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Cape Mount Citizens Recommend To Next Government

By Mafanta Kromah

As Liberians foresee a runoff election in November between the Coalition for Democratic Change and the ruling Unity Party, citizens of Garwula District in Grand Cape Mount County, who are in the private sector (business and farming), have started listing issues they expect to be addressed immediately by the next regime.

According to those in the farming sector, the next government to be ushered in January 2018 should prioritize the agriculture sector to help improve the lives of Liberians by supporting them to grow and produce their own stable food.

Speaking to In Profile reporter recently in Cape Mount, Boima Paasewe, a resident of Sinji, said rice is the stable food in Liberia but it is being imported, noting that the price of rice is high in their communities thus making living conditions difficult for them.

Paasewe said it would be better for Liberians, if they start to grow their own foods, something he noted, can only be done when the next government invests in the agriculture sector by providing farming materials to farmers and connecting farm- to  market roads across the country.

Abraham Sillah, a marketer from Bo Waterside, was another citizen who spoke to the In Profile Daily. For him, he indicated   that they expect the next government to prioritize education system that is being described as mess by the current government, stressing that they want the system to be improved from mess to excellent.

“Government learns from the failure of another government and this government has failed to invest in our education system to make the system more standard like international schools. We also need to boost of our facilities and staff in our country,” he said.

Sillah further noted that their county needs vocational training institutes for the young people, as well as well trained teachers that will help put their system on path.

According to him, primary teachers in the county are mostly volunteers who recent graduates of high school that are yet get to enter collage.

“They only focus on the high school and forget to know that the foundation of your high school is the best. If you don’t perform well at the low level how do you expect yourself to perform well at the high level when your foundation is not built?” Sillah wondered.

He continued: “In Cape Mount, when it comes to the new legislature, we the ordinary citizens want county hearing to start from the bottom to the top. We are the only people that know our problems and only us know how they can be solved, let our lawmakers engage us on the way forward on problems they will be solved so that everyone will take ownership of the project.”

Meanwhile, Hawa Sonni, a business woman indicated that she expects the next government to have control over prices of commodities and exchange rate, noting that due to the increase in exchange rate in the country, everything is on the increase.

She said life will only improve in Liberia if government has control over exchange rate and the prices of goods and services.

“We sell in Liberian dollars to go in search of US dollars and in the end we buy the United States Dollars at very high cost and when we buy our goods we definitely need to get all we put in it. So how life cannot be hard when our own country money is being down played for other country’s money? Liberians need to grow and open their eyes to the realities,” she expressed.

UL Science Students Receive Scholarships

A Liberian-based organization with an aim to promote science and leadership education has paid in full, the tuition of five freshmen and science major enrolled at the University of Liberia.  The students’ fees were underwritten by the not-for-profit organization named “From Scholars to Leaders Program” (FSLP).

The beneficiaries of the scholarship award were selected following a rigorous application process that required, among other things, applicants to sit a panel interview, according to David Sinatu, a Liberian student based in Germany, and one of two founders of the program.   He said the selection of the   four males and a female was based solely on merit. He added that the winners of the scholarship proved to be the best of 27 candidates who applied to the program.

Speaking to this paper recently in Monrovia shortly following the award of the scholarships, Mr. Sinatu said the mission of the organization is twofold. He said the first objective of the organization is to motivate young Liberian students to take interest in studying the sciences. He noted that the second objective FSLP seeks to achieve is to mentor and groom the students into future leaders with the passion to give back to their communities through volunteerism and other initiatives.

Sinatu further told this paper that the education and leadership support-based program further aims to create and explore opportunities at the local and international fronts that young Liberian students can exploit to maximize their potential and achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their communities.

Mr. Sinatu told the FSLP scholarship beneficiaries that the money used to pay their tuition at the University of Liberia for the 2017/2018 academic semester was donated by Katherine Smith, an American citizen based in the United States.

He called on persons of goodwill to emulate Katherine Smith example to help young and less privileged students in Liberia pursue their dreams.

For his part, the Coordinator of the “From Scholars to Leaders Program” Peter A. Fahn, said the organization hopes to increase the number of scholarships in the future base on the availability of funding. He said it was really heartbreaking to turn away young people who clearly have the desire to seek higher education, particularly in the sciences, but lack the means to do so.

“I was deeply touched and I want to believe my colleagues, too did, to see very young people during the interview aspiring for great dreams and future, but who simply lack the resources to make their dreams come to light,” he said.

“These young people,” he said, “can certainly be great scientists, medical doctors, engineers, etc.” So, I want to use this occasion to appeal to all people of goodwill not to allow ourselves to fail these bright minds. Let us stand for them together to support their dreams together.”

He told this paper that Liberia can make-up for the acute brain – drain in the field of science if the country can seize the opportunity to inspire motivated young people to take interest in various science related disciplines.

Meanwhile, Program Coordinator Fahn has called on the students majoring in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Agriculture to take their lesson serious and study hard.

He said there are plans not only to admit more students into the program, but also the organization intends to fully equip the students by giving them the required textbooks and other toolkits to enhance their studies. However, he said further assistance will depend on the academic progress of the current batch of students admitted to the program.

Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Mercy Luogon, the only female admitted to the program thanked the organization for the opportunity given them to pursue their individual dreams. “My dream has been to become an agriculturist, therefore, I will try my best to fully maximize this opportunity given to me; and I also sure my friends will do the same”, she said.

 

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Senate Pro tempore hails Weah, Boakai …Wants Citizens Shun Violence In Runoff

The President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate and Chairman of Gbarpolu Country Legislative Caucus Sen. Armah Zolu Jallah has congratulated Senator George M. Weah and Amb. Joseph N. Boakai on their emergence as forerunners of the October 2017 presidential election in Liberia and lauded Liberians who participated in the election for helping to make the event a peaceful one.

In a press release issued by his office, Senator Jallah declared that as is now increasingly becoming evident that there will be a run off for the presidency, he was urging all Liberians to elect a leader of their choice and work in concert in support of their choice in administering the affairs of the country.

Pro tem Jallah further pointed out that it is Liberia that matters regardless who becomes president and it the support from citizens that ensures good governance and able representation.

In conclusion, Pro tem Jallah cautioned all citizens to refrain from innuendos and insinuations that ignite chaos and the maligning of character of fellow citizens and concentrate on the substantives of society and go to the poll on November 8, 2017 resolute to do justice to Liberia.

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CENPID Gives Position On Election

Center for the Promotion of Intellectual Development (CENPID), has lauded the international Observers including: European Union, US Delegation, Cater Center, African Union, ECOWAS and MRU for taking keen interest in observing Liberia’s elections.

At the same time commended  both the National and Local Observers for the role they have played and continue to play in these elections, including FIND, Women Situation Room, ECC, Intellectual Centers and particularly the PUL for playing a difficult , and  tuff role but meticulously stood-up to the challenge.

Additionally, Cenpid an advocacy group congratulates and solute all the  participating candidates particularly the winners for a job well done; which signified the  level of  associations each of you had with the grass-rooters, down trodden and  poor people within your various communities putting their platform above self  interest; while to the losers, Cenpid is encouraging you to out rightly  go repent and chick yourselves; “perhaps your interaction with the  poor people within your districts  is more shameful taking yourself as an elite over the masses”.

Cenpid said as an advocacy Group wishes to states unequivocally clear that the two Ambassadorial candidates George M. Weah, of the CDC and Joseph N. Boakai, of the UP are socially unqualified and incompetent to lead Liberia.

The group said the assumption is based on grounds that there is no proven history of each interacting with an Intellectual/Haitai Centers across Liberia, unlike her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the outgoing president who was seen vividly in the midst of all social institutions,  as such electing any of them will surely undermined the very principles for which the Grass-Root Associations were established; therefore, the two Ambassadors should be considered by all Intellectual Centers as “Elites not Grass-Rooters”

Furthermore, Cenpid an advocacy group duly acknowledged the huge insignificant irregularities on the part of the National Election Commissions reported by all Observers but the centers believed these misdeeds did not amount to any electoral Frauds or cheating enough to undermine and undo the ongoing elections process.

As such, Cenpid, an advocacy group terms irregularities as “Isolated and Harmless Human errors” exhibited by NEC. Therefore, the Center is admonishing NEC/ Electoral Body to conduct more workshops for its workers in the future.

At the same time, Cenpid an advocacy and Intellectual group, fully reaffirm the credibility of the National Election Commission, under Cllr. Jerome Kokoyah leadership to conducting free and fair election.

Henceforth, Cenpid will only treat those misdeeds as isolated cases and will not be used as subject of debate, instead as matter of Intellectual exercises for all Haitai Centers

Meanwhile, Cenpid an advocacy group calls on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to with immediately release the findings of electoral violence perpetrated in Nimba, Bong and Montserrado Counties respectively and warns that any attempt for Ministry of Justice/ LNP to sweep these instances under caper the County will be heading for more troubles, but if these findings are released and perpetrators are brought to Justice than the presume round off will be free of violence

Finally, CENPID is commending HE. Excellency Madam President for the twelve years of peace we have enjoyed as a people and thanks the National Election Commission for the manner in which it is conducting October election at the time admonishing all candidates, particularly those that have already been declared below NEC belt to seek legal redress by respecting the Rule of Law and avoid confusion and CENPID will remain operative, voice for the voiceless in the confirm of the law.

 

Five GAC Employees Pass CAT Certification Exams

Five junior staffs of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) have successfully passed the first two exams of the Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Certification Program and have received Introductory Certificates in Financial and Management Accounting.

The CAT scheme is a foundation qualification which is offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) based in the United Kingdom (UK). Upon completion of all the exams and the required practical work experience, a successful candidate is authorized   to use the acronym “CAT” after his or her name.

The initiative, which was launched in 2016, is part of the GAC’s four-year Capacity Building Program which aims to further professionalize its staff and enhance their work output.

The five auditors who made successful passes are: Augustine K. Ndorbor, Mark B. Harmon, Robert B. Kaba, Franklin Dwalue and Theophilus Seeton. These students, who are part of the first batch, were enrolled into the program on a volunteer basis.

Auditor General, Madam Yusador S. Gaye, has however indicated that, going forward, the program would be mandatory for all employees in both audit services and administration.

GAC’s Director of Administration, Mr. John L. Greaves II, disclosed that another batch  of employees (11 in number) have already written some exams in the senior ACCA category and were awaiting the results.

Mr. Greaves used the opportunity to commend the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP), which manages the World Bank’s Multi-donor Pool Fund, for providing funds to kick off the implementation of the CBS.  He encouraged other employees to seize the opportunity to enhance their professional skills as the European Union (EU) begins supporting the Strategy.

The five employees are expected to be certificated on October 20, 2017.

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ORANGE Launches Massive New Promo -Gives Away Ten Bikes, Five Vehicles

In a continued build-up of its presence in the Liberian telecommunications market, Orange Liberia has launched a massive new promotion under the theme: “With Orange, Christmas Starts in October.”  The new promotion was rolled out at a major press conference held at the company’s headquarters on Capital Bypass in Monrovia.

Orange’s Corporate Communications Strategist Dr. Kimmie Weeks outlined that from October through December, Orange would give away 10 brand new motorbikes and 5 new cars.   “We know that Christmas is a time of happiness, love and bringing families together.    It is a special time in Liberia and we want the Liberian people to begin to feel that happiness and joy starting from October,” Weeks said.     He outlined that to bring the Christmas cheer to Liberians early this year, Orange would give away a brand-new motorbike every week, a brand-new vehicle every two weeks, and the grand prize a few days before Christmas.

Weeks highlighted that Orange had made it simple for its subscribers to be eligible to enter to competition.    “All our subscribers have to do is to recharge once a week at least $1 and activate any Orange package to be eligible to win a bike, recharge at least once a week two weeks in a row to win a Ford or Renault vehicle, and recharge at least once a week for every week until December 21 to be eligible to win the Toyota Rav 4 valued at US$35,000.” Weeks added that to increase their chances, customers need to recharge more often with higher amounts, whether it is with scratch cards, e-recharge or Orange Money.

In separate remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Liberia Mr. Mamadou Coulibaby said that he was extremely happy and proud about the launch of the new promotion.   He noted:  “the launching of the Orange “Christmas Starts in October” promotion is a part of the Orange commitment to demonstrate to the Liberian people that Orange cares.

This is a very, very big investment for us as a company.   However, it is something we are happy to do knowing that the lives of many, many Liberians will be positively impacted.”

Orange says the first motorbike winner will be announced on October 23, and the first person will walk away with a brand new vehicle on October 31.

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Third Term Or New Breed?

Liberians seem to be pondering over the best alternative in deciding who gets to the Executive Mansion, having already disallowed 18 presidential candidates by vote counts in the 2017 elections not to handle the gavel of authority for the presidency.

Though the National Elections Commission (NEC) has not released final results to determine who wins the presidency, the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) are expected to go for a run-off as indicated by the percentages both parties have so far accumulated from the votes obtained.

With CDC Candidate George Weah  securing 39.0 % of the total votes while UP Candidate Joseph Boakai  obtaining 29.1% of the total votes, with 95.6% of the total polling places already reported,  the claim by  presidential candidates and their supporters about one round of election does not seem to hold.

Long before the elections were conducted, analysts and political commentators, having followed the trends of event in the country, surmised that the ruling party and one opposition party would enter second round for the presidency, no matter how popular any of the 20 presidential candidates might have claimed to be in the race.

Before  and during the period of campaign, opposition political parties struggled to amalgamate strengths  to oust the ruling Unity Party, on grounds that the UP has led the country for two uninterrupted  terms and that giving the party another chance for  third term would suggest supporting  a one party system.

However, supporters of the ruling party have argued that the UP is the best political institution to lead the country and continue the level of development which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has undertaken in what is now becoming her 12 years of administration.

Influential members of the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives joined the Joseph Boakai presidential bid and campaigned for his election while opposition political parties were segmented to take on the ruling party.

It is recalled months before active electoral activities kicked off, in their numbers, opposition political parties assembled in Ganta, Nimba County  for a conference geared towards determining what to do to oust the UP at the polls.

The Ganta conference produced what was called ‘The Ganta Declaration’ which those parties in attendance pledged their commitment to. It was then gathered that those parties concerned would support any opposition party that would remain in the race for a run-off.

Nevertheless, staunch supporters of  UP argued that the ‘Ganta Declaration’ would not hold because of power struggle among the very opposition politicians, citing what transpired in 2005 and 2011 when  most of those parties attempted forming coalitions but  did not achieve the goal;

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“Betting On Africa To Feed The World”

The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture today as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16-20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

The Norman Borlaug Lecture titled “Betting on Africa to Feed the World” will be on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration.

President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday, October 19. The prize is to agriculture while the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.

The World Food Prize board announced President Adesina as the 2017 Laureate (http://APO.af/nNtr9w) in June for his work in improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers, and for laying the foundation for the youth in Africa to engage in agriculture as a profitable business.

The World Food Prize, founded by Nobel Laureate, Norman Borlaug, is the foremost international honour recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

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‘Remain Calm’!-Women Situation Room Cautions Political Parties & Supporters

By Abraham Morris-231886294820- abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

The Women Situation Room (WSR) of the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) through its Establishment Coordinator, Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, has cautioned standard bearers of political parties and supporters to remain calm and patiently await the collation, tallying and final results by the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Addressing a news conference Monday, at the offices of the Women Situation Room (WSR), in Monrovia, the ABIC Establishment Coordinator said the WSR continues to monitor the counting, tallying and pronouncement of preliminary results.

Therefore, Cllr. Wureh reiterated that the phase of electoral process is as important as the registration, campaign and voting process, which has the propensity to derail the process and cause conflict.

The WSR appreciated the resilience and vigilance of the general public who called to report threats and incidence of violence which Eminent Women of the physical Situation Rooms in Monrovia and Suacoco were able to intervene in a timely manner in collaboration with NEC and the Liberia National Police (LNP).

She pointed out that the WSR is a women’s peace-building mechanism for the mitigation of conflict before, during and after elections in African countries.

According to her, the WSR mobilizes women in collaboration with youth to lobby and advocate stakeholders to support the call for peaceful elections.

She said the WSR is a non-partisan and neutral process that was initiated by the women in Liberia in 2011 with technical support from ABIC for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership, Development, International Peace and Security.

Cllr. Wureh said the WSR rollout a series of activities leading to the setting up of two physical situation rooms.

She said these included the setting up of a mini call center during voter registration; the talking bus which captured issues from communities in hotspots counties, the Youth Peace Torch, the  15,000 Women Peace March for peaceful elections, training for the Yanna Boys followed by the ECOWAS Youth Peace Summit.

As a result of its demonstrated effectiveness in preventing and mitigating election-related violence in several countries in Africa, the WSR was endorsed as best practice by the 2012 AU’s Gender is My Agenda campaign. The UN has also recognised the WSR as best practice in conflict and violence prevention.

The WSR is an initiative that mobilises, harnesses and taps into the expertise and experiences of women to act and mitigate potential conflict, leading to violence that could emerge before, during and after elections.

It empowers women and youth to play an active and direct role in peace and security efforts, and to engage in peace processes and conflict prevention mechanisms in accordance with UNSC resolutions 1325 and 1820.

The initiative was first used during the 2011 elections in Liberia, and has since been successfully replicated in Kenya (2013), Senegal (2012), Sierra Leone (2012), Nigeria (2014) and Uganda (2016), among other countries.

There were also plans to use it in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo. The operational approach of the WSR is expected to differ in individual countries, allowing for flexibility to adapt to local conditions and dynamics.

Cllr. Wureh said owing to the several challenges confronted by NEC during these elections, the WSR recommended that provision be made for lighting in the polling places to ensure increase visibility.

She also recommended that a change in the dates of elections should be considered so that elections are held in the dry season thus eliminating the problems during elections in the rainy season, which adversely affect the ability of NEC to distribute ballots materials and staff.

Should there be a run-off declared, the WSR through its Establishment Coordinator recommended that NEC conduct as immediate training of polling staff due to the high percentage of invalid votes (7.2%), which as their observer reported, were due largely to polling staff inking fingers before ballots were deposited as well as inefficiencies.

 

 

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Let The Will Of The People Prevail

FOLLOWING MONTHS OF intensive campaign for the presidency and representative seats in Liberia, Liberians have demonstrated their power in deciding the fate of their politicians.

THOUGH THERE ARE reported irregularities which some candidates have cried fouls over with threats of legal redress, and to some extent a call for re-run of election, we must hail Liberians for the peaceful atmosphere under which the elections were held across the country on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

WE ARE EXTREMELY grateful to individual Liberians for electing their next 73 representatives, majority of whom will be new comers at the 54th National Legislature.

AS A MATTER fact, what we observed regarding the election of members of the House of Representatives in the 2017 elections is a repeat of what transpired in 2011 and 2014 elections, when majority of the lawmakers who sought re-election were ousted thereby signaling that the power is inherent in the people and not in those who serve them.

HOWEVER, WE STILL have the biggest decision to make, judging by the results so far  being released  for the presidency which no one presidential candidate has been able to secure 50 plus one percent of the total votes cast to be declared a winner.

YET, WE OWE it to our people as watchdogs in society to acknowledge that the people have spoken and their determination is that the number of presidential candidates in the race could not give any candidate an outright win for the presidency, except a run-off which is now seen irreversible.

ALREADY, JUDGING BY the results released, it is clearly shown that the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) will go for a run-off once the National Elections Commission announces the final results and no party gets the 50 plus one percent votes of the overall votes counted across the country.

INDEED, WE POISE to witness the process as we have done throughout the months, weeks and days ago, hoping that the voices of the people will be heard and respected.

FINALLY, LET THE will of the people prevail, by allowing whosoever that is truly elected through the ballot box is given the chance to lead Liberia in fulfilling a smooth transition from one democratically elected government to another.