Liberian Business & Economic Empowerment Act Introduced At Lower House

By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

Grand Kru County District Two Representatives, Jonathan Fonati Koffa, has submitted to the House of Representative a Bill seeking to protect the law protecting Liberian businesses which was identified in the 1973 Investment Act.

The Bill submitted to the House of Representative provides for criminal penalties for violators and also creates a fund to ensure that Liberian businesses in the subject succeed.

The Bill, according to Representative Koffa, seeks to create policy for the desire that Liberian not be marginalized in their own economy, whereas the Investment Act of 2010 and progeny provided for certain restrictions on foreign ownership of named enterprises and reserved such exclusively for Liberians.

The Bill proffered by the Grand Kru County lawmaker further seeks the need to create a restrictive environment and stronger enforcement mechanism so that the Liberianization Policy as envisaged by the government and people of Liberia can become a full-fledged reality and not just a goal.

The Bill which is titled: “Liberian Business and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018,” prohibits foreign ownership and reserved for exclusive ownership of natural persons who are citizens of Liberia ‘certain businesses.’

Those businesses the Bill seeks to reserve for only Liberians are: the supply of sand, block making, itinerant merchant (peddling), real estate and real estate management services, travel agencies or travel agency contract for airlines, distribution and retail sale of flour, rice and cement.

Others businesses the Bill when passed into law seeks to further empower Liberians include: retail of stationery and office supplies, ice making and sale, tire repair shop, independent auto repair shop (not restricted to dealership), shoe repair shop, retail of timbers and planks, operation of gas stations, video clubs, importation and sale of second hand or used clothing, distribution of locally manufactured products.

The Bill also sets aside exclusively for Liberians, the importation and sales of used cars (except for certified used cars imported by authorized dealership of the same make), custom brokerage services, stevedoring, ship chandler services, commercial printing services, trucking services (all forms), newspaper publishing and printing and payment processing systems and services including sales on behalf of government.

Representative Koffa’s Bill also introduces seeking joint venture and participation of Liberians in that, foreign investors may invest or engage in the following businesses provided however that the investment capital of said investment is more than one million United States Dollars and at least twenty five percent share of common stock owned by natural Liberian persons.

It also indicates that operation of any enterprise under such category must be approved by the National Investment Commission before any license can be issued by the relevant agencies of government.

Businesses under such category are: production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, advertising agencies, graphic and commercial artists, production of poultry and poultry products, production of beef and pork and beef and pork products, entertainment centers not connected with hotel establishment, sale of animals and poultry feed, bakeries, pharmaceuticals.

Others include: repair of transformers and generators (unless those under manufacturer warranty), fishing and fish processing, especially activities within the territorial waters and light manufacturing, processing or packing services of any kind.

The Bill also ensures that all foreign companies doing business in Liberia and enjoying duty free services or other tax incentives are hereby required to source all supplies and services that are available on the local market.

The legal instrument, proffered also said provided, however, that the requirement of the Act may waived if the cost of the goods or service is more than 20 percent when compared to ECOWAS region countries.  And that any company failing to adhere to such provision is denied duty free and other tax incentives on those purchases.

In order to be considered a foreign investor for the purpose of a joint venture with a Liberian citizen under the proposed Act, the foreign national must provide proof of funding by display of local bank confirmation of wired funds into the country from foreign sources.

It said that said funds shall not be less than US$500,000 for the initial deposit. It also provides that any business or industry in which a Liberian person has made investment in excess of one million United States dollars, no business owned by non-Liberian shall be allowed to engage in such activities unless it is proven that the Liberian-owned business in unable or incapable of meeting market demand. However, it does not apply to other Liberian-owned businesses or natural persons.

Hence, the Liberian Government is hereby authorized to establish a Liberia Business Development and Investment Fund (LBDIF) of not less than twenty million United States dollars for the purpose of guaranteeing or subsidizing loans or providing incentives or financing instruments for Liberian to succeed in accordance with the goals and objectives of the proposed Act.

Meantime, contribution to the fund shall be made through: an initial US$5,000,000 from budgeting appropriations; setting aside 10 percent of the proceeds of the Maritime Program on an annual basis; allocating 20 percent from signature fees collected on any concession agreement signed; soft loans or grants from development partners interested in business development and any other dedicated fees or taxes or such other mechanism as the government may device.

Accordingly, any foreign national be resident or not who violates any provision of the Act, when passed, and any Liberian for the purposes of evading the aims and objectives of the proposed Act, fronts for a foreign national being he/she resident or not of Liberia, shall be subjected to punishment of not less than three years imprisonment and not less than US$100,000  or its Liberian equivalent.

Furthermore, all materials, equipment, and proceeds associated with the violation shall be confiscated and auction for the benefit of the public treasury.

Meanwhile, the Bill when passed will repeal Schedule E of the Investment Act of 2010 and replacing it with its whole and as to its sub parts, the provision of the proposed Act.

And that as of the effective date of the Act, any foreign national engaged in any of the prohibited businesses in Section three, or is not in compliance with the conditions of businesses in Section four, shall have two years to close the enterprise and/or come into compliance.

The Bill further seeks to establish the Liberia Business Development Authority (LBDA), which shall in consonance with the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Justice monitor and enforced the law governing such Act.

The LBDA, when established, shall be headed by a Director General and two deputies and as well supervised by a Board of Directors comprising of the Ministers of Finance and Development Planning, Commerce and Industry, Justice, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) and three members of the Liberian Business Association from their members in good standing.

 

 

 

Get Ready To Work” -MGLA President Admonishes Colleagues

By Juliana Noah Johnson

The newly elected respected president of the Monrovia Grand Ladies Auxiliaries, Knights of St John International has admonished sisters to be prepared to work in making sure that the organization remains committed, focusing on charitable and religious matters.

Noble Lady, Sister Betty G Evans, during the presentation Mass held at the St Peter Clever Parish in Buchannan City , Grand Bassa County, for newly elected officers, emphasized that in order for the Catholic Church to grow and remain strong, the organization must be supportive in all that they do, adding “we must represent the Catholic Church at large”.

She pointed out that her administration will work with the past Grand Respected president, Noble Lady, Sister Philomena Williams, be keen on discipline, respect for  one another and prayerful adding that this behavior represents a true Catholic Church.

Sister Betty assured brothers from the Monrovia Grand Commentary, KSJI, headed by its newly elected Grand Worthy President, Michael Clarke, that they will work together, shoulder-to-shoulder in making the organization more stronger. “In all that we do, we do it for the church and humanity,” she indicated.

Others elected to steer the affairs of the organization for two years, are  Noble Lady, Sister Philomena T. Williams, Immediate Past Grand Respected President who servered for three terms,   Noble Lady Sister Abla Williams, Grand 1st Vice President, Sister Wroquoi Samuels Weah, Grand 2nd Vice president, Sister Lorpu Williams Godfrey, Grand Recording & Correspondent Secretary, Sister Pricilla Thomas, Grand Financial Secretary, Sister Theresa Toh, Grand Treasurer, Trustee, Sister Louise Dennis-Chair, Sister Rosalind Thomas Doe and Sister Amanda A. Wisner.

Others appointed by the Grand Respected President, include, Sister Gertrude Togba, Grand Messenger, Sister Faith Gbekai, Grand Sentinel, Sister Cecelia Sia Mbayoh, and sister Juliana Noah Johnson, Assistant Grand Recording & Corresponding Secretary.

 

 

Colinbo Commends Pres.Weah For Highlighting Local Businesses’ Plights

 

The President of the Concerned Liberian International Business Organization (COLINBO), Mr. Fumba Trawally, says Liberia cannot survive when the people are not empowered.

Trawally, speaking to reporters, noted that one of the best ways to do such is by investing more in small entrepreneurs.

He named Togo and La Cote d’ Ivoire as examples of some West African Countries that are making marks due to investments in small entrepreneurs sector of their respective nations. This,  he wants Liberia to implement as well.

“Gone are the days where Liberian business people were seen at the back and it is time that all local business people step up and take up the challenge to ensure that they work together to regain their own economy. No more we will be at the back,” the COLINBO boss uttered.

Trawally at the same time lauded President Weah for his inaugural address where he  promised to take Liberian businesses from being on the fence andto making them become owners of their economy.

“Weah’s statement, with reference to the business community, was a long plan. He visiedt to the National Toiletries Incorporated in 2015 where he said among other things as Senator then that he would work to help empower local business people,” Trawally indicated.

The Liberian leader is a man of his word, Fumba noted and he is overly confident that he will do what he says he will do.

according to the Liberian businessman, President Weah has been using ‘made in Liberia’ toiletries  products.

Trawally also stressed the need for strong and implementable laws that will ensure the flexibility of business transactions across Liberia.

He called for the re-visitation of some   bottle-neck laws of the Country to ensure it reflects present day reality.

he stated: “We have been suffering for several years only because there are some laws on the books that limit and constrain/restrict us not to grow and if the President’s statement must be realized, then these laws should be looked at critically.”

The Head of the National Toiletries and a key partner to the business sector of the Country reechoed President Weah’s statement that Liberia will win together only if all Liberians wear the jersey of the Country.

Since President Weah’s inaugural statement relative to the business sector, there have been numerous commendations from the business sector, Liberians and the International Community at large but others are hoping for the practical implementation.

COLINBO is an International Business Organization with over five thousand members across Liberia and has been contributing to promoting local and enterprising business people in the Country to grow and to as well ndevelop their self potenti

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Soft Power

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in 2014, “We should increase China’s soft power, give a good Chinese narrative, and better communicate China’s message to the world.”

Soft power, a term coined by Harvard University scholar Joseph S. Nye Jr. in 1990s, is the means by which a country gets other countries to “want what it wants.” Soft power is being interpreted from different perspectives.

China’s Confucius Institutes (CI) – government-funded centers for research and language teaching run by state agency Hanban – are leading China’s cultural diplomacy in dozens of African countries through Chinese language and cultural studies programs aimed at shaping public opinion and strengthening South-South cooperation. The actual impact of these efforts on some Africans’ views of China is being questioned.

Generally, South Africans are eager to learn  Mandarin. They believe that it is a contribution to globalisation. And so it will also deepen their country’s relations with China.

On the other hand, they are skeptical about the manner and form it is being introduced. Like the teachers’ union, views gathered suggest that parents should make the choice. There is a fear that prioritizing Mandarin over other languages could amount to another round of colonialism and imperialism in South Africa.

Views of South Africans suggest the need for the government to place more emphasis on people-to-people contacts in order to generate more inputs from all stakeholders. South Africa is already plagued by language and cultural differences in the aftermath of apartheid and colonialism.

John Bailey, an experienced and senior journalist at eNCA in South Africa, says the introduction of Mandarin is a fine idea because it will enable South Africans to interface with nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people. But Bailey contends that government’s failure to consult relevant stakeholders in the process appears as if it is China that is imposing things on them.

“The problem is not China. It is our leaders’ way of doing things. They fight for their own interest and whatsoever is discussed, they run with the implementation. So it is difficult to rule out the communication gap between the government and the people,” Bailey observes.

He sees China’s soft power working, using various platforms such as BRICS, G20 and One Belt One Road as well as increasing its trade with South Africa. What needs to be done is for South Africa and other African countries to demonstrate patriotism, he says.

On the matter of making Mandarin compulsory in schools, Bailey rules out the possibility. He says doing so would put other students at a disadvantage. “While many South Africans support Mandarin in schools, it will remain optional.”

This article was based on fieldwork in South Africa, supported by the Africa-China Reporting Project at the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand. Phillip de Wet, an associate editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper in Johannesburg, mentored this fieldwork.

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What Can Liberia Learn From China’s Trade Zones; The Case of Kunshan Economic & Technological Development Zone

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

The blossoming flowers and friendly weather in this part of China are just a symbol of how Kunshan serves as one of the fulcrums of China’s economic growth and development. Some Liberians may say that the country is not in the position now like China to establish special economic zones (SEZs) due to the lack of revenue backing.

However, what Liberians need is to be able to receive and make use of the technology and knowledge transfers with a clear and implementable vision. There are prospects for the country based on its natural resources. Furthermore, Liberia and China friendship has strengthened in recent years with serious growth in trade volume.

It is good to start somewhere. And for me, and others may agree, it is optimistic that the country will move on par with other developing countries if both governors and governed are willing to learn from countries the like China, that had experienced similar situations some years ago.

With the most-touted publicity in strengthening the private sector, fundamental activities such as establishing special economic zones, guided by special policies could serve as a foundation for making this sector vibrant.

Special economic zones are geographically designated trade areas that are used to attract foreign investors and boost industrialization. They generally have trade laws that differ from the rest of the country and companies are offered tax incentives to set up operations.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), under its “Belt and Road” Initiative, is partnering with African countries to scale up industrialization on the continent in addition to China’s infrastructure development projects – the “Three Major Networks” of railway, road and regional aviation. I believe that China’s own experience in industrial development through the special economic zones offers valuable lessons.

Chinese former Ambassador to Liberia and Zambia, Zhou Yuxiao, in his article published in the CHINAFRICAN Magazine, urged African countries to be ready to receive the technology and knowledge transfers. “Africa can do what China has done; China’s today can be Africa’s tomorrow,” Amb. Zhou stated.

In 2016, during our (22 African journalists) tour to Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, we visited several economic zones and other institutions.

But the flourishing features of the Kunshan Economic & Technological Development Zone  (KETD), opening economic opportunities for foreigners, coupled with the historical periods of its reforms explained by authorities, made it a great lesson for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in general, and Liberia in specific.

Though it is in Jiangsu Province, Kunshan is situated in the Shanghai Economic Zone, with the metropolitan city Shanghai to the east and the renowned ancient city Suzhou to the west. .

Leading our tour in the different areas of the zone, official said KETD zone has a number of well-developed national-level functional zones, including a free trade zone, an opto-electronics industry park and an incubation park for Chinese overseas students. A number of other industry parks are also under development, including parks respectively dedicated to robotics, finance, creativity, advanced technology commercialization and food processing. These functional zones and industry parks are shaping a geographical distribution of economic activities characterized by “two axes, two belts, two cores and multiple parks”, which are increasingly facilitating city-industry integration.

By end of 2015, KETD had attracted 2,170 investment projects, with a total value of US$ 36.3 billion and registered capital of US$19.4 billion, from 47 countries and regions, including Europe, America, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

It hosts more than 10,000 domestic companies, with more than RMB 50 billion in registered capital, which concentrate in five pillar industries: electronics and information, optoelectronic display, precision machinery, equipment manufacturing and light industry. KETD has been successively honored as a national model in intellectual property-driven development and business incubation for overseas talent. It is also selected by the provincial government as a model in innovation and IT-industry integration and scores the highest in institutional innovation among national-level EDZs in China. For consecutive years, KETD has been ranked among the top four national-level EDZs by the Ministry of Commerce for its overall competitiveness.

The efforts of the Kunshan government is to ensure a stable and healthy economic and social development, and to consequently transform the city into what some traders called one of the best places to work, live and do business in China. As an open industrial and commercial metropolis, Kunshan has remained at the forefront of the nation’s reform and opening-up policy in the past decades.

Moreover, Kunshan has adopted a series of proactive policies in an strategic plan to develop a modern service industry as part of a drive to upgrade its industrial structure.

For example, the government has streamlined examination and approval procedures to better serve investors. All the applications are required to be examined within a time limit.

This new reform is in line with a circular issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, saying that China will ease the permanent resident permit application process for foreigners. “Qualification for residence should be flexible and pragmatic,” the circular noted.

Accordingly, KETD was first established in 1984. It was approved as a provincial-level economic development zone (EDZ) in 1991 and as a national-level EDZ in August 1992. Covering an area of 115 sq km, KETD is home to a population of 635,000. Since its birth, KETD has been liberalizing its ways and deepening reforms, taking the lead among its peers in economic diversification, functional innovation and EDZ urbanization.

China introduced special economic zones in the 1970s as part of its policy to open up to international trade. Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms became the turning point towards a market-oriented economy. A series of experiments, including the establishment of special economic zones, became the driving force for growth.

This inspired African countries and became the rationale to establish Chinese led-SEZs (special economic zones) in Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia in the mid-2000s. More African countries are planning to establish special economic zones. In South Africa, the Special Economic Zones Act has been passed and ten selected.

About the author

Fredrick P. W. Gaye is IN PROFILE DAILY’s Editor for News & Editorial Services. Gaye is also a fellow of the China-Africa Press Center (CAPC) Annual Media and Cultural Exchange Fellowship 2016. He can be reached at: fgaye.inprofile@gmail.com

 

Ellen Casts Vote In Hometown

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in fulfilment of her constitutional rights cast her vote in Fefeh
Bomi County. Fefeh is a heartbeat from the Liberian leader’s hometown of Julijuah.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, early on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 joined the queue at precisely 8:20a.m. in Fefeh Town,  Bomi  County to cast her vote.

After performing her constitutional duty, President Sirleaf briefly addressed journalists who had gone to cover the polls. She called on all Liberians to put country first as they vote across the country. She denounced violence and challenged Liberians to embrace peace.

Responding to question from a journalist about how she felt after voting, she said: “I feel good and encourage all Liberians to vote right to move the country forward

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Dual Citizenship: Factor In 2017 Elections?

NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoyah

“Dual citizenship, is it a factor in 2017 elections?  The settlers who came centuries ago and settled here came from Americas and today Liberia’s national leadership is primarily decided in the United States. When people want power they run to the United States to seek favor. People have Green Cards and are living in the States and here…. What negative impact the so-called dual citizenship has had on previous elections Chairman Korkoya conducted since his appointment at NEC? Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen, be of age not less than 35, and shall be of good moral character.”  

Liberians have turned their screen board on the doors of the National Elections Commission Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, following what appears to be a leaked document about him, alleging that he has a dual citizenship, but there are  divided opinions on the issue in different quarters.

Allegedly, Chairman Korkoyah  has both ECOWAS and American passports and his accusers said  he voted as an American citizen during the 2008 American elections, but he has sharply refuted the claims and challenged anyone to carry him to court and prove the allegations.

The crux of the accusers’ concern is that Chairman Korkoya should resign as head of the NEC because, in their minds, he is not a Liberian citizen to lead the electoral process that will determine the next national leadership of Liberia, but he has resisted the call as well.

One of the main stakeholders pushing the resignation campaign against Chairman Korkoya is Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, who has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to terminate  Korkoya’s service at NEC, claiming that there are several proofs to that effect that he has a dual citizenship status.

For  Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, he is quoted in Daily Observer  as saying that Chairman Korkoya  may have committed perjury if  it is true that he bears an American passport.

Cllr. Gongloe was quick to quote Section 2.3 of the Election Laws of Liberia, which speaks of qualifications of appointees to the NEC, stating, “Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen, be of age not less than 35, and shall be of  good moral character.”

However, there are political parties , including the Coalition for Democratic Change of Senator George Weah, the Movement for Progressive Change of Simeon Freeman, likewise ordinary Liberians who are opposed to the call for Korkoya’s resignation based on accusations that he holds ECOWAS and American passports, and that he reportedly voted in American elections in 2008.

For those defending Chairman Korkoya to stay on and conduct the pending presidential and legislative elections, they argue that he had held successful elections since his appointment by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of the such elections being the 20 14 Special Senatorial election.

Others have also argued that when Cllr. Korkoya was nominated for the position which he had to go for confirmation hearing at the National Legislature, the Senate, or citizens who knew about his alleged dual citizenship, would have flagged the issue to deny him being confirmed and later commissioned by President Sirleaf.

Over the past almost twelve years, many appointees of the Unity Party-led government have kept their families abroad, particularly in the United States why they are working in Liberia. There are some who are accused of buying houses in the States.

It can be recalled that during the first term of the regime, former Public Works Minister Losene Donzo appeared for confirmation hearing at the Capitol Building and admitted being a citizen of America but was still confirmed.

“Dual citizenship, is it a factor in 2017 elections?  The settlers who came centuries ago and settled here came from Americas and today Liberia’s national leadership is primarily decided in the United States. When people want power they run to the United States to seek favor. People have Green Cards and are living in the States and here,” a former employee of the UP-led government commented on the issue Tuesday in Monrovia.

The former employee argued that what Liberians need to contemplate on presently is how to develop the country and that it is only sincere Liberians who can do that.

According to him, calling for Korkoya’s resignation based on his alleged dual citizenship status is an attempt to distract the attention of the citizens from the processes leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections, wondering, “ What negative impact the so-called dual citizenship has had on previous elections Chairman Korkoya conducted since his appointment at NEC?”

 

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Police Raid “Zogos” In Ganta, Nimba County

By Gborontaye Gboron in Nimba County

 

Police in Ganta City, Nimba County have arrested several persons said to be drugs (narcotics) users. Some of the drugs users carry out criminal activities, thus giving them the name “zogos” in a Liberian parlance.

Police told this paper that the alleged drugs smokers were arrested in an area called “Congo” believed to be highly populated with criminals.

“We arrested some car loaders in the streets and in the  Congo community; but the LNP is questioning them to know among them who are the real zogos that people of Ganta City are talking about,” Ganta Police detail commander Adolphus Zuah said.

Zuah said Congo Community is considered a criminal hideout, pointed out that some residents in the community conceal information from security.

He said the LNP continues to call on the citizens to report any criminal activities in any part of Ganta if the city must be crime-free.

“We have in custody about eight men who were arrested by the Police; but we are investigating whether they are the notorious criminal that people are talking about before they can be charged,” Zuah maintained.

It can be recalled that citizens of the city appealed to Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman  to intervene in the alarming crime rate in Ganta, blaming it on the alleged drugs smokers and car loaders.

The citizens told the Police IG to ensure people referred to as car loaders are removed from the streets as they were posing threats to movement.

They also mentioned of possible violence during the pending national elections if the alleged criminals are not removed from the the streets because they could take advantage of any situation to cause havoc in the city.

“Please try to take the zogo boys from the streets of Ganta because crime rate in this city has creased since you took them from the streets in Monrovia,” said Old Man Freeman Goannue, during a town hall meeting between IG Coleman and citizens in Ganta.

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NATMOTE To Train 100 Women Aspirants

By: Mafanta Kromah

 

The National youth Movement for Transparent Election (NAYMOTE) will on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 host a weeklong training for 100 women aspirants and women campaign managers from across the 73 electoral districts in Liberia.

The women’s leadership and political participation training is meant to prepare female aspirants for the 2017 legislative election. The training will be held at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound, based in Gbarnga, Bong County. The overall goal of the training is to increase women’s representation in the legislature and empower them to participate in competitive politics and governance in Liberia.

According to the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, participants were selected through competitive vetting process and they will be trained and equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge and skills to participate in grassroots campaigning and campaign events, and learn about campaign communications, public speaking, message development, press relations, voter contact and requirements of becoming a candidate and among other key areas.

He said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for Peace Consolidation, Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, will delivery the keynote address on the topic, ‘The Role of Women in National Building and Accountable Governence’.

Other speakers at the opening session will include, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America, Mr. Samuel Watson, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and the Co-Chair of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Sarah Toe.

NAYMOTE’s Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo further noted that after the weeklong training his institution will partner with Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) to host 10 citizens engagement events across 10 electoral districts in Montserrado and Margibi to find out what issues are most important to voters as well as host mock campaign events for graduates in the 10 electoral districts to improve their public speaking skills before the actual campaign period.

Mr. Jarwolo said his institution look forward working with COPPWIL to setup a ‘National Women Campaign Coordinating Team’ which will be responsible for fundraising, directing and supporting all women candidates across parties lines during the elections period.

Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is a good governance and research institution working to promote democracy and participatory governance in Liberia. Established in 2001, the institution has been one of the leading grassroots organizations promoting democracy, peace building, human rights and civic engagement in Liberia. It’s the organizer of the Young Political Leadership School based in Liberia

The United Nations Mission in Liberia Quick Impact Project support is the supporter of this program.

(Edited by Fredrick P. W. Gaye)