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Labour Issues

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CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA


MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

Liberty Party Prequels Sirleafs State of the Nation Address

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MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014

Former Concessionaire Risk Lawsuit Over Human Rights Issues In Bassa

BUYING THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 , 2014 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2014 THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 , 2014 L$85.00/US$1 L$85.00/US$1 L$80.00/US$1

SELLING L$86.00/US$1 L$86.00 /US$1 L$81.00/US$1

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.

VOL 8 NO.521

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A STAR ON
MY ONLY REGRET IS NOT SCORING IN THE FINALS

County Meet Sensation Sam Jackson Looking Forward to Life with BYC II, National Team Call

THE RISE

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SYMBOL OF DARK DAYS


Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant Rehab Finally Underway

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H
ege Hertzberg, Norwegian Ambassador in Liberia whose country has pumped the highest amount needed to fund the rehabilitation works, reminded Liberians Saturday of the dark days that left the country crumbling to its knees.

She said the reconstruction of the hydro means a turning point for Liberias energy sector and its development drive. The sight that we saw from that helicopter is a terrible example of what civil war can do to a country. Liberias GDP per capita declined by 90% in 25 years from 1980 to 2005 and they have also estimated that it will take 19 years just to recover back to the original level, she said. She said the long years that the country waited to realise its dream of fixing the hydro shows how difficult and cumbersome, the path from war to peace and stability and prosperity is for any country that has suffered like Liberia. The Norwegian Ambassador said that Liberia is on an irreversible path to progress and the launch of the Mt. Coffee rehabilitation works speaks volume to what the country would benefit when it is completed in 2015. Our common goal is that through this project, in not too long future, the children of Liberia will do their home work at home, she said.

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Monday, January 27 , 2014


admiration heaped on him. Finleys eight years at the Capitol drags on painfully for many; it has become clear that citizens of Grand Bassa County who supported and voted for him had seemingly invested their hope in a phantom. It has now turned out that electing one based on little other than the sentimental rhetoric of a deprived childhood may not have been such a good idea after all. While things seem not be going too well for Findley in the county, his rant with Liberty Party Political leader, Cllr. Charles Brumskine is obviously his Achilles heels, while his further porous relationship with some of his fellow caucus members might prove dismal to his quest of winning additional support amongst the caucus. With all the odds, this 2014, Finleys campaign will not have the historical significance it did in 2005 and again the demographics that saw him elected senator are likely to work against him in October. Indications from Grand Bassa speak volumes that Finley has alienated just too many of his strong supporters, including large numbers from his native district # 3. In October, many could vote against him or simply just stay home thats for want of a credible and well-accepted candidate from the opposition as many citizens from the county believe he is now a self-created myth. In 2005, Finleys campaign avoided specifics; his speeches contained no substance. His greatest asset was his unknowingness. As a blank slate, Bassoains imagined whatever they wanted in the next senator. They were aided by a campaign which played up the sentiments of his deprived childhood. CHALLENGES: The Liberian Senate Pro-temp is powerful in the race, considering his financial capabilities to splash money on campaign projects. Senator Findley operates a budget of over US$2 million as pro-temp which gives him the advantage of targeting projects that can quickly impact to-be voters. Last year, his office increased funds for marketers in the county, paid the WAEC examination fees for students in the county and provided scholarships as well. His oppositions say, his big budget is even under serving the purpose. Senator Findleys supporters over past months have propagated the idea of retaining the Senator because it will preserve the Senate Pro-temps seat for the county. This political sentiment is being bought by ethnocentric individuals who agreed that the ProTemp position is a pride the county must preserve. He is the incumbent and is already campaigning. Even the National Elections Commission warning to aspirants to deists from early campaign activities will not deter Finley as he is a lawmaker and can rely on that fact that he has to visit his people and identify with them. He ran a huge campaign in 2005 and now has the financial capability thanks to his huge legislative budget and firm support from the Executive Mansion but it seems impossible for him to match those levels of excitement come October 2014. He has already started a big campaign by visiting towns and villages in the county and making huge donations. A dispatch from Finleys office recently stated that the Pro-Tempt on Saturday November 23, 2013 visited several towns and villages in the county and encountered the situation of bad roads at first hand when he traveled with his entourage to Geegbarn Administrative District. Pro-Temp Findley and delegates accordingly walked for two hours to Gardour Town in Geegbarn, a district which comprises five clans and around seventeen thousand inhabitants. The dispatch noted that the Findley made donation towards the ongoing self-help road construction and other initiatives in Geegbarn Administration District. Senator Findley accordingly presented 50 gallons of gas, 25 bags of rice and 100 thousand Liberian dollars. Also toward a bridge project in the district, ProTemp Findley donated 10 pieces of steel rod and 20 bags of cement. In addition, the Pro-Temp donated 30 bags of cement toward the Jumoue Town School project initiated by the community. Usually, in an election, the possibility of getting re-elected have always favored the incumbent, but in a county like Grand Bassa where the Liberty Party sentiment is entrenched, many believe this conventional wisdom will not matter in favor of Findley this time around but the electorates will finally decide he and others fate come election day. JAMES DEBBAH Challenges: Debbah is popularly known as the most celebrated Liberian soccer star as he won many fans during his playing days and even up to retirement from the beautiful game he is still a fan favorite in Liberia. His political ambition will be welcome by many youth who follow the game of soccer but for a county

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s a striker with a sudden knack for scoring goals, the man dubbed Liberias most celebrated player during his prime football days, could make or break a game with one touch of the football. Years after his glory days with AS Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais and a host of other European football clubs, James Salinsa Debbah is once again drawing headlines, this time on the turf of politics, following the footsteps of his strike partner George Manneh Weah with expressed interest in the upcoming Senatorial Race for his hometown, Grand Bassa County. Until Debbahs pronouncement on the Costa Morning show last week, expressing interest in the race, the opposition Liberty Party was still toying with a number of options: Convince Daniel Chea, who finished second to Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, in last years By Elections to run on the party ticket, or gauge the interest of party faithful, Byron Brown, Gabriel Smith and former Chair Israel Akinsanya. In Debbah, some political observers say, the party has a legitimate shot at challenging the incumbent Gbezohnga Findley, who many say is a ruling-party leaning lawmaker, standing in the way of a lot of progress in the upper house. But county political experts say, whoever emerges as a serious contender to Findley will have to get the endorsement of Hans Barchue, the Deputy Speaker, said to have a lot of interests and influence in the countys key voting districts. The county is one of 15 counties that comprise the first-level of administrative division in the nation and it has eight districts. Buchanan serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 7,936 square kilometres (3,064 sq mi). As of the 2008 Census, the county had a population of 224,839, making it the fifth most populous county in Liberia. The county is bordered by Margibi to the northwest, Bong to the north, Nimba to the east, and Rivercess to the south and east. The western part of Grand Bassa borders the Atlantic Ocean. The county produced three presidents in the 19th century in Stephen Allen Benson, Joseph James Cheeseman and Anthony W. Gardiner. The County is realistically considered by many as an economic power house of Liberia. The county hosts several multinational concessions; prominent amongst them is global steel giant Arcelol-Mittal, the countrys second largest rubber producer, Liberian Agricultural Company and Equatorial Palm Oils Palm Bay plantation. Additionally, the county is lucky to have a sea port which creates vast economic potentials and prospects for its people. The completion of the Dianhbleah Gberhzonh highway (Monrovia- Buchanan highway) last year has even boosted local trade and opened corridors for more business interactions with investors. Ahead of this years special senatorial elections the stakes will be high, while many are suggesting that the race will set the platform for Grand Bassa to once again introduce a formidable candidate to replace President Sirleaf in 2017. Many Liberty Party stalwarts have recently reiterated the significance of their party claiming the hot seat. In Grand Bassa County, the Liberty Party sentiment remains momentous and vibrant notwithstanding, it remains a massive challenge to unseat an incumbent who has grounded

and branded himself as sole provider amongst an appreciable amount of rural Bassonians. However, Senator Findleys critics are disappointed over his leadership approach and the way he vaunts about achieving gains that are most likely the results of the County Legislative caucus. Ahead of October this year, the political heat is expected to intensify especially with Liberty Party (LP) opting to take ownership of the to-be-vacant seat. But ahead of the LPs primary, which is crucial to putting up a good race against Senator Findley, couple of recognize individuals in the party are now voicing their intent and some new names are also emerging. GBEZOHNGA FINDLEY CHANCES: Findleys supporters say the incumbent factor could work well in his favor. As President Pro Temp of the Senate,

Findley oversees US$4 2 million. His critics say, such an amount in an impoverished Liberia will by a body still yearning for more benefits for themselves, may not work in Findleys favor, as he fights to hold on to his lucrative and prestigious job. He ran as an independent candidate in 2005 but has been a darling of the Executive Branch of Government for the past eight years and is considered a Unity Party lawmaker by many based on his stance on issues which are normally in favor of the Executive Mansion. In 2005, Finley contested as a senatorial candidate, winning 25,036 out of total valid votes of 120,687 representing 21.2% making him the senior senator to constitutionally serve for nine years. Finley was one of the strange names that surfaced in Grand Bassa County, with no known accomplishment in public service, as he sailed to the Capitol Building in 2005 on a wave of undefined hope with the assistance of an unsuspecting media, and gullible electorates. One veteran in Grand Bassa politics had said that Findley was elected based merely on his name Gbehzongar which in the Bassa vernacular means Bassa Man, with some electorates who knew nothing about him voting him because his name represents the county. CHANCES: Findleys supporters saw him as a bolt of lightning that would unite the people of Grand Bassa, restore prosperity, and bring a breath of fresh air to the polluted politics of the county as his name portrays. His detractors, on the other hand, saw a recluse with a murky past and little evidence to warrant the

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like Grand Bassa, Debbah could face a huge challenge of getting elected as he has never participated in elected politics prior to the current senatorial ambition. Grand Bassa is amongst the top counties in Liberia and electorates might be matching their senatorial representation with experience and other variables which perhaps might not count in Debbahs favor. Debbahs could face similar challenge as Weah in 2005, the education factor which his opponents might use against him during campaign. Like his strike partner Weah, the numbers could be there for him but how politics and maturity work against him will not be a doubt. On a radio talk show recently Debbah said he is ready to provide the people of Grand Bassa County a people oriented leadership with callers supporting his senatorial ambition. Some callers promised to voluntarily campaign for Debbah describing politicians as those who have failed the Liberian people. Debbah will unarguably be a crowd puller in urban areas in the county but his relationship with the elderly in towns and villages will be another factor as he has not been domicile in the county to enable him interact with the people. Chances: Debbah should not really be overlooked as he is a popular figure not only in Grand Bassa but Liberia as whole based on the love for the game of soccer. Like Weah, Debbah will definitely be a crowd puller in the senatorial race of Grand Bassa. Citizens of Grand Bassa who are still celebrating their 2-1 triumph over Nimba County in the 2013-2014 edition of the National County Sports Meet where Debbah played a big role as a member of the technical team of the Grand Bassa County soccer team will reference that in their quest to vote Debbah. His politicials options in terms of political party affiliation will help him greatly. Should Debbah lobby to be a candidate for the popular Liberty party, even with its perceived declining popularity in Grand Bassa has shown not to easily loose an election in the county. The Nyoblee Lawrence victory over a confident Daniel Chea proves a point for Debbah to make his way into the Liberty Party to help his election bid. ISRAEL AKINSANYA

THE DEBBAH FACTOR


Akinsanya faces a daunting challenge as many believe he could be candidate difficult for the Liberty party to market in Grand Bassa, his name is not common in Grand Bassa. Although he has been involved in Liberty Party and Grand Bassa politics for a long period, but his opponents will use his name which is more alien to Grand Bassa to campaign against him. He will face a tough challenge been selected at the Liberty party candidate for the senatorial election. I prefer to go through the primary. I do not want to be handpicked as the chosen one because we built an institution called Liberty Party. We advocated for the primary for other people and as a norm, we institutionalized our candidacy selection process, the former LP chairman said recently but observers believe at primary Akinsanya will be a difficult ride. Akinsanyas will face contest from other strong Liberty party members including Gabriel Smith and Senator Byron Brown who are also said to be contemplating throwing their individual hats in the race, paving the way for a rugged fight for the partys nomination but Akinsanya believes the two individual are already at the Capitol and should not contest the pending election. CHANCES: Akinsanya is a diehard Liberty Party man as he has been in the vanguard for the party for years which might help to ensure he wins the partys primary paving the way for his senatorial ambition. If endorsed or selected the lone Liberty party candidate, it will help his quest for election as the Liberty party is still popular in Grand Bassa County. With Liberty partys support directed towards him, he could win the support of partisans and oppositions of the incumbent but winning could be difficult, according to a poll conducted by a local radio station. GABRIEL SMITH: THE BUCHANAN CITY STRONG MAN

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When a government fails to provide the basic needs of the people that it is charged with the responsibility under the social contract of providing for the people, and on the basis of government's neglect or failure, the people begin to die from preventable and curable diseases, most of which are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, the opposition lawmaker stated. Smith fell out with Community radio journalists in 2013 as the group accused him of flogging one of their members. The Association of Liberia Community Radio (ALICOR) at the time condemned the flogging of its former President, Hector Mulbah by security men on the alleged orders of Grand Bassa District #4 Representative Gabriel Buchanan Smith. According to a statement released here, ALICOR said the use of such excessive force on a harmless journalist constitutes an abuse of power and the violation of journalist Hector Mulbahs rights. ALICOR stated that its member (Hector Mulbah) of Radio Gbehzohn was ordered flogged by Grand Bassa District #4 Representative Gabriel Smith, when the station refused to offer him Free Airtime to announce his candidacy for the vacant seat created as the result of the death of Senator John Whitfield of Grand Bassa County. In a solidarity mood, ALICOR has called on member stations in Grand Bassa to issue a news block-out on all activities emanating from the office of Representative Gabriel Smith, until he apologizes to victim Hector Mulbah and the Management of Radio Gbehzohn for his uncivilized and brutal approach to community radios in Liberia as a deterrent to other would-be Lawmakers in Liberia, the group noted. It is not clear whether Smith has trash out his differences with the association as this could hurt him during the senatorial election. Smith is currently the Capitol and his quest to contest as a senatorial candidate might likely not be supported by his Liberty party. The party could opt for other members of the institution to have a taste of power. Smiths senatorial quest will limit the chances of other Liberty party partisans although he has to make sure of his ticket on the party during a primary. CHANCES: Smith is already a lawmaker who has won two successive elections in Grand Bassa County. His performance in 2005 and 2011 is a little similar to that of Zoe Pennue from Grand Gedeh as just few incumbents can perform in such manner during elections but for Smith, thanks to his Liberty Party connection unlike his fellow lawmaker who is an independent candidate. His popularity in his district goes with his middle name, Buchanan mostly amongst the young voters. Hes known as a down to earth person who sits and talks with people regardless of their status. Once he deservingly win the primary, to promote his image in the rest of the districts will be left with the party to worry about. Gabriels vocal approach about administrative blunders in the county has earned him a political reputation. His performance in the two elections will give him high confidence that he can oust Finley but he first needs the blessing of the Liberty party. A feeling that he can do it all alone without the Liberty Party will be big mistake on the part of the lawmaker, even though if not successful, Smith could return to his position at the House of Representatives. TOM WOEWIYOU- Old Dog Have New Tricks? CHALLENGES: It is unclear which party Woewiyou could run on but the former President Pro Temp of the Senate was recently appointed to head a committee to organize the biennial convention of the former ruling National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Woewiyou

CHALLENGES: Gabriel, as he is referred to by his fans and supporters will need to establish his popularity outside of Buchanan district. Like Hon. Brown, Smith must strategize how to win the partys primary. Akinsanya in an interview with FPA late last year, acknowledge that he, Smith and Brown are pretty good friends and it could be easy to sort out their differences and endorse one person. But going beyond that, some LP partisan say

CHALLENGES: Akinsanyas new political venture appears rare to many new voters in the county. Mentioning of his name is often accompanied with the phrase, the Brumskine look alike. His desire is ultimately to unseat the incumbent, but he wants only his party to achieve that goal. The former Liberty party Chairman needs to first establish more political bases across the county. He speaks often about electoral district five, and hes heavily reliant on the reputation of the party to establish his individual political fame county wide. His Ghanaian paternal lineage which is reflected in his last name might casts doubts in the minds of electorates about his nationality. His first challenge will be to win the primary, which will be challenging for him with the likes of Representatives Gabriel Smith and Byron Brown eyeing the party slot. He might be favor at the primary since he has served as an executive, but any party like Liberty Party looking beyond the upcoming elections will consider picking its best or popular candidate to go against a very powerful incumbent. He recently publicly declared his intention to run in the 2014 Mid Term Senatorial elections, slamming the incumbent, Gbehzongar Findley for what he describes as Me, Myself and I style of leadership the Grand Bassa Senator has adopted. The Liberty party strongman said he was visiting his Liberty Party partisans in Grand Bassa to let them know his intention. Im consolidating within my party to ensure Im one of those allowed on the partys ticket to contest the election in 2014, Mr. Akinsanya said. Akinsanya at the time told the citizens of Grand Bassa that he has held consultations in three of the five electoral districts in the county, and pledged to engage the remaining districts to ascertain the approval of his fellow partisans.

Gabriel ignored the partys decision in 2011 and ran and won as independent after losing the primary. He has however said hes still a Liberty Party partisan even though he has not declared to NEC that his seat at the lower house represents the Liberty Party. To heal the old wounds amongst the party supporters and sympathizers remains another task. In 2005 Smith contested on the ticket of the Liberty party in District #4 where he won 8,099 votes out of total valid votes of 18,056 votes representing 47.8% outclassing his nearest rival Etta S.K. Naseer of the Unity Party who only managed 2,746 votes representing 16.2%. In 2011, Smith again won with good margin this time on District #3 after electoral demarcation move him from district 4 to 3. Smith obtained 6,818 votes out of 17,820 valid votes representing 38.3% of the total votes cast, coming first out winning the competition amongst eight other candidates. Smith has been a strong critic of the Liberian Government as an opposition politician blaming the government failure to provide basic social services, including safe water and sanitation to the Liberian people. In April 2013, the lawmaker said Since 2006 our government came to power, I must admit that we have failed to deliver on the social contract we signed with the people as a government.

was one of the major players in the 14-year bloodletting civil war in Liberia where he collaborated with Charles G. Taylor from the birth of the National patriotic Front of Liberia rebellion where he served as Defense Minister before serving as Senator under Mr.

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Taylor. He was recently appointed as member of the Board of Directors at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). Woewiyou has in the past been involved in conflict with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as following the election of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as President, accused the Liberian leader of been the major player in the Liberia civil war, claiming that he and Taylor were foot soldiers.

THE DEBBAH FACTOR


Brown is currently a lawmaker from District #3. He made his way to the Capitol during a by-election in 2007 where Brown contested on the ticket of the Liberty party where he second to Abel B. Nyounbol of the Unity Party. Brown managed 1,033 votes representing 22.9% of the votes while his top opponent Nyounbol managed 1,189 votes representing 26.4%. A run off was to decide who takes the seat and during the runoff, Brown overtook his opponent winning 3,042 votes out of total valid votes of 5,575 representing 56.7%, beating Nyounbol who won 2,325 votes representing 43.3%. In 2011, Brown won re-election obtaining 5,155 votes out of total valid votes of 15,226 representing 33.9%. Brown has been making major contributions at the Legislature including a March 2013 petition to the Supreme Court of Liberia for a writ of Mandamus, seeking renegotiation of 70 years concession agreement reached with the Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) in 1959. Fifty four years after the agreement was signed between both parties on March 3, 1959, Representative Brown contends that LAC is still operating under the 1959 agreement, failing to take into consideration the prevailing economic situation in the country and the world.

Monday, January 27 , 2014

In a letter, Woewiyu wrote I write this letter to first compliment you for finally mustering the courage to apologize to the Liberian People for the callous and deadly statement you made on the BBC in 1990 while prosecuting the second and Taylor led version of NPFL wars. You said level Monrovia, we will rebuild it, and not level the Executive Mansion as contained in your statement of apology. As you said, you regret making what you now term as a stupid comment. If you truly regret making a statement that resulted in the death of thousands of your fellow countrymen/ women, why replace it now with a false one. I am also writing this letter to refresh your memory about other reckless and deadly statements you made in the past that must be included in your apology if you are honest and seek forgiveness from the Liberian People that you are seeking to rule. First, let us clarify the matter of what level of involvement and part you played in the founding of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and the prosecution of its wars, the Quinwonkpa failed coupe in 1985 and the version led by Charles Taylor which started in December of 1989. As you know, the NPFL organization was the same but operated with different foot soldiers in each version under your stewardship as we will see later on in this letter. Your position in that organization, especially the Taylor version was not as petit and limited as you continue to describe it to have been. Level Monrovia we will rebuild it could have only come from the real Head of State and Commander in Chief whose Army was the NPFL as you saw yourself. You issued the order, and it was executed including the notorious OCTOPUS, which finally wrecked Monrovia. [Fifteen] years have gone by and Monrovia is still without water and light. During the course of this period, you were the second most powerful person in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); zero came to Liberia by way of your influence. You even undermined the promotion and employment of qualified Liberians in that UN organization during your tenure. For now, I will leave your UN record to speak for itself. Woewiyous letter angered the Liberian leader resulting to sour difference between but that seems to be resolved now as he was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forestry development Authority. Woewiyou was a household name in Grand Bassa County during the war years but since, he has been out of touch with his people and this is a major challenge that will play against him during election. CHANCES: Woewiyu fellow contenders have huge edge over him in terms of money and recent popularity. His detractors say, matching the money campaign of Finley, who has been a senator for over eight years, could hurt Woewiyous chances. Others contend also that Woewiyus popularity during the war years might have diminished greatly in recent times and although he could still have a little support base, that will really prove difficult for election in present day Grand Bassa but the electorates will best decides his fate on polling day. BYRON BROWN: THE TRY AND SEE RUNNER CHALLENGES: Honestly ask Hon. Brown why he wants the senate, his reply will be, Gbehzohngar has failed the Bassa people. That respond is exactly why the tension persists between he and the Senator. But he has his own cross to carry. His constituents are voicing their frustration over his role as representative. Many constituents, especially those of the LAC plantation claimed he has reneged on his duties by not pressuring the company to carry on expedient developments. Folks at several intellectual centers in Buchanan rate him as a lesser threat to the incumbent. Chief Zanzan Karwor on many occasion have lashed at he and Hon. Gabriel Smith for showing interest for what the elder calls in another persons job.

where he again lost to Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence. Chea obtained 9,102 votes out of total valid votes of 26,802 representing 34.0%. The eventual Winner Nyonblee Lawrence of the Liberty Party won 11,000 votes representing 41.0%. Cheas defeat at the hands of Nyonblee Lawrence was largely due to the Liberty party factor which favored Madam Lawrence. CHANCES: Chea two performances in Grand Bassa point to the fact that he enjoys some level of support in the county. He is a formidable candidate should he contest the pending senatorial election. The major odd is that Chea might not have the money to run a lavish campaign like his fellow contenders, Finley, Smith, Brown, Akinsanya. Provided Chea has the money, he could cause an upset at the polls. JONATHAN KAIPAY, A QUIET BUT STRONG FORCE CHALLENGES: Mr. Jonathan Kaipay lost in 2011 and finished third last year in the Senatorial by-election after campaigning heavily in the rural areas as a Unity Party candidate. His recent resignation from the party speaks volume, but he has only repeatedly told the press his decision was personal. Speculation

In the petition filed before the Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court of Liberia Martha Bryant Henries on 27 March, Representative Byron argued that Article two of the agreement is ambiguous in that Co-respondent Government of Liberia granted 300,000 acres of land to co-respondent LAC which he said covered Nimba, River Cess, Sinoe, River Gee, Maryland and Grand Bassa counties, respectively. He insists that concession agreements of other rubber companies in the country, including Firestone, Goodridge and Sim Darbey are renegotiated to benefit the Liberian people, saying but Corespondent (LAC) is still operating under the 1959. Brown at the time prayed the high court to order the respondent Government and co-respondent LAC to begin renegotiation of the concession agreement in order to curtail the unlawful dislocation and to bring about sanity in the Bassa land. He also wrote a communication to Plenary of the House, Representative calling for the establishment of a War crimes court. Brown said, "It is with honor that I submit to this Honorable body, a bill for the establishment of a war crimes court in the Republic of Liberia, know that, for the ultimate purpose of sustaining the peace, achieving genuine national reconciliation and moving ahead with our national development agenda unhindered, this should becomes the most prudent thing for us to do. "The Grand Bassa County Lawmaker said the Liberian civil conflict produced many aggressors within and out of Liberia's frontier, who committed some of the worst crimes against humanity. He indicated that some of the aggressors planned, financed, supervised and executed the wanton destruction of the country and its human resources, an action he said that the aggressors considered justified and did not take to be a mistake against the nation and its people. On May 30th 2012, former Liberian President, Charles Taylor was sentenced to eighty years in prison; a verdict that was later reduced to fifty years by the United Nations backed Court sitting in The Hague, for aiding and abetting war in neighboring Sierra Leone. CHANCES: Brown contributions at the Legislature including his petition to the Supreme Court calling for renegotiation of the LAC agreement and a call for the establishment of a war crimes court will help him during the senatorial elections. He, like Smith will also need to first be selected as the Liberty party candidate for the election if he is to make any headway. His chances of been selected as the LP candidate will be difficult since the party could opt to give other members a chance to contest on the party ticket. The party has supported Brown on two occasions, and giving him another chance looks unlikely even though a primary will decide. DANIEL CHEA CHALLENGES: After coming second in 2011 behind the late John Whitfield, Chea was confident of winning the 2013 by-election following the death of Whitfield but his row with Brumskine proved costly in the by-election as he woefully lost to debutant Nyoblee Karnga-Lawrence. Cheas campaign at the time was going on smoothly but the moment Brumskine paraded with Karnga-Lawrence endorsing the Liberty Party candidate, the writings on the walls were clear as Karnga surprisingly dealt Chea a blow. Chea served as defense Minister during the regime of Former President Charles Taylor. Like Woewiyu, his popularity grew from the war years but he did not take part in politics during Liberias first post war election in 2005. Chea in 2011 contested as an independent candidate obtaining 23,072 votes out of total valid votes of 74,867 representing 30.8%. He narrowly lost to John F. Whitfield of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) who won 23,490 votes representing 31.4%. Following the death of Whitfield, Chea contested the by-election

has it that he broke out with UP because hes eyeing the Liberty Part Candidacy. In fact, he recently told few inside sources that elders of the party are seeking his attestation to push him through for the primary. If he opts for the LP ticket, his biggest challenge will be to muscle and tussle his way through to the partys seat before engaging the big challenge. Political pundits in the county are surmising that Liberty Party gurus who also want the chance will prove difficult to convince but one person who calls the shots at LP is Cllr. Brumskine and he clearly knows the merits of hand picking a man like Kaipay. But party politics can be inconsistent at times. LP is expected by next month to make a pronouncement about how its candidate selection will go, sources revealed. Kaipays potential marriage to Liberty Party will intensify the feud between Liberty Party and the incumbent, who is not from of the party. Whether Kaipay goes with a party or as an independent, he will have to fine tune some of his campaign strategies if he must win the urban areas since his bases in the rural areas have significantly rewarded him in the past. CHANCES: Anybody knowledgeable of Bassa Politics will not be surprise of some of the chances kaipay has ahead of this run for the senate. There are three factors associated with these possibilities. Firstly, Kaipay serves as Director for the United Methodist Churchs (UMC) department of Community Services that has directly impacted the lives of many in rural Grand Bassa County. Since he has been serving as the director of the department, the church has solicited funds from donors and sponsored projects worth more than US$5 million dollars over the years. Most of the projects are schools and hand pumps built in Grand Bassa, Rivercess and Margibi Counties. As a Methodists and the supervisor of the churchs projects, winning votes out of religious sentiments is a possibility. His critics have slammed him for using the Methodists projects to self- acclaim political popularity, while others are lashing at the church for endorsing his political maneuvering. Mr. Kaipays donation to affected families after the storm last year is often mention by some of his sympathizers when asked about some of his personal achievements Additionally, Kaipay will definitely become a force to reckon with when against all odds, he surfaces as a Liberty Party candidate. Sweeping away the giant size of the LP votes will be imminent. Kaipays non-political record is another advantage, and could impressed electorates who are looking for a rookie politician, much to the argument that the current legislature is corrupt and insensitive to the peoples plight.

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view that they are the most knowledgeable and experienced among millions of their fellow citizens. That mindset can only lead one to resort to all sorts of totalitarian and fascist shenanigans in order to continually use and abuse public resources. The maintenance of undeserved perks, rather than the odd notion that heavenly hand has bestowed upon them the best talents to lead their nations, is the motivation for one mans rule disorder in MAMA AFRICA. But, it is for this rationale that these leaders too often make themselves irrelevant in the end; leaving their citizens with no option but to kick them out through rebellion with destructive small and large scale wars.Second, producing an excellent leadership does not have to be a license for President Sall and his peers to have a monopoly over whats right for their countries. Instead, the success of public office could be tested and replicated in other sectors as they gracefully exit government. The private sector can quickly be augmented and strengthened by the use of the dearth of knowledge of these individuals to assist the millions that were not impacted by their brilliance while they occupied elected and appointed offices. In the west, most former Heads of State and other senior government functionaries operate the largest NGOs in their countries and internationally. And third, voters dont have to endure seven long years to vote the President out of office if his leadership is ineffective, shady, and nepotistic or outright failure. Any public service term of office above four or five years, must be term limited to a single term to avoid enormous harm to the peoples interests. Democracy is strengthened when elected representatives are held answerable through elections conducted within reasonable time periods so that it is clear with whom the buck stops, which is THE PEOPLE. That is the essence of good governance. Moreover, the argument that elections are costly to conduct and drain the limited financial resources of poor nations is self-serving. If we calculate the projected and actual costs associated with fraudulent, insensitive and uncivilized governments, we might find frequent elections to be a good cost in advancing growth, development, peace and security. The unique stance President Sall has taken, showcase a leader moving away from what is common practice on the continent by putting his interests in jeopardy to do what is right. The celebration of his political bravery and integrity demonstrate that heroism among todays elected officials is possible and inspiring. This also is about people you can look up to whether you hear from them or not.

FIRST GAC, NOW PPCC, IS THE LACC NEXT?

SIRLEAF MUST AVOID THE YES MAAM SYNDROME OR RUIN HER LEGACY!!!

It speaks volume when the reigning head of state publicly chastises the agency responsible for oversight responsibility to regulate and monitor all forms of public procurement and concessions practices in Liberia to the detriment of her own fight against the cancer she vowed to make public enemy No. 1 when she came into office.

DURING A RECENT visit to the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf made a rather startling declaration which could eventually come back to haunt her presidency and looming political legacy. AT THE END OF THE PRESIDENTS visit which was aimed at discussing difficulties faced by public entities in implementing projects in this critical Dry Season period, the president, according to the Executive Mansion, declared to PPCC commissioners, that if anyone duly obstructs the implementation of the administration's development projects during this critical period, they will be removed from their position. THE PRESIDENTS visit was prompted by a number of complaints against the procurement agency by some government ministries and agencies frustrated over the scrutiny enforced by the PPCC. WHERE IT BECOMES CONFUSING is when the President takes it upon herself to request the Commissioners to be more mindful of their duties by working more frequently with staff rather than only on a quarterly basis, calling on the PPCC to be mindful that project implementation is highest in the Dry Season, and to cooperate with all public entities rather than be an obstacle. IT SPEAKS VOLUME when the reigning head of state publicly chastises the agency responsible for oversight responsibility to regulate and monitor all forms of public procurement and concessions practices in Liberia to the detriment of her own fight against the cancer she vowed to make publicly No. 1 when she came into office. AT THE END of the civil war, the international community concluded that the Need Assessment conducted by the Government of Liberia in conjunction with the United Nations and World Bank determined that the policy, procedures and practices for awarding contracts under public procurement and concessions were not done with economy, efficiency and transparency. Hence, it did not give Government the value for money used from public funds. It was then decided that public procurement and concessions be reformed in two phases: 1) to prepare interim public procurement policy & procedures and interim guidelines for awarding concessions by the NTGL, and 2) to prepare a comprehensive public procurement and concessions law. IT IS ON THIS BASIS that the PPCC was established, giving the body oversight responsibility to regulate and monitor all forms of public procurement and concessions practices in Liberia. The PPCC replaced the Concessions and Monopoly Committee (CMC) with elaborate mandates of monitoring procuring entities to comply with the Act of 2005 for all public procurement and awarding concessions, in order to ensure economy, efficiency, transparency and to promote competition so that Government gets value for money in using public funds. IN THE PAST YEAR alone, the underfunded and ill-equipped PPCC has made more contributions to the fight against corruption in Liberia than the now-watered down, General Auditing Commission and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission combined. LAST JULY, it was through the instrumentality and due diligence of the PPCC that the disgraced former Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA) Pearine Davis Parkinson and Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) Mr. Robert Kilby were booked for what members of the Houses Committee on Ways, Means and Finance And the President termed as conflict of interest." DURING HER appearance before lawmakers, it was gathered that Parkinson gave out US$375,000 contract to a company owned by Mr. Kilby. Parkinson justified that that former Auditor General Kilby had worked for a long time with her in different capacities when she served as Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs and his close ties influenced her decision to award his company the contract. THE CONTRACT was awarded to Mr. Kilbys Company named and styled: Independent Software Certification (ISCI) on December 3, 2012, three months after he took office at the GAC. Appearing Tuesday July 2, 2013, before the Houses Committee, the GSA boss further said Mr. Kilby won the bid before becoming auditor general of the country; adding that her action did not in any way speak of conflict of interest. PRIOR TO THE KILBY-DAVISION saga, it was the PPCC again which exposed a massive corruption unraveling at the Roberts International Airport detailing illegal companies, transfer of funds and serious breach of PPCC regulations that led to the resignation and flight of the disgraced head of the Liberia Airport Authority Ellen Corkrum and her fianc Melvin Johnson. THIS IS WHY we are baffled that the President will ridicule what many believe is the last remaining agency holding government officials and institutions in check and the first line of defense in the fight against

A CELEBRATION OF CONTEMPORARY AND ETHICAL AFRICAN LEADERSHIP!


Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh, tibelrosa@gmail.com, Contributing Writer

Commentary

acky Sall is a metaphoric kid on the block and one of fifty-four African leaders. He defeated his longtime mentor Abdoulaye Wade in an electoral landslide in March of 2012 to become the fourth president of Senegal. He made news in recent times, upstaging all events, including the election of a first female African Union Chairperson in the halls of 19th summit of the gathering of Heads of state in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 15 16 July 2012. It was an outstanding performance at a high priced annual ritual famous for long speeches, classy suits and alligator shoes- than a genuine focus on the miserable everyday struggles of constituents of the continent. As one of three elected leaders who were welcomed at the summit, Mr. Sall confidently informed his colleagues that he was elected to a seven year term by the people of Senegal, but would bend the rules as President. Just a talk about bending rules as if many of his present and former colleagues were not before now violating the public trust on a grandiose scale by bending rules for personal purposes, invoked unpleasant memories and left many to speculate about his comments. At 52 years old, Sall is comparatively a young man and could look forward to a prolonged tenure of office, including the prospects of re-election. It seems like any politicians dream, right? Well, the president of Senegal surprised his listeners when he announced that he would bend the rules in the interest of his people by reducing his mandate from seven to five years, and to be eligible for re-election only once effective immediately; and pledge to make it the law of the land. Yes, he did say it alright, but there was an obvious there we go again moment, since similar statements have been heard from the lips of former freedom fighters, revolutionaries and progressives/reformers, only to renege when the goals of power are attained , then proceed to upholding inexcusable public policies they disparage prior to their rise to dominance? Whether the location and timing of Salls proclamation pose challenges for a subsequent change of mind and heart, is an interesting scenario to watch. I called it Profile in selfless African leadership! And there are important implications to the brothers message: First, even if Mr. Sall were a praiseworthy president, a seven year single term of office is unnecessarily long and counterproductive to the democratic tenets of accountability. It is somewhat troubling if not offensive that a select few supposedly named public servants would opt to hang on to public positions indefinitely, with the arrogant
corruption because some officials do not want to follow the ruIes when it comes to procurement and concessions. IN THE BACKDROP of this, it is important for the Sirleaf administration to do all within its power to ensure that the commission is armed with all the necessary tools to do its work without intimidation and obstacles, especially from government ministries and agencies looking for an easy way out. WHILE WE welcome, Sirleafs declaration that she expects the PPCC to provide full assistance to entities that do not fully understand the laws or have limited capacity, perhaps the President should take the initiative to push for more funding for the PPCC to enable the agency to improve its work. Equally baffling that nearly 10 years since the PPCC came into existence, there are still employees and officials who still don't understand the PPCC rules. PRESIDENT SIRLEAF and the Unity Party government cannot and must not be comfortable in feeling that they can have their cake and eat it by trumpeting to the international community that it has institutions in place dealing with corruption, but silently stabbing these institutions in the back by underfunding and allowing corrupt officials to backstab them for their own interest and to the nations detriment. AS THE PRESIDENT prepares to deliver her 9th State of the Nation Address on Monday, it is important to put a number of things in perspective. Sirleaf ran on a very aggressive first-election campaign pledging to rid Liberia of corruption and go after all those who steal Liberias resources. THE PRESIDENT made this emphatically clear on January 6, 2006 during her inaugural address when she said: Corruption erodes faith in government because of the mismanagement and misapplication of public resources. It weakens accountability, transparency and justice. Corruption short changes and undermines key decision and policy making processes. It stifles private investments which create jobs and assures support from our partners. Corruption is a national cancer that creates hostility, distrust, and anger. Throughout the campaign, I assured our people that, if elected, we would wage war against corruption regardless of where it exists, or by whom it is practiced. Today, I renew this pledge. Corruption, under my Administration, will be the major public enemy. We will confront it. We will fight it. Any member of my Administration who sees this affirmation as mere posturing, or yet another attempt by yet another Liberian leader to play to the gallery on this grave issue should think twice. Anyone who desires to challenge

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us in this regard will do so at his or her personal disadvantage." SIRLEAF DID pledge to lead by example when she said: I will expect and demand that everyone serving in my Administration leads by example. THE PRESIDENT must not allow sycophants within her ranks to deny her from fulfilling these lofty promises she made in 2006 and continues to profess whenever she gets a chance to tete-a-tete with the international community. IT IS BECOMING increasingly clear to all that the Sirleaf administration is only comfortable with keeping friendly interests in positions of authority. Key positions like the GAC, LACC, PPCC and others are not and should not be held by political appointees, much less people who are only interested in being part of the system and maintaining a corrupt system. IN THE PAST few months alone, the President appointed to the GAC and now the National Oil Company of Liberia, key aides in Yusador Gaye, a former Inspector General in the Executive Mansion and Cllr. Seward Cooper, her current legal advisor, as Chair of the board of the National Oil Company of Liberia. IT IS NO SURPRISE that Cllr. James Verdier, the nominee tipped to head the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, during his appearance before his confirmation hearing last week, declared that if President Sirleaf or any senior officials of government interferes with the functions of the Commission as a way of impeding the execution his responsibilities, he would resign. MADAM PRESIDENT, these agencies should be funded properly and given the room to exercise their work without threats of dismissals or intimidations, because some member of the kitchen Cabinet decides they are stepping in their way. LIBERIA HAS come a long way, scores of our citizens have died and many including this President fought other leaders because of the very vices eating Liberia today. If we as a people have not learned anything from the thirteen officials who were killed on April 12, 1980 and the many imprisonments that followed on November 12, 1985 during a foiled Thomas Quiwonkpa-led invasion, then we are afraid, that the Sirleaf-led government is flirting with disaster and toying with what is already brewing disenchantment and resentment from an unsatisfied faction of the Liberian population to the detriment of the Presidents own good.

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Monday, January 27 , 2014

COMMENTS FROM FPA ONLINE


LIBERIA BUDGET PERSPECTIVE: FROM SAYEH TO NGAFUAN TO KONNEH

THE CRISES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LIBERIA: SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR FINDING A LASTING SOLUTION
The Editor, I have followed keenly the chaotic trend of events over the past few years at my alma mater, University of Liberia (UL) the countrys largest institution of higher education. UL has gone through several serious crises, including the disgraceful 100% failure rate of nearly 25,000 high school graduates that sat the universitys entrance exams in 2013, with fewer than a hundred candidates that managed to pass either the English or Math sections required to qualify for admission on probation. As if this is not a serious crises in higher education management, the university has again thrown itself into yet another crisis with the recent problem between the Vice President for Academic Affairs (Dr. Wade Brownell), the Faculty Association and Students that has resulted in its closure for over two months now. If these teething problems at UL are not brought under control promptly they could lead to irreparable consequences, including the complete lack of confidence in the graduates of UL within the community of universities in Africa and the world at large. Lets be clear on this point, the university cannot afford to operate on the basis of management-by-crisis. I decided to write this article because we(graduates of UL) have an obligation to express our views and challenge the status quo in a sober and polite manner if things are getting out control and propose suggestions to bring about the desired change(s). The problems confronting UL deserve urgent attention. I do not need to point out that UL is already under par in comparison to other African universities. This is common knowledge both in Liberia and abroad. According to a recent report by Ranking Web of Universities which is the largest academic ranking of higher education institutions in the world, UL is ranked 348 out of 974 African universities assessed. Cuttington University is ranked 298 while Tubman University is ranked 815. This low ranking of UL is unacceptable for an institution that traces its origin to Liberia College that was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature of Liberia in 1851. The University of Liberia, therefore, is the second oldest institution of higher education in West Africa; second to Farah Bay College, now the University of Sierra Leone. The current top ranked universities in Africa are located in South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkina Faso and other countries. These are countries that are investing in their institutions of higher education and have institutionalized efficient performance-based governing systems. Instead of bickering, the major stakeholders of UL (Board of Trustees, administration, faculty association, National Commission on Higher Education, government, alumni association, students as well employers of graduates) should be focused on doing everything possible to swiftly find common grounds to restore the past good image of UL in order to live up to its motto: Lux In Tenebris Light in the darkness. What is the way forward in finding lasting solutions to the systemic problems that UL is confronted with today? UL and its stakeholders should develop innovative strategies that drive and coordinate the essential components of responsive higher education institutions. These include, but not limited to the following: i) re-focusing on the mandate of service to its customers, ii) governance structure, iii) learners/students, iv) lecturers/professors, v) curricular reform, vi) learning environment and vii) sustainable funding. Issues surrounding each of these critical components have to be properly assessed and appropriately addressed to ensure smooth running of UL. This will position the university become a major center of human resource development in Liberia. Let me comment on each of these components briefly. UL needs to re-focus and become more responsive to its main mandate of service to its customers that include students, parents and employers (from both public and private sectors) and the nation at large. UL should develop closer relationships and partnerships with each of these diverse customers to develop quality programs that are relevant to their respective rapidly changing needs. Liberia currently has a youth unemployment crises, and what has been the university response in recent times None! There is a need to develop short courses in competency based training, collaborating with many of the ad hoc youth training initiatives such as the Youth Employment Schemes (YES) to provide certification, assured quality, etc. through various short term modular courses in an array of disciplines including agriculture, logistic planning and management, supply chain, program monitoring and evaluation and many others. Basic courses and writing workshops aided by trained and experienced university lecturers will help employers who are challenged by the quality of graduates who cannot write clear reports and summarize critical business and policy documents. The literature on revitalization of higher education institutions clearly indicates that the prerequisite for responding effectively to the multifaceted problems associated with higher education institutions is a redesigned governance structure. This is a critical issue that UL has to address quickly. The governance structure at UL is too hierarchical, complex and top-down. There are too many layers of Vice Presidents in ULs governance structure. In military terms there are too many generals and few soldiers. The governance structure should be reviewed based on our context and actions taken to strengthen the Faculties/Colleges; more power and authority should be shifted to the levels of the Deans of Colleges and Chairs of Departments. There are lessons to be learnt on how highly ranked universities in our sub-region are being governed that could provide guidance to UL in redesigning its governance structure to ensure efficiency and quality education. Students/learners constitute the nerve center of any higher education institution. My experiences as a lecturer and an administrator in the transformation process of several highly ranked universities across Africa have led me to believe that most of the best performing and highly ranked universities are those that are learner/student centered. UL needs to devise ways and means of putting students at the center of its mandate. This includes making university education more affordable and accessible to qualified bright students to motivate them to pursue university education as well making their learning environment more conducive. Lecturers/professors also constitute a critical component of the higher education enterprise. They are supposed to serve as role models, mentors and coaches in order to stimulate students to learn. Therefore, going forward, UL should invest in the training and retention of a new generation of bright young lecturers/professors to facilitate and nurture the teaching-learning process at UL. Efforts should be made to institute and maintain high level of performancebased reward systems for the teaching staff. One of the means of accomplishing this is to ensure that academic titles are earned based on publications in peer-reviewed professional journals and books, supervision of students academic work (theses/dissertations), level of service on various academic committees, as well as community outreach activities. About the Author: Dr. Zinnah is an alumnus of UL. He is the Director of the Program Management Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture. He has extensive professional experience in working with teams and individuals in diverse institutional settings including ministries of agriculture, research institutes and universities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and USA. He spent nearly 15 years in reforming higher agriculture education systems at several universities across Africa.

Floyd Arlington Morgan Stella Maris Polytechnic The National Legislature as mentioned relating to the budget is what I want to look at. Who are those in the Legislature that are on this committee? From what I am reading that the National Legislature always increase the revenue portion of the budget from time to time. Most of those in the Legislature start school when they win elections and have no knowledge on budget. Instead of seeking for trained Liberians in the are, the Legislature only look at what they will get, therefore increase the revenue portion which lead them to increasing their benefits and allowances. Thats the only job the National Legislature can do best. Bravo National Legislature for making your people to live in abject poverty while enjoying the wealth of our Nation that should have been for all. James Neepaye AME Zion University Look my people. Let Minister Amara Konneh find place to sit down and leave our economy alone. Under Minister Augustine Ngafuan, you had the GAC that was strong enough to dig out any wrong(s) and Minister Ngafuan heavily succeeded. Under Minister Konneh, the GAC has HIV/AIDS and that, the size of Minister Konneh's survival is slimmer than a sewing thread. Why all of the negatives that Minister Konneh gave for publishing here did not come out at the time? Moreover, under Minister Ngafuan, I remember that the Central Bank of Liberia credited from GoL (Ministry of Finance). Under Minister Konneh, it is the reversed. Minister Konneh confessed yesterday before the Lawmakers that GoL (Ministry of Finance) owes the Central Bank of Liberia US$30M. What a shame. Minister Konneh is a disgrace to Liberia and Liberians. patienceneepaye Amara Konneh took all of his time fighting Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan and that's how and why he continues to loose track and continue to fail at the Ministry of Finance. Look at the dull thing that is being published here. During Minister Ngafuan's administration at the Finance Ministry, the country use to boast of Surpluses and Supplemental Budgets. But during Amara Konneh's administration, it's all about shortfall every now and then. Wasn't Minister Ngafuan's administration good for the whole country? I think Amara Mohammed Konneh should now change to Amara Shortfall Konneh. jamesneepaye (signed in using yahoo) Minister Amara Konneh, you need to stop chasing Minister Ngafuan now with your crook games and media tricks. All of these lies were crafted by you and the journalist's name was only painted on it. Everyone knows how the economy is now and that, no amount of lies, media tricks, or crook games from you can tell the Liberian people you are better than Minister Ngafuan. In fact, Minister Ngafuan is now playing in an advanced league and not your underdog position in a subordinated league. So, stop the tricks and artifice- come straight. Jesse Fahngon Top Commenter Metropolitan State University What about spending only 15% of our National Budget for the text ten years on "salaries n benefits, instead of the current structure; where the budget is always dominated by salaries n socalled allowances. The results would be speedly vibrant economic development. But where the Budget is all about salaries, we have years if not countless years to bounce back. Patience Neepaye University of Liberia If I were Hon. Amara M. Konneh, I would have done the most honorable thing to myself by just packing off and leave the Ministry of Finance because I cannot make it. I hope Madam President is aware that Minister Konneh cannot make it. JERRY WION This Konneh guy is simply making noise. He does not understand economics to suggest that the Liberian economy is "stable and strong. " The headline in the story suggests he is trying disprove a negative or reality. Based on his pseudo or voodoo economic rambling, he thinks he is making sense as he contradicted himself as he warns of a bleak and "vulnerable outlook."

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Monday, January 27, 2014

W
Monrovia -

hile Liberia is craving for infrastructural development with the blame on the slow pace of ongoing road rehabilitation and other work placed on lack of funding, communications in the possession of FPA indicate that the Ministry of Public Works which is spearheading the infrastructural development drive of the country has unspent money in the sum of over US$ 1 million in the midterm of the current 2013/2014 fiscal budget. The Ministry has been one of the highest recipients of budgetary allocation along with the ministries of health and education since the country emerged from years of civil war leaving development as the paramount objective after long period of devastation. Throughout the length and breadth of the country, feeder roads are impassable same as urban roads, making development a must but FrontageAfrica has gathered that budgetary allotment to the ministry of Public Works is not being spent in line with the budgetary period leaving to unspent revenue. In a January 8, 2014 communicated addressed to Hon. Zack G.W. Sharpe, II, Acting Minister of Public Works, the Comptroller of the Ministry, Abraham B. Samukai indicated that the ministry was unable to spend the budgetary allocation for the midterm budgetary period with close to 50% remaining unspent. The communications read: With compliments, I am pleased to furnish you the midterm budget performance for fiscal year 2013/2014 for the Ministry of Public Works. The fiscal year 2013/2014 approved budget is US$5,392,850.00 (Five Million Three Hundred Ninety Two Thousand Eight Hundred United States Dollars) of this amount, a total of US$3,209,918.00 (Three Million Two Hundred Nine Thousand Eighteen United States Dollars) has been allotted but only US$1,624,629.94 spent, or 50.61%, US$83,394.05 with LPO in process or 2.60% an unspent balance of US$1,499,560.01 or 46.72% as balance in allotment, the Comptroller stated in the midterm budget performance report. Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance notified the Ministry that the timing for the US$1,499,560.01 had expired and therefore such funding can no longer be provided to the Ministry. The comptrollers communication indicates that the Public Works Ministry has not been able to plan for the expenditure of funding allotted the Ministry by National Government amidst the plethora of development needs across the country. There are several abandoned projects around the country especially Government of Liberia projects as funding has

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GOV'T NEWS

IN THE DARK
PUBLIC WORKS
Big Blow to Infrastructural Development- Over US$1 million Unspent by ministry
November 2013 about 3 months in-between. Senior staffers have accused Weeks of running an oppressive regiment and being intolerant to others and does not allow for competing views and opinions. The minister has also been accused of focusing on nonessential issues rather than prioritizing the implementation of infrastructure projects the mandate of MPW. During the meeting, FPA has learned the president reportedly raised concerns with the minister over reports of poor working relationships with her peers who have accused the minister of using callous language; profusely abusive, insulting and accusative toward employees. The employees say weeks is at sometimes physical in her interaction with some personnel and condescending to and disdainful of the senior staff, going as far as to accuse some senior staff and employees of leaking information to the press and lately to Clemenceau Urey about his relative Henri Ureys contract not being renewed. The minister is said to have refused to use her official office since September 2013 5 months since her incumbency in cramped conditions and shares office with Deputy for Technical Services since September 2013. One senior official pointed to multiple discussions which are held simultaneously in chaos and confusions with no privacy or room for focused discussion. The minister is very forgetful; repeatedly requests for information already available to her and also available in the Ministers official office archive and makes baseless claims of a conspiracy to conceal information from her. Continued the source: The minister hardly reads documents sent to her and reneges on giving critical feedback, the minister relies on emails and other electronic means of running MPW and expects all senior staff to have the relevant equipment but fails to provide the equipment and means. Sources have also pointed to a number of procurement lapses including total disregard for PPCC law, requirements and regulations on the Ganta Yekepa road procurement, the Sayon Town/Toyota Garage road rehabilitation and the renovation of the Ministers office. Weeks reportedly demands to sign all contracts, checks, and other documents but delays or refuses to sign them putting much of the ministrys project on hold. As a result, sources say, the ministry is in dire straits with no fuel supplies, stationery, lubricants, toiletries, spare-parts, and building materials for 5 months now. About a planned meeting between DRDCS and USAID regarding coordination of feeder road activities by writing a letter directly to USAID director; No subsequent meeting has been scheduled on the issue since then Weeks actions has lowered morale at the ministry with many pointing to consequences of ministers behavior and always be cited as a problem but the Ministry of Public Works inability to request funding raises more questions than answers on the planning ability of authorities at the Ministry. An insider at the Ministry confided in FrontPageAfrica that things are so bad that the Ministry is operating in the dark and has run out of fuel to run its generator because of unspent money returned to the governments coffers. The Ministry is currently headed by Antoinette Weeks who took over from Attorney Samuel K. Woods. The Ministry is believed to be experiencing major changes in recent time since the appointment of Weeks with differences existing between the Minister and other officials at the Ministry. In a bid to address to lingering tension at the ministry, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to have held two separate meetings, one with Deputy Minister Victor Smith and Christian Herbert and another with both deputies and Minister Weeks. The president reportedly appealed to the deputies to work along with Weeks to end the impasse at the ministry while raising questions over the state of affairs of the ministry and ongoing projects around the country. The president was reportedly notified among other things of a number of lapses at the ministry, notably the lack of coordination at all levels. One source told FPA there has not been any meetings held since actions as a reason for frustration and disenchantment amongst senior staff and employees. As a results the atmosphere at the ministry is said to be one of pervasive fear and apprehension amongst senior staff and employees about possible arbitrary dismissal from their jobs and the future. The atmosphere, sources say threatens to alienate the international development partners (WB, AfDB, EU, SIDA, etc) on her opposition to the increasingly effective practice of operating Road Authorities and Funds around the world which is paralyzing operations at the ministry in the absence of fuel, toiletries, spare parts, lubricants, stationery, etc., Last week, employees were caught by surprise when the ministry made a number of changes. The Director of Human Resources and Training at the Ministry has been reassigned as Director for Warehouse. Deputy Minister for Administration Zack Sharpe in a January 24, 2014 letter to Mr. Vincent B. Smith informed Mr. Smith that his position has been changed from Director of Human Resources and Training to Director for Warehouse. This letter serves to inform you that the Ministry of Public Works (Ministry) is undergoing reorganization. As such, the Administration has identified several personnel/positions, including yours, which has been affected by this change, the letter stated. Deputy Minister Sharpe further said in the letter: Based on the above, you are officially notified that effective Friday, January 24, 2014, you will be transferred from your current position as Director for Human Resources and Training to a new position of Director of Warehouse for MPW. Please turnover all outstanding personnel matters and details of your new position. Besides issuing transfer letters to the Financial Comptroller (Abraham Samukai), transfers were also issued to Deputy Comptroller, Joseph Y. Forkpa, Procurement Director, B. Wion Kanteah, Assistant Director for Logistics, Joe V. Dixon and the Director of Human Resources & Training Vincent B. Smith. Like the Financial Comptroller and his deputy, the Procurement Director and his Assistant have been transferred to the Division of Human Resources for re-assignment. The Director of HRT, Vincent Smith has been transferred to the Ministrys Warehouse as Manager. No valid reason given for these changes except for the frivolous excuse that it is part of internal reforms. Letters were issued after official working hours with immediate action taken in changing the locks to various offices concerned. The source told FPA that the decision was unilaterally taken by Dr. Weeks. Observers believe the infrastructural need of Liberia is huge and require individuals with the willingness and ability to head the Ministry of Public works in order to drive the agenda for development.

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Monday, January 27 , 2014

Buchanan, County -

Grand

Bassa

concessionaire which recently left Liberia after poor performance, dismally failing to live up to the investment it promised in the post war country risk lawsuit over human rights violations and labour abuses. Buchanan Renewable Energy (BRE) signed a multi million agreement with the Government of Liberia promising to use decay trees to produce energy in Liberia and also replant trees. The companys operations was greeted with high hopes amongst Liberians many of whom wanted jobs and electricity but a while later the company failed to live up to expectation as it changed nomenclature from Buchanan Renewable Energy (BRE) to Buchanan Renewable (BR) before later departing Liberia without realizing the investment it promised. BR is still been haunted by ghost of its operations as affected communities of its operations have complained BR and its Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to the Green Advocate, a team of Environmental Advocates in Liberia for possible legal action because of what the complainants termed as OPIC negligence to redress the issue of neglect, Human Rights and labor malpractices carried out by the company during its operations in Liberia. Between 2008 and 2011, the U.S. (OPIC) approved three loans to biomass company Buchanan Renewable (BR) totaling US$216.7million. The project ultimately failed, and BR abruptly withdrew from the project area in early 2013, devastating local communities including charcoal producers. BR employees were accused of abusing subsistence charcoal producers by demanding bribes or sex from women to access wood the company had promised to give them for free. As a result, OPICs allegedly climate-friendly investment drove charcoal producers to degrade nearby natural forests, causing negative climate impacts. When he came across me and said he wanted me, I did not want to do it because I was under age, but He told me if I refused, I wont burn coal on the field again and he wont give me any stick and he will not allow anybody to give me stick again, so I was afraid and forced to do it because it was my first time and I did not know anybody, Says a female resident and a victim of sexual exploitation from one of BRs employees. I did not want him at first but when he decided to take my stick from me, I was jammed, and was forced to agree because he said he was going to help me and I wanted money and needed to go to school, so that made me have sex with

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LABOR ISSUES

BRE came into our community and marginalized our women that many of them are now carrying baby without fathers because BRE workers had sex with our sisters and impregnated them, and leaving us with burden.
Mae Azango /maeazango@frontpageafricaonline.com
represented nearly 70% of total project costs. Most of our bosses were having sex with women in our department, they said if you did not agree to have sex with them, you would be the first person to get on the list to be sacked, Says a female worker of BR. Many workers suffered debilitating and permanent injuries from workplace accidents including being trapped under fallen trees and having limbs broken and did not receive adequate medical care or compensation. They cut the tree and it fell on me and one of my leg and arms got broken. The man who did it said he did not see me when he cut down the tree, and now I cannot work physically, Says Aderlyn D. Barnard, a handicap victim. Cllr. Alfred Brownell of Green Advocate believes the company did not act alone in abusing the rights of the locals. The Government of Liberia conspired with BR to cut and run, without leaving anything behind and it is sad that the government even allowed that to happen, because when a Company comes and settle and has liabilities, the only way is to go after the companys access. The assets of such company should be seized but the government assigned police to safe guard the assets until BR pulled out of here and sell. Right now BRE is a complete shell. , Says Brownell, of Green Advocate. Therefore OPIC shares a substantial responsibility for the desperate situation in which farmers, charcoal producers and workers now find themselves. We are going after United States Investor OPIC, with a lawsuit because of their failure to conduct appropriate due diligence regarding these issues. Moses Flomo another victim says BR had created untold burden for people living in the communities in which it operated leaving them to bear such burden. BRE came into our community and marginalized our women that many of them are now carrying baby without fathers because BRE workers had sex with our sisters and impregnated them, and leaving us with burden, Says Flomo, member of the Charcoal Union. We at the char coal Union are suffering now because the price of coal is gone up because BRE violated the char coal Union agreement and did their own thing.

HAUNTED BY GHOSTS
FORMER CONCESSIONAIRE RISK LAWSUIT OVER HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN BASSA

him. The aggrieved inhabitants further explained that BRs harvesting of old rubber trees at the Firestone plantation ran into direct conflict with charcoal producers, who used the same trees to produce charcoal, Liberias most important fuel source. That within a few years of BRs arrival in Liberia, the cost of charcoal production had nearly tripled, and those living on burning char coal have struggled to make a living. BRE came and fooled us, they said they wanted to cut down the old rubber trees and replant new trees but all of the rubber they planted died. And since BRE damaged the farm, we are catching hard time and for our children to go to school, because it is not easy, no

money, Says Gabriel Brown, a farmer. These Liberian are now saying, they are living worse life than they were when BR arrived in 2007.Indigenous, smallholder farmers who had subsisted on income from their mature but still producing rubber trees prior to BRs interventions, have been left without critical income and struggling to maintain their farms and satisfy basic needs. BRE spoil our property and cut down all of my rubber trees, most especially my life time tree, and our life time tree, our children and grand children can eat from it. I had 25 acres of land that had 2500 trees planted on it and was given US$ 965.00, Says James Glay, an affected farmer.

Additionally, many adults and children have suffered as a result of contaminated water linked to BRs activities on the farms. BRE wood chip has made our drinking water to spoil because when it rain, the water from the chip can mix with our drinking water and it can make our children sick. So we have no safe drinking water Says Old man James Glay. Some fulltime workers on jobs for BR were unpaid and called volunteers for up to two years. Several female agriculture workers reported that their male supervisors sexually abused them and retaliated if they refused their supervisors sexual advances. The US$216.7 in loans OPIC approved for BRs projects

Monday, January 27, 2014

A
Monrovia -

head of Liberian President Ellen JohnsonSirleafs 7th State of the Nation address Monday, the opposition Liberty Party has taken the lead in reminding the president of what most Liberians are hoping to hear from her when she address the country when she takes to the podium to address the joint session of the national legislature. Delivering what the party is describing as a prequel to the presidents 2014 annual message, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence(Grand Bassa County, Liberty Party) said economic empowerment and reconciliation are among the key concerns Liberians are still yearning for. Liberians would want to hear President Sirleaf say something about the poor job growth and what the government did over the last twelve months to expand livelihood opportunities for all Liberians. Average Liberians would want to hear how and when the benefits derived from the new investments will reach down to them. The President is required by law to address the nation on the 4th working Monday of January each year, in a joint session of the Legislature. Senator Karnga Lawrence explained that there were only 144,645 jobs available in 2010 for a workforce estimated at 816,997. However she added that Liberians have been told that they are not qualified for the few new jobs that have been created since 2010. Less than 2 out of every 10 Liberians in the labor force are said to have a job. But we are now told that the remaining 8 are not really unemployed but are in vulnerable employment. Added Senator KarngaLawrence: There is a new energy pulsing through our region of the world. A growing middle class is changing the way business is done in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Benin,

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POLITICS

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Page 9

WHAT WILL ELLEN SAY?


Liberty Party Prequels Sirleafs State of the Nation Address
struggling to make ends meet. Each day is a desperate struggle for survival: sixty-four percent of Liberians (about 2 out of every 3) still cannot afford to feed themselves and their families adequately; and 43% of Liberians (almost half) still live in extreme poverty. Senator Karnga-Lawrence also lamented to rising exchange rate crisis which was L$36 to US$1 in 2006 and is now L$86 to US$1 today. But we continue to invest and expand trading activities that add very little economic value. Our imports continue to be well above our exports. Every Liberian knows that if you continue to buy more and more while selling less and less, you will soon be in economic trouble. Continued Senator KarngaLawrence: Only 4.3 percent of total bank credit went to agriculture in 2012; whereas agriculture accounted for 41.3 percent of our GDP. Our GDP grew by 8.7% in 2012 from US$768 to US$835.1 millionout of which the share contributed by agriculture and fisheries declined from 30% in 2010 to 26% (projected) in 2013. Commercial agriculture remains poorly financed. The lawmaker also reminded the President that Liberians are eager to hear about the governments social policy education, health, social protection, affordable housing, among others. We have spent the past 10 years repairing the same schools that Tubman, Tolbert, Doe built. But our problems and social indicators remain largely unchanged. Our school going population has changed for the worse90% are overage for their classes, 70% of public schools have no toilets, and 100% of University applicants fail the entrance exam. Ten years ago, half of the deaths (mortality rate)
was optimistic of being the candidate to represent CDC in Gbarpolu in the pending electoral process. She also refused to comment on other options of going independent or the route of another party if she is not elected. Zinnah told FrontPageAfrica that her interest in wanting to represent the people of Gbarpolu is because there has not been a change in the form of representation for people of that county since her childhood days.The potential candidate claimed that officials of government representing the county have not brought development to the people they represent, suggesting that sons and daughters of the county who have been entrusted with leadership at the level of national government do not live and interact with the people but only go there to visit. Said Zinnah said: There is no different from what I saw when

Guinea, among other African nations. Unfortunately, it would seem Liberia could well be left out. The lawmaker threw jab at the governments current economic policy which she says scrambling for remnants of previous governments. The current is to dig for the old iron ore that President Tubman left; to cut down the trees that have grown since President Tolbert and President Does time, and to look for the diamonds and gold that President Taylor missed. While we are doing that, we are praying that somebody finds oil. But we know that if oil is found and not managed properly, we will never derive the full benefits just like we experienced with the other resources. The lawmaker lamented that despite the Sirleaf administrations glowing picture of developments in Liberia, Liberians are still

were from malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Today, half of the deaths are still from malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Nothing has changed. This information is from the statistics published by the government. Regrettably, Senator KarngaLawrence said the Liberian government has more resources at its disposal now than any previous government in the past 15 years. In 2005 the government had revenue of only US$80 million for the national budget. Today, we receive more than half a billion United States dollars in revenue every year. Government revenue has grown by more than 361%. Regarding national reconciliation, Senator Karnga-Lawrence suggested that the President has been paying lib service. While the country celebrated 10 years of uninterrupted peace in 2013,
I growing up 1988 from what I see in 2014. I see the need for a change in Gbarpolu County. I see the need for a connect between the people and their leaders where they will live and have access with their leaders. I know we have female currently in the Legislature whom I have a great deal of respect for sometime new ideology makes a difference in a society.She said development through government funding is not a Privileged for Citizens of Gbarpolu County but a right and entitlement. However she said, citizens of the County have not benefited from that right because of the lack of lobbyist power by past and current leaders. The CDC Aspirant said, comparing other counties with Gbarpolu, there is a great difference in terms of development. Making specific reference to Grand Bassa County she said, when we

it is an open secret that the wounds of our civil conflict are still festering. National Reconciliation, this national imperative, upon which our long-term peace and prosperity rests, has no doubt been put on the back burner. The promising attempt at reviving the reconciliation effort in 2012, with the appointment of Ms. Leymah Gbowee as Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission, collapsed later in the same year when she resigned. Ms. Gbowee cited President Sirleafs practice of nepotism and failure to deal with corruption as reasons for her decision. The year 2013, was just another year that the locusts have eaten; nothing meaningful was done to move the reconciliation process forward. The lawmaker said Liberians will be listening for a bold vision to resuscitate this important effort upon which so much rests. They will be listening to hear what practical actions the President will propose to bring the nation together and heal the wounds of war. Government must therefore create the environment and stimulate the growth and diversification of the economy, but at the same time empathize with its citizens and ensure a more equitable distribution of whatever little resources God has blessed us with at this time. Liberia seems to be struggling from the lack of new locally-driven development thinking; while the policymaking institutional setting is hindering our growth potential. We continue to blame a war that ended 10 years ago for the slow rate of progress today. But have we taken stock of how we have performed over the past 8 years? Today, we must resolve to take a new direction--a direction that offers the greatest hope of empowering the Liberian people for prosperity and that can establish justice, ensure domestic peace, and promote the general welfare of all. Madam President, the Liberian people will be listening.
drive to Grand Bassa, we see good roads, that did not happen overnight; it was a result of strong lobbying by lawmakers of that County. So we need people at the legislature who can lobby for things to happen.She also stressed the need for accountability of public funds by public officials, because according to her accountability is one of the key issues in every nation and if not handled properly could delay development.Ms. Zinnah also told FrontPageAfrica that she has made numerous contributions, some of which she said include scholarship to deserving students. She said she currently has a scholarship of over 32 students from the county who are currently enrolling at various high schools and universities in Monrovia and Gbarpolu County.

CDC Gets Another Interest in in Gbarpolu Race


United States of America with an annual income of over sixty thousand United States dollars ($USD 60,000.00).Zinnahs latest disclosure of interest could mean that the CDC has two of its party members wanting to contest as candidates in Gbapolu County in the pending special senatorial election scheduled for October 14 of 2014.Last month the secretary general of the CDC Mr. Nathaniel McGill at a news conference expressed his interest of contesting in the county as Senatorial candidate on the Ticket of the CDC if elected in the pending party primary. Ms. Zinnah though refused to comment further on her chances of being elected at the party primary but said, she

INTRODUCING A NEW FACE

Monrovia ust days after FrontPageAfrica completed a critical analysis of expected candidates into the Gbarpolu Politics of 2014 Special Senatorial election a new face has surfaced. Ms. Fatuma Zinnah, claiming to be one of the grand children of former Representative of Gbarpolu County Mr. Boima Zinnah, who served for 38 years, has expressed her interest in contesting the county race.Ms. Zinnah, who also says she is a founding member of the Congress for Democratic Change in the United States, is confident that she will be elected at the partys primary to represent the party in the upcoming elections.Zinnah says she currently work as an administrative director of a non-profitable organization in the

Page 10 | Frontpage

Monday, January 27 , 2014

PREQUEL TO THE 2014 ANNUAL MESSAGE OF THEPRESIDENT OF LIBERIA

Hon. Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence Senator, Grand Bassa County (Liberty Party)

Delivered By

My fellow citizens Ladies and gentlemen n a few days the president will deliver her 2014 Annual Message to the nation. By so doing, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be fulfilling a constitutional duty to inform the Liberian People of the state of affairs of our nation under her stewardship during the past twelve months. Every year Liberians look forward with anticipation to this national event, expecting to hear something that will give them hope--a hope that something has been initiated by their government and is being done to reduce their hardships and better their lives. This year Liberians will be listening again. In keeping with our tradition, Liberty Party will provide a response to the Presidents 2014 Annual Message. As a political party we will reflect on the content of the upcoming message; we will examine what will be said in the context of the everyday life of the Liberian people to be able to comment on those areas that are of priority to all of us. But for the first time, this year we thought to let the President know, or at least remind her, prior to giving her Annual Message, of the issues that are foremost on the minds of Liberians and what they will be expecting her 2014 Annual Message to address. We believe their concerns may be summarized in three critical issueseconomic empowerment, social services, and national reconciliation. It is, therefore, my pleasing duty to offer this pre-annual message statement on behalf of Liberty Party and our many supporters and sympathizers across the country and beyond. What is Likely to be said in the Annual Message Judging by the Presidents previous Annual Messages, she will likely inform the nation of a growing economy and a stable macroeconomic environment; we anticipate references to a rising Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and inflows of new foreign investments. We are also likely to hear of new roads, schools, clinics, and other infrastructure being built throughout the country. And we might be told that our current difficulties are due to the world economic recession; that the continuing hardships we suffer are only temporary; and, if we can just be patient, wait, and hope the situation will get better. Furthermore, it is likely we will hear of additional financing secured from donors and from loans that ostensibly will accelerate Liberias return to normal. President Sirleaf will likely inform us of the governments fiscal prudence; inform us that monetary stability is returning, and promise that inflation will be containedif the Liberian people will only be patient. Finally, we expect to hear of the new international recognitions won and visitors receivedin an effort to demonstrate that the world sees Liberia as a success story. On national reconciliation, it is likely that once again not much would be said on this very important national imperative during her impending address. The Presidents 2013 Annual Message devoted only three short paragraphs to reconciliation; and obviously not much progress has been made since then. What Liberians are hoping to hear in the Annual Message Economic Empowerment: Liberians would want to hear President Sirleaf say something about the poor job growth and what the government did over the last twelve months to expand livelihood opportunities for all Liberians. Average Liberians would want to hear how and when the benefits derived from the new investments will reach down to them. There were only 144,645 jobs available in 2010 for a workforce estimated at 816,997. And Liberians have been told that they are not qualified for the few new jobs that have been created since 2010. Less than 2 out of every 10 Liberians in the labor force are said to have a job. But we are now told that the remaining 8 are not really unemployed but are in vulnerable employment. At the same time, the World Bank reports that more wealth has been created in Africa in the past 10 years than at any other time in history. The Bank predicts that the 21st Century could well be Africas time. By 2050, Africas GDP will equal the combined

has grown by more than 361%. GDP of the U.S. and Europe at current prices. There is a new energy pulsing through our region of the world. A growing middle class is changing the way business is done in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Benin, Guinea, among other African nations. Unfortunately, it would seem Liberia could well be left out. National Reconciliation: While the country celebrated 10 years of uninterrupted peace in 2013, it is an open secret that the wounds of our civil conflict are still festering. National Reconciliation, this national imperative, upon which our long-term peace and prosperity rests, has no doubt been put on the back burner. The

Our current economic policy is to dig for the old iron ore that President Tubman left; to cut down the trees that have grown since President Tolbert and President Does time, and tolook for the diamonds and gold that President Taylor missed. While we are doing that, we are praying that somebody finds oil. But we know that if oil is found and not managed properly, we will never derive the full benefits just like we experienced with the other resources. At the same time Poverty is spreading and there are more Liberians who are poor now than at the time President Sirleaf was first inaugurated; according to the government published statistics. Each day is a desperate struggle for survival: sixty-four percent of Liberians (about 2 out of every 3) still cannot afford to feed themselves and their families adequately; and 43% of Liberians (almost half) still live in extreme poverty. The exchange rate was L$36 to US$1 in 2006. It is L$86 to US$1 today. But we continue to invest and expand trading activities that add very little economic value. Our imports continue to be well above our exports. Every Liberian knows that if you continue to buy more and more while selling less and less, you will soon be in economic trouble. Only 4.3 percent of total bank credit went to agriculture in 2012; whereas agriculture accounted for 41.3 percent of our GDP. Our GDP grew by 8.7% in 2012 from US$768 to US$835.1 millionout of which the share contributed by agriculture and fisheries declined from 30% in 2010 to 26% (projected) in 2013. Commercial agriculture remains poorly financed. Social Services: Liberians also want to hear about the governments social policyeducation, health, social protection, affordable housing, among others. We have spent the past 10 years repairing the same schools that Tubman, Tolbert, Doe built. But our problems and social indicators remain largely unchanged. Our school going population has changed for the worse90% are overage for their classes, 70% of public schools have no toilets, and 100% of University applicants fail the entrance exam. Ten years ago, half of the deaths (mortality rate) were from malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Today, half of the deaths are still from malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Nothing has changed. This information is from the statistics published by the government. But the Liberian government has more resources at its disposal now than any previous government in the past 15 years. In 2005 the government had revenue of only US$80 million for the national budget. Today, we receive more than half a billion United States dollars in revenue every year. Government revenue

promising attempt at reviving the reconciliation effort in 2012, with the appointment of Ms. Leymah Gbowee as Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission, collapsed later in the same year when she resigned. Ms. Gbowee cited President Sirleafs practice of nepotism and failure to deal with corruption as reasons for her decision. The year 2013, was just another year that the locusts have eaten; nothing meaningful was done to move the reconciliation process forward. During this Annual Message, Liberians will be listening for a bold vision to resuscitate this important effort upon which so much rests. They will be listening to hear what practical actions the President will propose to bring the nation together and heal the wounds of war. Conclusion It is said that the people perish due to a lack of vision. The Liberian people are not asking for much and do not believe the government can do everything. What they do know, however, is that much more can and should be done by their government. The economic, social, and political conditions are not the same as they were during the time of Presidents Tubman, Tolbert, Doe, or Taylor. Recognizing this fact, we need to take the country into new directions predicated upon the new demands and opportunities. It is common knowledge that a disproportionate reliance on the extractive industries for job creation is a failed policy from the past that cannot be sustained. Government must therefore create the environment and stimulate the growth and diversification of the economy, but at the same time empathize with its citizens and ensure a more equitable distribution of whatever little resources God has blessed us with at this time. Liberia seems to be struggling from the lack of new locally-driven development thinking; while the policy-making institutional setting is hindering our growth potential. We continue to blame a war that ended 10 years ago for the slow rate of progress today. But have we taken stock of how we have performed over the past 8 years? Today, we must resolve to take a new direction--a direction that offers the greatest hope of empowering the Liberian people for prosperity and that can establish justice, ensure domestic peace, and promote the general welfare of all. Madam President, the Liberian people will be listening.

Monday, January 27, 2014

IS THERE NOTHING WRONG WITH THE LIBERIAN ECONOMY?


Center to support light processing or a Trade Store to promote Made in Liberia products. The President needs to intervene perhaps

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ECONOMIC PERSPCTIVE

Frontpage

Page 11

Amin Modad, Contributing Writer

here is an ongoing debate on the state of the Liberian economy. I am compelled to put aside sentiments, personal relationships, and political allegiances to enable me objectively respond to this debate. It is high time that we all did to prevent further decline of what we have all worked so hard to build and preserve. I also believe that it is my obligation (like many of you) even more so when I have all at stake as a Liberian entrepreneur. I fervently believe that being conscious of where Liberia has risen from over the last 8 years, significant progress has been made to normalize the socio-political and economic situation in the country; one only has to have lived in Liberia since 2005 to appreciate the levels of growth and development Liberia has experienced as well as the foundation of peace and goodwill Liberia enjoys through the savvy leadership of President Sirleaf. Despite this, being an entrepreneur and a trade development professional, I must say that the economy is severely stressed. Unless those of us entrusted to safeguard the interests of the Liberian people begin to realize our limitations and except our mistakes with conscientious efforts to make changes, we are on a downward trajectory. Liberia experienced a surge in investment and commercial activities in the last couple of years of the first term. Government initiatives and programs conceived in the early years of the administration began to show fruition as the government began implementing areas of the national development agenda. This spurred private sector activities in diverse sectors for example, construction contracts were in abundance with the construction of roads, schools, and hospitals. The procurement of goods and services generally improved while other service sectors piggybacked. Opportunities for wealth creation were being visible and Liberia experienced an unprecedented emergence of a TRUE decentralized middle class. However, immediately before the elections, there was an impasse; the world held its breath to see how the elections would end, which was a major test to our resolve for peace and stability. The economy began to gradually recede immediately after the elections as investors and donors continued the wait and see attitude due to the then brewing fracas over the election results. FDI took a plunge as with ordinary investment speculation. Hotels like mine experienced a drop in occupancy especially from business clients. This was exacerbated by a reshuffle that did not meet the expectations of the public and partners. Delays in completing and passing the budget had the most cataclysmal effect on the economy and nation as a whole. Having served on the board of a commercial bank during this period, the banking sector immediately experienced widespread defaults on loans by contractors, suppliers, and service providers who had borrowed in anticipation of being paid by the government or like myself, in anticipation that the surge in commercial activities seen in 2011 would continue. There is a ricochet effect; in simple terms, when there is a budgetary crisis with long delays in disbursements (especially so when the government is the most dominant employer and purchaser of goods & services), government employees, services providers and suppliers of goods will not get paid; people go into defaults with their banks and banks performance ratios (such as loan to deposit) go out of balance and they in turn dont lend; local entrepreneurs are not able to cover their overhead or obtain short term financing to keep afloat most often leading to downsizing or even closure. Consequentially, a bulk of the population (publicly and privately employed) cannot support their families and must curtail spending. Activities that parallel economic growth such as the building of new homes, starting of domestic enterprises, and increase in employment all systematically decline. Equally challenging even to the most experienced leadership is, when the budget is over ambitious & concluded without capturing the inputs, programs, and strategies of the individual entities. As such, there is a disconnect between the agenda & work plan of the individual agencies and what they will end up being compelled to do with the scanty allocations they are spared. As a short-term fix, which we are experiencing now, the government will attempt to raise revenue at all costs thereby imposing further stress on businesses that already dont have the incentives to operate and succeed. We forget to realize that when there are no counterbalancing measures put in place to circumvent budgetary lapses, the economy implodes. We created phenomenal policies and strategies over the first 6 years of the administration, but have begun faltering in their implementation by developing ad hoc agendas to fit budget lapses. For example, the Ministry of Commerce to which I once served as Advisor to the Minister, developed through broad based engagements with the private sector and donors, contemporary Trade, Industrial, and SME policies. However, the ministry is unable to implement these without the budgetary support. Thus, even though there is an ambitious administration with revived interests and plan, there is not enough money to implement them or jumpstart programs that development partners might be interested in funding. In the case of many agencies, the Ministers might actually accomplish more if 80% of their staff just stay home and get paid. This way, the institution could conserve and use savings to implement a couple of tangible programs such as establishing a Value Addition

drastically to improve interagency cooperation at the Ministerial or top level (predicated upon a concerted national agenda); currently, there is an infectious disconnect that is unsupportive of her vision and is affecting productivity in various agencies. It is so easy to slip into the trap of shifting responsibilities and attempting to solve such situations with short-term individualized interventions that most often create artificial and formal barriers. There is another caveat, donors and partners a becoming weary due to lapses in the implementation of key planned activities and the unnecessary ongoing public debates and internal frictions. From experience, donors and development partners are very sensitive to poor coordination. The government needs to realign the functions of the various institutions/ministries to resolve overlapping functions and the evolution of super bureaucracies. We have made progress to liberalize trade through the development and implementation of World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant trade policies as well as alignment of our tariff system with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff. A key part of WTO commitments is reductions in tariff rates, and removing unnecessary nontariff measures. To effectively facilitate trade, Liberia is obligated to improve and simplify customs procedures, streamline and increase the predictability of the systems for doing business. Many short-term interventions to stabilize the economy might lead us to administer contravening measures that would raise concerns with our trading partners; these actions might not have to be systemic. Let me use this medium to suggest few interventions that the Government needs to focus on to attain sustainable economic development: 1. Knowing that our comparative advantage lies in our natural resources, the Government must begin to fund programs that support the emergence of vibrant Small & Medium Industries (SMIs). Concomitant to this, quality improvement and standards must be prioritized to ensure the competitiveness of locally produced goods in order to access other markets. Liberia has been often classified as a Net Importer because we import almost all our consumables (such as sardines that is abundant in our waters or edible oils). By developing SMIs, we could make significant strides towards balancing our trade and avoid some of the effects of global trends that we might not be able to control. This also ties in to the current debate re increase in foreign exchange rate. Many factors affect the availability of foreign currency on the market. However, taking a look at our Balance of Payments and current trade flows we need to increase exports and retain capital in country. I dont believe the export of raw/unprocessed resources by foreign companies would optimally improve our net foreign assets since these companies by virtue of their models expatriate profits and capital. Whereas, a domestically owned SMI that adds value to say rubber or timber for exports will most likely bring back and retain in country most of its earning. 2. Create both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for businesses (especially Liberian owned) to thrive; such need not be discriminatory or contravening to multilateral obligations. Undue stress on the business community also affects the survival of local enterprises, discourages FDI, and heightens uncontrollable corruption especially when several agencies are compelled to raise revenue or blamed for the budgetary shortfalls. Even when the intent is not corrupt, just the mere fact that multiple agencies begin to inspect businesses and firms, impose fines, or prosecute businesses all at the same time borders harassment and create poor public sentiments. Government must not be deterred from its desire to strengthen the business environment and facilitate trade. 3. Increase (rather than cut) the budgets of agencies that affect Trade and the proper exploitation of our resources such as the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce, the FDA, and LPMC (or a similarly reconstituted agency). Focus and money must be placed on programs that support value addition, the increase of local production, and improvements on quality & standards to ensure Liberias trade competitiveness. Increased trade results in increased revenue for both the private and public sectors, and increases net foreign assets

without imposing business barriers or fighting around the budget. There is no sustainable way of generating revenue without offering something for money (which is called Trade); what do we have to trade? Our resources. But I stress here again, we must make the move from just exporting unprocessed resources to adding value for greater returns. 4. Implement a rationalized reorganization of government that would bring in competences and experience rather than merely reshuffling officials (this recommendation doesnt in anyway conclude that there arent competent officials already in government.). We have a savvy and experienced President with enormous integrity, goodwill and support from development partners; but she cannot do the work by herself and must be able to rely on able lieutenants. It is like building a 20 story building with 4 inch blocks from the foundation up and then using gold bricks for the top floor. 5. Great work in being done re the construction of roads. This must continue strategically to open access to markets, facilitate trade, and improve access to social services rather than for political gains. 6. Tourism is a great but underexploited opportunity that the government must begin to prioritize. Our rich and diverse culture & history and geographical assets could make Liberia a touristic destination. Relatively, there is a need to improve the countrys image; we must market Liberia. Despite the many good news that have come out of the country since President Sirleafs ascendency, we are still a post conflict nation that has been scarred by years of economic mismanagement, mediocre leadership, complex fragmentized society (not limited to tribal, religious, gender, and fraternal), and unfavorable international relations. The world still sees a nation ravaged by corruption, wars, etc. Where as, with our turn for the better and the goodwill this administration has, we could market our experience in conflict resolution & peace building and make Liberia a destination for global conferences, and peace talks in addition to ecotourism. Why do we have to go all the way to cold Geneva to settle regional disputes? Government must pay attention on developing the skills needed to drive tourism and cater to increased economic activity; the hospitality sector must be supported and incentivized. Hospitality must be included and subsidized at the University Level. Providing quality hospitality service is a challenge for hoteliers and restaurateurs as there are no formally trained Liberian chefs, hotel managers, and etc. 7. Existing concessions must be reviewed without intimidating investors with the intent of ensuring that corporate social responsibilities and other obligations of the concessionaires are being met. Furthermore, government needs to be more prudent in negotiating new concessions. We are yet to experience the optimal effects of the over $16B we have attracted especially when concessionaires are not fully utilizing or developing local skills and resources or procuring from domestic suppliers. Partnership with local businesses must be embedded to ensure that concessionaires invest into building local businesses to supply their needs as an alternative to bank financing. 8. BUILD LIBERIAN MILLIONAIRES! Concessions must be encouraged to establish partnerships with Liberian entrepreneurs and the communities in which they operate. This applies to the emerging oil sector. From the onset, government needs to award a couple of oil blocks or sell shares to Liberians even before prospecting rather than merely allowing large multilateral companies acquire all the blocks and give out X percentage to Liberians at their bargaining terms. With such discretion, these shares would be available only to the few elites and those in power who can advance the agenda of these companies. On the other hand, if say shares of just 3 out of the 13 oil blocks are opened to 1000 Liberians each who will own and in turn negotiate or partner with foreign investors, the chances of spreading wealth and building Liberian millionaires would be greater. Let us learn from the mistakes of other oil rich countries and neighbors such as Ghana and Nigeria. How else would we develop vested interests in peace, security, and a vibrant political system? 9. Provide customized lending facilities to support entrepreneurship, mortgage & home construction, education & specialized training, healthcare, and manufacturing. In the developed world, Home Starts (measuring how many new homes are built in a period) is a critical indicator of economic strength and directly relates to the performance of other industries such as banking, the mortgage sector, raw materials, employment, construction, manufacturing and real estate. In a strong economy, people are more likely to build new homes; conversely, in a weak economy, people are less likely to. There has been condemnation of the CBL from some quarters for injecting funds through the commercial banks for lending to Liberian businesses. I dont know how, why, and where that argument is coming from. Unless it was not strategically implemented and lacked the monitoring mechanisms, it was an unprecedented and overdue move by the government that is HELPING us. These and several other interventions can develop a sustainable capitalistic private sector driven economy with more revenue generating opportunities to drive an ambitious development agenda.

Page 12 | Frontpage

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NEWS EXTRA

REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA LIBERIA ELECTRICITY CORPORATON


Invitation for Bid
IFB No.: LEC/NCB/OF/010/013/014

Monday, January 27 , 2014

High-level delegation Hosted by Finn Church Aid met with President Sirleaf
2. The Liberia Electricity Corporation now invites sealed bids from eligible and qualified bidders for The Supply and Delivery of Assorted Vehicles. 3. Bidding will be conducted through the National Competitive Bidding (NCB) procedures specified in the PPCA and approved by the PPCC, and is open to all bidders from Eligible Source Countries as defined in the Guidelines. 4. Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from Liberia Electricity Corporation by contacting Paschalina Mashingaidze paschaline.mashingaidze@yahoo.ca and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below. 5. Qualification requirements include: i. Current Business Registration Certificate ii. Current Tax Clearance iii. Record of Past Performance in providing similar services along with references iv. Submission of an Audited Bank Account Statement within the last two years depending on the financial period of the entity. 6. A complete set of Tender documents in English may be purchased by interested Bidders on the submission of a wrITBen application to the address below and upon a payment of a nonrefundable fee US$200.00 for each set. The payment method will be Bankers Check in favor of LEC or paid in cash to the Chief Accountant Office, 1st Floor, LEC Central Office. 7. Tenders must be delivered to the address below at or before10:00AM Local time on February 18th 2014. Tenders shall be valid for a period of 90days after the deadline of Tender submission. All Tenders must be accompanied by a Bid Security of Ten Thousand United States Dollars (US$10,000.00). Bidders submitting bids for a single lot, the Bid Security amount shall be Three Thousand three hundred United States Dollars (US$3,300.00) per Lot.Late tenders will be rejected. Tenders will be opened in the presence of the Bidders representatives who choose to attend at the address below at10:00am on the 18th of February 2014. 7. The address as referred to above is: The Chief Executive Officer, Liberia Electricity Corporation P.O Box 10 165 Waterside 1000 Monrovia, 10 Liberia Email: gsylvestre@mhi.ca and copied to paschaline.mashingaidze@ yahoo.ca This information will also be available on the LEC website as shown below: www.lecliberia.com

LIBERIA TO BE FINLAND OF AFRICA?

1. The Liberia Electricity Corporation has received fund from Government of Liberia Budgetary Allocation and intends to apply Part of it to fund eligible payments under the contract for The Supply and Delivery of Assorted Vehicles to LECs Central Office as described below:

NATIONAL COMPETITIVE BIDDING

National Competitive Bidding

Monrovia-. inn Church Aid (FCA) hosted a high level delegation from Finland last week, includingtwo former ministers Ms. Elisabeth Rehn(Defense) and Ms. Heidi Hautala (International Development & Ownership Steering Issues). The visiting delegation represented FCArun networks of experts in education and womens entrepreneurship. Culmination of the visit in Liberia took place on Saturday, when the delegation met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Discussion with President Sirleaf brought up various topics of the state of Liberia and how international NGOs like Finn Church Aid can contribute to its development. Teachers from Finland share their know-how President Sirleaf shared her concern about inadequate resources in education sector and lack of qualified teachers in Liberia. At the same time, Finland is internationally known for its equitable and high quality education system and outstanding teacher training. Executive Director of Finn Church Aid (FCA) Mr. Antti Pentikinenconfirmed FCAs commitment to support development of education in

Liberia. In Finland we have created a network called Teachers without Borders. The network consists of hundreds of teachers who are willing to help in developing countries. FCA is planning to bring the first voluntary teachers from Finland to Liberia this year, Pentikinen explained. Finn Church Aid supports the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Liberian women This was not the first time for an FCA-run delegation to meet with President Sirleaf. In 2007 Finn Church Aid invited Finnish women in leading positions to visit Liberia. Beingimpressed by the resilience of Liberian women they decided to establish a fundraising network Womens Bank for supporting FCAs work for empowering women in developing countries. "The entrepreneurial spirit in Liberia is strong. The government is aiming to strengthen business capacities of women and create an entrepreneur friendly environment, President Sirleaf stated. She said that international NGOs like Finn Church Aid have a crucial role in the economic empowerment of women. So far Womens Bank volunteers in Finland

have raised approximately USD 10 million to support the livelihoods and entrepreneurship of the most vulnerable womenin different parts of the world. Funds are channeledthrough Finn Church Aid to local partners. One of the success stories of Finn Church Aid in Liberia is a poultry farm in Margibi County, run by a local NGO, Project New Outlook (PNO). Small-scale egg production creates livelihood and small business to rural women benefiting their communities. President Sirleaf acknowledged the importance and potential of FCAs poultry projects. Currently Liberia is highly dependent on imported eggs. Supporting rural womens livelihood not only contributes to their empowerment but also helps Liberia to becomeless dependent on imports. "I am well aware of FCAs work for the most vulnerable women. My Vice President visited one of the chicken farms supported by Finn Church Aid and brought me eggs! President Sirleaf told the delegation. Finn Church Aid delegation met also with SRSG Karin Landgren at UNMIL as well as the Minister of Education Etmonia David Tarpeh.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Frontpage

Page 13

EGYPT'S REVOLUTION ON THE MARGINS

PAGE RONT

WORLD NEWS

IN BRIEF
AFGHAN-US DEAL FALTERS AS KARZAI DEMANDS TALIBAN TALKS

(CNN) -was in Cairo three years ago when the revolution began. I had not thought the January 25th protests would lead to very much. But they did. Three years later, Egypt greets the dawn of the anniversary with bombs, police violence, and nihilism. The revolution has become a struggle in a way no one dreamed at the time. It seems

to be almost a revolutionary act to simply reject despair. In this despondent phase of the Egyptian tale, there are very few good guys, far too many bad guys, and a plethora of ugly guys. On the 25th of January three years ago, the divisions in the population were more or less clear. The 'bad guy' was the regime of Hosni Mubarak, with all that implied. The corruption, police brutality,

and overall degradation of human dignity in Egyptian society were clearly associated with his office. Certainly, there were sections of the population that supported him -- in the aftermath of the uprising, 79% of Egyptians said they supported the protests that led to Mubarak's departure. That left a sizeable minority which was uncertain of or opposed the protests. At the outset of the uprising,

most Egyptians were unwilling to throw their weight behind the protests -- but they did not support Mubarak. They just did not see much of an alternative. Today, the divisions are far more complicated. That 79% has become fragmented in ways that few predicted. Those that backed the Islamist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood would feel great pride as confidence in its political party went from 15%

THE WORLD BANK LIBERIA


INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR THE SALE OF 2 USED GENERATORS

SOUTH SUDAN MILITARY SAYS REBELS BREACH CEASE-FIRE

The World Bank Liberia intends to sell two (2) used generators listed below to any interested bidder. The items are to be sold on the basis of as is and the World Bank will have no further liability after sale. The World Bank now invites sealed bids for the purchase of the following: Interested bidders may inspect the generators at the World Bank former office (Bright Building, Mamba Point, Monrovia) from January 23-28, 2014 from 10am 2 pm The Bids should clearly state the Lot number and Capacity for which the bid is submitted and, the bid price in United Sates dollars and payment terms. The evaluation of bids shall be per Lot, mainly be based on price, subject to acceptance of payment terms. The method of payment will be by certified check and payment instructions will be given to the successful bidders. The best evaluated bid(s) shall be the highest priced bid and shall be recommended for award of contract, subject to any reservations regarding failure to meet the official valuation or reserve price. Bids clearly marked Sale of Generator must be delivered by hand to the address below on or before Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 3:00pm. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders representatives who choose to attend in the World Bank Conference Room at 3.01pm on the closing day. Late bids shall be rejected. The World Bank reserves the right to reject any bid or to cancel the bidding process and reject all bids at any time prior to contract award. Att: Resource Management Analyst The World Bank Office Liberia German Embassy Compound Telephone no: +2316606967

outh Sudans government accused rebels of violating a ceasefire that was supposed to suspend a five-week conflict that has killed thousands of people and driven half a million from their homes. The warring parties agreed to halt the fighting within 24 hours of a cease-fire accord mediated by East African nations, which they signed on Jan. 23 at about 8:30 p.m. local time in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Rebels attacked South Sudans army near Bor, the capital of Jonglei, and south of Malakal in Upper Nile state, military spokesman Philip Aguer said today. Armed groups have not respected the cease-fire since yesterday, continuing to attack government positions, Aguer said in a phone interview from Juba.

in the aftermath of the uprising, to a high of 67% a year later. But they would also feel great disappointment: just prior to the June 30th ouster of Mohamed Morsy, Gallup polls and others showed the political force of the Muslim Brotherhood had lost most of its post-uprising popular support over its year in power. They are now designated as a terrorist organisation by the military backed interim government, albeit without conclusive public proof linking the group to terrorist attacks (a separate terrorist movement, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility). The Brotherhood's political strategy has gone from trying to enforce authority over the state from within, to engaging in continuous protests against it from without. Since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the military establishment has been the single most popular institution in the country. Popular conscription means that members of most Egyptian families have served in it; the educational system glorifies it, and most media in the country over the past three years has been at best lukewarm in its criticism of it. At its height over the past three years before Morsy's ouster, public confidence in the military was anything from 80% to 95%. Until Morsy's departure, the Muslim Brotherhood repressed disparagement of the army, and joined in its lionisation, identifying the army as supportive of Morsy's rule. After it, one imagines the popularity of the military dropped with the departure of Brotherhood support for it. Given the loss of popular support for the Brotherhood, and the overwhelming negative public media narrative about the same, it seems likely the military can still count on a majority of the population to back it. Other political forces have, generally speaking, decided there is a binary choice to be made: back the Muslim Brotherhood, or back the military. There was never much lost love between most other political forces and the Brotherhood. The latter already had enemies prior to coming to power, and alienated many potential (and existing) allies during the postuprising period through its toleration of sectarian rhetoric, permissive attitude to vigilante violence, opposition to consensus building, and failure to enact reforms. It is difficult to describe most of these anti-Brotherhood forces as "liberal," let alone "revolutionary," however.

Kabul (AFP) resident Hamid Karzai on Saturday signalled that a deal to allow US troops to stay in Afghanistan was close to collapse as the NATO combat mission withdraws after a decade of fighting the Taliban. Late last year, Karzai made a surprise decision not to promptly sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the US, despite a "loya jirga" national assembly voting for him to do so. Washington has become increasingly frustrated by Karzai's manoeuvreing over the deal, stressing that negotiations were completed in November and that it is ready to sign the mutually agreed text. "

POPE: WOMEN SHOULD PLAY EXPANDED ROLE IN CHURCH

ope Francis on Saturday lauded women for their sensitivity toward the society's weak and "gifts" like intuition, insisting they take on greater responsibilities in the Catholic church, as well as in professional and public spheres. Francis was full of praise about female talent and untapped potential in a speech at the Vatican to an Italian women's group. But the pope gave no sign that the Vatican glass ceiling against ordaining women for the priesthood might see some cracks during his papacy. From day one of his papacy in March, Francis has been trying to make the Catholic church more welcoming, but it forbids women from becoming priests, arguing among other things, that Jesus and his apostles were men. Francis made clear back in November, in an extensive document laying out his priorities as head of the 1.2-billion-member Catholic church, that the ban against women's ordination would stand. Then, and in his speech on Saturday, he did go out of his way to urge a greater role for women in making decisions and holding responsibilities in the church.

Page 14 | Frontpage

NIGERIA, MALI IN AFCON SEMI-FINALS


Amazing Eagles fly past Atlas Lions

Sport

Monday, January 27 , 2014

MALI 1-2 ZIMBABWE: MAHACHI SCORES BRILLIANT WINNER TO SEAL WARRIORS SEMIS

he Super Eagles went three goals down, woke from their slumber and tamed the Atlas Lions after extra-time to grab CHAN semifinal ticket Nigeria have secured a place in the semifinal of the African Nations Championship after beating Morocco 4-3 after extra-time in the quarter-final match played at the Cape Town Stadium. A first half brace from Mohsine Moutaouali and a goal from Iajour Mouhssine ensured Hassan Benabicha's side got a three-goal lead in the first half of the tension soaked encounter but the second half saw goals from Ugonna Uzochukwu, Rabiu Ali and Ejike Uzoenyi on the dot of 90 minutes ensured the game proceeded into extratime. However, it was Abubakar Ibrahims strike in the second half extra time that made the difference for Stephen Keshis side in the seven-goal thriller. The Super Eagles mounted pressure on the Moroccan defence in the early minutes of the match which saw them play three corners in the opening ten minutes. Azubuike Egwueke failed to give Nigeria

RONALDO & BENZEMA BREAK BLANCOS RECORD


remaining. Thed victory opens up a two point-gap over rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand, at the top of La Liga. The hosts struggled to find a way past Ricardo in the Granada goal in the first half with Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Benzema all wasting good openings. Ronaldo's 22nd league goal of the season broke the deadlock after the break, much to the relief of the crowd, with Benzema converting from a Marcelo pass to seal the points, although the victory was overshadowed by an injury to Gareth Bale that saw him substituted at halftime. Granada failed to force a save out of Diego Lopez and their two-game unbeaten run comes to an end, with Lucas Alcaraz's side remaining in 10th place. Carlo Ancelotti named the same side for a third

the lead in the 11th minute when his header off Uzoenyis cross went over the Atlas Lions' cross bar. Nevertheless, Keshis men continued to dominate but lacked the cutting edge when it came to finding the back of the net. Moroccos first chance came off Iajours simple tap from a well tailored pass received from the midfield after the Eagles lost possession in the middle. Minutes later, Uzoenyi produced a fine pass to set Gbolahan Salami free down the flank, with the latter supplying a dangerous low ball into the box, allowing Rabiu Ali to fire a tame shot at Nadir Lamyaghrf in the best of the opening exchanges. Moutaouali slotted home Morocco's opener with a classy finish in the 33rd minute after he received a pass from Fatah Said. Iajour scored the second off a swerving free kick outside Nigerias defence after Mouhssine was pushed off the ball by Bright Esieme. Stephen Keshis side rallied following that setback. First, Salami fired a testing effort at Nadir which the Morocco keeper smartly tipped over the bar, before Rabiu Alis long range missile that went over the cross bar. Moutaouali got his brace in the 40th minute following another clever pass

from Mouhssine who had a stupendous afternoon. On resumption of the second half, Nigeria took charge of the game and posed a few problems for the Atlas Lions, and deservedly got their first through Uzochukwu before Ali got Nigerias second six minutes later. There continued to be chances at both ends. Mohammed Oulha picked up a loose ball from distance before striking on the half volley from 25 yards, only to see Egwuekwe turn it behind. Nigeria then had a shout for a penalty after the ball bounced up on Hachim , but referee Bernard Camille thought otherwise. The Super Eagles grew in confidence and equalised on 90 minutes through Uzoenyis rocket outside the Atlas Lions defence which saw the game move into extra time. While it seemed the game would head for a penalty shoot-out, in second half extra time, Ibrahimpounced to give Nigeria the winner after Morocco goalkeeper and captain, Nadir Lamyaghri spilled an easy ball off Uzoenyi's cross. Nigeria will now wait for the winner between Ghana and DR Congo in Sunday's quarter final game.

imbabwe came into this quarterfinal clash against Mali without conceding a single goal in their last three matches of the 2014 Chan tournament. Ibourahima Sidibe had a decent shot on target inside the opening three minutes of the game, but George Chigova went down nicely and made a comfortable save. The Warriors then took the lead in the 11th minute when Simba Sithole beat Souleymane Konate for pace before firing a low shot past Mali goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite. On 24 minutes, Diakite produced a brilliant save to deny Zimbabwe their second of the night from Peter Moyos long range shot. Zimbabwe continued to pile more pressure on their opponents, but they couldnt double their lead in the first 45 minutes, as Diakite often kept them at bay. Lassana Diarra wasted a glorious chance to level matters on the stroke of halftime when he powerfully struck his shot over the crossbar to the frustration of the Malis bench. Ian Gorowas charges woke up in the second half, and they shocked the Eagles with the second goal in the 55th minute when Kudakwashe Mahachi sliced past four Malian defenders before slotting it home. The Zimbabwean midfield controlled the game, but Mali didnt give up on getting themselves on the score sheet. However, Malis real chance of the second half came after the 75thminute when Hamidou Sinayokos attempted shot wide, with intentions very clear that he wanted to kill the Warriors keeper Chigova. Diakite produced yet another superb save in the 84th minute when he pushed Masimba Mambares rocket out for a corner in what would have been curtains for Mali.

eal Madrid won seven consecutive competitive matches without conceding for the first time in their history thanks to their 2-0 win over

Granada on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo struck his 14th league goal in his last 10 appearances just before the hour and Karim Benzema made sure with 15 minutes

consecutive league fixture, with Angel Di Maria starting ahead of Isco, while the visitors made a single change as Mohammed Fatau replaced Fran Rico in midfield. Ronaldo had the first opportunity for Madrid in the sixth minute, the Portugal international making something out of nothing as he cut in from the left but skewed his shot wide after beating two defenders. Ramos went even closer five minutes later as the defender rose to meet a Bale delivery, but the centre-back headed over from close range. Granada were doing a good job of restricting their opponents and Madrid had to rely on set pieces to threaten. The hosts had the ball in the back of the next just before the half-hour mark as Benzema turned in a knock-down from Ramos, but the French striker was flagged offside and the goal was ruled out.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A STAR ON THE RISE


MY ONLY REGRET IS NOT SCORING IN THE FINALS

Sport

Frontpage

Page 15

SPORT BRIEF
SCHWARZGELBEN SUMMER SIGNING DENIES BVB WIN

County Meet Sensation Sam Jackson Looking Forward to Life with BYC II, National Team Call

By: A. Macaulay Sombai, sombai121@gmail.com- 0777217428

Monrovia

ong before the justended county meet football tournament, won by Grand Bassa County, a lanky striker showed up for tryouts at the BYC II Sporting Grounds in Slip Way. His name was Sam Jackson. Followers of the county meet will only now remember the five goals, Jackson netted for Nimba which proved pivotal in leading the final champions to the finals this year. But BYC II officials say they saw the potential the moment the young lad showed up on the teams training grounds. But his stock has been rising for quite some time. Jackson says he has always loved the game but never really took interest until he was 11. In a recent interview with FrontPageAfrica, the footballer who idolizes Real Madrids Ronaldo has his favorite player, says his goal is to become a household name in Liberia and the world in the not too distant future. Eventhough he had a successful spell in the just-ended meet, Jackson says, not winning the finals or scoring in the finals was a real heart-breaker. It was tough; not easy being able to score in the biggest game of my life was a disappointment. But Jackson says the lack of service from the midfield was a contributing factor to Nimbas demise and his own personal triumph. I love scoring goals wish I would

have gotten on the score sheet and led my team to victory. It was Jacksons nemesis on the opposing team, David Payes inspiring performance that led Bassa to victory and Nimba, to defeat. Payes onslaught kept Nimba on the defensive and Jackson in his tracks, forcing the Barrack Young Comptrollersbound youngster into a shadow of himself for Nimba. A low cross from the left flank was the lanky strikers only attempt at goal in the 10th minute. Jacksons frustration showed as the match progressed and as the game climaxed it was clear that the youngster, many felt would lead Nimba to glory would not have the final say, and his countys stamp on the finals. For now, Jackson says he is looking toward the next phase of his football life, looking to capitalize on his exploits in the County Meet to greater things. The county meet was good but I am hungry for more. I do not want to play in the county meet anymore, I want to improve my game. I have received a lot of advice from a lot of people and who are encouraging me to advance to another level. Over the years, the meet has produced some fine talent including Simeon Mattar, James Bodyworks Karrow and others. The arrival of the likes of Jackson and Paye appears to be opening doors to a new generation of footballers just when the Liberia national

i Dong-Won, who has signed a deal to join Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, denied his future teammates a win in Augsburg's 2-2 draw at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday. The South Korea international joined Augsburg on a short-term deal from Sunderland earlier this month, before then being announced as a closeseason signing for BVB just 24 hours later. The script was written for Ji to grab the headlines at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday and he did not disappoint - glancing a 72nd-minute header past Roman Weidenfeller shortly after coming off the bench to steal a share of the spoils for Markus Weinzierl's side.

BORRIELLO AND NOCERINO JOIN WEST HAM

W
team appears hungry for new talents. Since the departure of the likes of George Weah, James Debbah, Joe Nagbe and others from the stage, Liberia is yet to produce the level of talents. In Jackson, Paye and a field of youngsters who displayed some fine talents in the justended county meet, Liberia has a pool of talents to tap from. He(Jackson) is definitely a player to watch out for in the future, says veteran commentator Cyrus Wleh Badio, who offered some analysis of the recent county finals for state broadcaster, the Liberia Broadcasting System. Beginning Monday, Jackson, who is yet to don the blue gear of BYC2, will start his professional football life with the reigning champions second tier side with an eye to hopefully land a spot on the senior side and eventually, the Liberia national team, the Lone Star. It is my dream and I know that one day soon, it will come through.

est Ham have announced the signing of Italy duo Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino on loan until the end of the season. AC Milan midfielder Nocerino, 28, is an Italy international who scored one of the penalties that knocked out England at the quarterfinal stage of Euro 2012. He began his career at Juventus, before spending time on loan at Genoa, Messina and Piacenza before joining Palermo in 2008. Nocerino left for AC Milan in the summer of 2011 but has fallen out of favour this season and has opted to continue his career in London in the hope of raising his chances of playing for Italy at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 31-year-old has netted nearly 100 career goals for Roma, AC Milan, Juventus and Genoa, among others and the striker will also be hopeful of raising his chances of playing for his country in Brazil.

Page 8a 16 | Frontpage

Monday, January 27 , 2014

POWER BY DECEMBER 2015


Mt. Coffee Rehabilitation Works Begins
We are impressed by your political firm will to make Liberia a middle income country by 2030, she said. Madam President, Norway is so impressed by your leadership, the dedication you show during this extremely difficult time on reconstruction, not only in Mt. Coffee but the whole of Liberia. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is poised to deliver her 2013 state of the nation address said she was pleased with the efforts put in by all sectors of the government and its partners to see the rehabilitation plans come to fruition. So many people have worked so hard to make this day a reality- the LEC folks, the ministers, the workers that you see standing around.... the legislators and our partners, have all pushed so hard for us today to be here to start the process of the restoration of power to through the Mt. Coffee Hydro power plant, she said. Road to complete power Lands Mines and Energy Minister, making remarks at the occasion said Mt. Coffee is only one part of the governments comprehensive action plan to ensure that access to reliable and affordable electricity for Liberians all across the country is a reality. At the end of it all, when Mt. Coffee is dedicated and all the other critical component of our energy master plan are being implemented, what we hope for is rather simple: That every home owner, businessman, hospital, every clinic, ....who

PAGE RONT

DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Monrovia-

he Liberian civil war left many scars and one of them still visible and a stark reminder of the dark past is the Mt. Coffee Hydro plant which still lies in ruins. The country continues to suffer from the effect of expensive energy with many still dependent on heavy fuel or gasoline generators. On Saturday, January 24, 2014, the government of Liberia broke grounds for the rehabilitation works of the Mt. Coffee power plant in Harrisburg Montserrado County. Speaking during the ceremony, the Norwegian Ambassador whose country has pumped the highest amount needed to fund the rehabilitation works, Hege Hertzberg reminded Liberians of the dark days that left the country crumbling to its knees. She said the reconstruction of

the hydro means a turning point for Liberias energy sector and its development drive. The sight that we saw from that helicopter is a terrible example of what civil war can do to a country. Liberias GDP per capita declined by 90% in 25 years from 1980 to 2005 and they have also estimated that it will take 19 years just to recover back to the original level, she said. She said the long years that the country waited to realise its dream of fixing the hydro shows how difficult and cumbersome, the path from war to peace and stability and prosperity is for any country that has suffered like Liberia. The Norwegian Ambassador said that Liberia is on an irreversible path to progress and the launch of the Mt. Coffee rehabilitation works speaks volume to what the country would benefit when it is completed in 2015.

Our common goal is that through this project, in not too long future, the children of Liberia will do their home work at home, she said. Continued Madam Hertzberg: The pregnant women will not have to deliver in the darkness when their babies come but they can get proper equipment and light. The streets of Liberia will be lit and safe and the huge natural resources that you have in this great country will not have to be exported as raw material but can be manufactured here. And this will create the so needed jobs and income for the people of this great nation. Norway will support Liberia She said the government and people of Norway continue to support Liberia and governments endeavours in the energy sector especially in the reconstruction of Mt. Coffee.

desire electricity, to have reliable and affordable access to it, said Sendolo. But even as the groundbreaking for Mt. Coffee represents an important milestone, we cannot and will not recoil into complacency; we will continue marching on with our head fixed resolutely on the price. Finance Minister Amara Konneh said that the government of Liberia is has made infrastructure its top priority. Finally! Finally! Mt. Coffee is about to be rehabilitated, he said. He said Liberia needs energy to rapidly transform its economy. The finance minister said the government has made some painful and stressful decisions in its effort to resuscitate the hydro. That is why cuts were made in discretionary spending at the ministries and agencies, so that we can support projects like Mt. Coffee. It shows the governments commitment to our development partners. This is why I say finally; at least we can see where some of that money is going. He said in 1966, when the Mt. Coffee Hydro was first built, it cost the government approximately around US$ 80 million but the rehabilitation works is put at US$250-300 million. Last fiscal year, because of the urgency that the government puts around energy, we spent US$35 million, directly from the budget on the energy sector, he said.

For the first time, the energy sector overtook the road sector in our program. The government committed to put in about US$45 Million as its contribution to this project. This year we are going to be disbursing US$15 million, some of which weve already disbursed here. Last year we disbursed US$15 million to this sector, some of which went to the securing of the project, while other negotiations were happening. He thanked the governments of Norway, Germany and the European Investment Bank for the support given to the project. KFW-Germany we thank you. They came to the table with a grant of around US$ 35 million; the Norwegian government, thank you for your generous contribution of around US$78 million, he said. EIB fast tracked the loan process- the US$64 million dollars fellow Liberians is no free money-its a loan and must be paid back. So we need MT. Coffee in order to increase our ability to raise more taxes domestically to pay for it. So this is not a cheap project. He said the government is committed to meeting its financial obligation to the Mt. Coffee project and will ensure that it will get online at the stipulated date of 2015. Even if it means we will cut current travels, fuels, cut other things to support this projectthis project will happen, said Minister Konneh. Mr. Randal Enns, Project Director of the Mt. Coffee Rehabilitation project said the hydro is set to come online in December of 2015. We are excited that as we stand here today in the Mt. Coffee power house, construction has already started and we are well on our way to meeting the December 2015 goal for first power.

CHARLES TAYLOR TURNS 66 & FAMILY EXTENDS FELICITATIONS

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor Celebrates His 66Th Birth Anniversary On Tuesday, January 28, 2014. And His Wife, Mrs. Victoria Addison Taylor, Children, Family, Friends, And Well-Wishers Prayerfully Wish Him Good Health, Long Life, Prosperity, And Longevity On His Natal Day. Even Though You Are Far Away From Us, You Will Always Remain Indelible In Our Hearts For That You Stood For And We Continue To Pray For Our Re-Union. You Are So Special And Dear To Us And Will Always Be. In Spite Of Everything That Has Happened To You, God Has Kept You Alive And In Good Health. This Is Why Weve Come To Give Him Thanks And Praises For Reaching You This Far And We Pray For His Abundance Blessings And Protection Upon Your Life. Special Birth Day Greetings From Your Wife, Vicky Addidon Taylor On Your 66Th Birth Anniversaty On Tuesday, January 28, 2014!

Monday, January 27, 2014

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