process.

“Political parties, CSOs and Media need to educate citizens on the importance of the exhibition process and how, who, where and when to file an objection. This is why the ECC is making sure that citizens across the country clearly understand how to conduct civic education on the exhibition process and how to file objections,” Jarwolo told the gathering during the opening.

Jarwolo said the ECC is informing participants that the person who puts forth the challenge during the exhibition period must prove all challenges in person, noting that the determination of objections shall be made by the Magistrate at the Magistrate’s office during the period for determination of objection, which shall be announced and posted at the magistrate office.

He also told participants that objector must appear in person, that the Magistrate will notify the person who is objected, that the burden of proof is on the objector, the person objected must have the chance to refute the evidence provided and if one or both of the parties are not present, the Magistrate upon proof shall proceed with the determination.

He at the same time noted that if the objection is denied, the reasons for the denial must be made known to the objector and recorded. He added that the challenges would be based on the nationality of an applicant not being Liberian, the age of applicant not being the required voting age, the mental health of the applicant not being normal and the applicant being a felon or convict.

He said the ECC also used the forum to share its findings of the Voter Registration observation with the participants.

Jarwolo asserted that the ECC deployed a total of 89 district and county observers during VR process across the country.

“The ECC observed 849 of the 2,080 voter registration centers in the 73 electoral districts in the country and documented our observation report,” Jarwolo said.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has set June 12-17 for exhibition of provisional registration roll in Liberia for the upcoming elections in October. The ECC has promised to observe the entire Exhibition process across the 73 electoral districts focusing on Claims and Objections aspect and encouraged political parties to also observe the process that would raise the standard of transparency and openness of the electoral process.

On their part, participants lauded the ECC for the initiative and vowed to reach out to citizens with the awareness.

Speaking at the closing of the dialogue, the Paramount Chief of Jorquelleh Chiefdom, Mary Larteh thanked the organizers for coming to explain these things to them.

She said “this is what we want, when we ourselves understand these issues like this, we are able to educate our people.”

She encouraged representatives of political parties in particular to explain the importance of the exhibition and objection to their supporters to take advantage of the process.

ECC is providing awareness and opportunity to registered voters and the public to confirm that NEC has correctly recorded information about them as well as providing an opportunity for the public to check the accuracy of the work done by NEC.

The ECC which is one of the largest professional civil society platform monitoring, documenting and reporting all aspects of the electoral process and have deployed over 4000 observers during the 2011 and 2014 elections in Liberia.

Members of the ECC include the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), the Women NGOs Secretariat, the Action for Genuine Democratic Alternative (AGENDA), the Center for Democratic Governance (CDG), Center for Media Studies and Peace Building. Others are Naymote Partners for Democratic Development and the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD).

The work of the ECC is done in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agencies for International Development (USAID).

Two Liberians Qualified For Confucius Institute World Competition

Chinese DCM Li presenting gift to first prize winner while UL’s Prof. Geegbae presents gift to second prize winner

 

Two Liberian students: Boakai K. Wilson and Andrew Bonnah, of the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL) have qualified to participate in the pending Confucius Institute Chinese Proficiency World Competition for Foreign College Students in China.

Wilson and Bonnah were qualified when they won first and second places respectively in the final of the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Liberia, held Saturday, May 27, 2017, on 9th Street in Monrovia.

The competition was hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL).

Ten students participated in the final and the competition had three categories: self-introduction in Chinese; responses to three questions each in Chinese-whether asked in Chinese or English; and Chinese cultural performances-songs, poem recitations, short dramas and Chinese Marshall Art. Fluency and accuracy in Chinese were highly considered.

However, authorities of the Confucius Institute honored and certificated all participants for demonstrating excellence to reach the final of the Liberia’s competition. They also encouraged the students and any other students of the Confucius Institute to continue as many opportunities and brighter future await them.

Other participants in the final were: Michael Maigbay, Norman Mondubue, Isaac J. Dukuly, Rancy E. Bondo, Augustine S. Borbor, Samson W. Dweh, Terry G. Johnson, II, and Silas Gilklay.

Judges of the competition included: Head of the Chinese Medical Team in Liberia, Mr. Yan Yunliang; an assistant to Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) Deputy Director, Mr. Solee; Director General of Chinese International Broadcasting Station at the Liberia Broadcasting System, Mr. Wang Zhanhua and In Profile Daily Editor for News & Editorial Services, Mr. Fredrick P. W. Gaye.

Speaking at the occasion, UL’s Vice President, Prof. Geebgae A. Geebgae, said though two students won the higher scores, performances of the participants were encouraging.

Prof. Geegbae praised the students for the excellent learning and urged them to double their efforts in making Chinese Language part of their life.

He equally commended the Confucius Institute family and Chinese Embassy for organizing such a program, which he said, is intended to improve academic excellence.

The UL official used the occasion to call on other learning institutions in Liberia to follow such an example to inspire the students more if the education system must improve.

Also making remarks, the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Liberia, Mr. Li Zhuang, thanked the Confucius Institute and the University of Liberia for the contest. “…we highly appreciate the efforts have been made these years for promoting this trans-cultural exchange, by the University of Liberia and its Confucius Institute,” Li said.

According to the Chinese envoy, the contest was a good opportunity to know about China and what is getting on between China and Liberia. China, Li said, is the most populous country with over 1.3 billion people, which is 300 times the population of Liberia. “China is the second largest economy, but its GDP is only ranks about 80th in the world,” he continued.

Li explained that the Chinese Language is an important component of the Chinese 5,000-year culture and has played an important role in the trans-cultural exchanges.

He indicated that China is seeking win-win outcomes/mutual benefit through cooperation with other countries. Li made reference to China’s support to Africa’s development which safeguards and promotes world peace and development, benefiting all countries including China itself.

“As a developing country, China is determined to go together with Liberians and other Africa friends, for a better future to all of us. As we can see, a wide range of cooperation in security, agriculture, education, trade and other areas between China and Liberia has made a rapid progress,” Li maintained, alluding to an African adage that says: If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

He then expressed the belief that participants of the competition will become the friendship ambassadors and personal contributors to common goals.

On his part, first prize winner, Student Boakai K. Wilson, thanked the Confucius Institute family for always being transparent in the competition and other contests at the institute.

He called on his fellow students and any other Liberians to take advantage of the Chinese Language study as it will allow them understand China as well as communicate with more people the world over.

Wilson vowed to make the Liberia’s Confucius Institute proud at the pending World Competition in China by returning with a flying color.

The Confucius Institute’s excellent student said he has spent five years at the institution, saying he was inspired and also challenged himself after watching several Chinese movies.

Meanwhile, Confucius Institute’s acting director, Mr. Dexter Sumo, commended participants and encouraged them to continue the excellent performances.

Sumo said the institute has been sending many Liberians to China to study Chinese; some of whom he said have graduated with masters and other levels and are working at various places.

He said Chinese companies and other enterprises in Liberia have been contacting the Confucius Institute for students who are fluent in Chinese for possible recruitment.

Representatives from other Chinese enterprises graced the occasion.