Man Accused Of Witchcraft Shoots Himself Dead In Grand Gedeh
By Paul G Rancy, Southeastern Regional Supervisor (Lina)
ZWEDRU, Jan 25 (LINA) – Police in Tweh Town Putu Administrative District, Grand Gedeh County are probing the death of a 73 year-old man – Jackson Jaryee, who allegedly shot himself in the chest with a Single Barrel shotgun.
According to a report gathered from the Crime Services Division of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Zwedru, the incident, which occurred on January 19, 2023 was reported to the police by the elder brother of the deceased.
Alexander S. Jaryee, told the police that the deceased (his brother) was accused of being a wizard, something he said, created shame and embarrassment for the deceased thereby leading to committing the act.
He said the incident occurred while discussions were being held during which Jackson was being accused for practicing acts of witchcraft.
Alexander narrated that the deceased absconded from the scene, quietly went to his room and allegedly pointed the single barrel gun into his chest and used his toes to pull the trigger.
Police report indicated that the body of Jackson was found in a chair in the corner of his room stained by a pool of blood.
Meanwhile, a 15-men coroner jury which was set-up by the police to examine the body, established after a period of investigation that there was no foul play on the body.
The body was later turned over to the family for burial.
Trial by ordeal, though abolished in Liberia, has been a long-held traditional practice in several rural parts of the country. Individuals who are accused or found guilty of practicing acts of witchcraft are often subjected to the ancient judicial practice thereby bringing them to public shame and condemnation.
However, due to the harsh nature of the adjudication processes, it has been established in some rural quarters that some individuals accused of being a Witch or Wizard result into the commission of suicide rather than being subjugated to the demeaning trial.
Whilst it is true that trial by ordeal and all forms of harmful traditional practice are abolished across the nation; others are still found in the practice and in some cases, perpetrators are left with impunity
Senator Bartekwa Alarms Over Bed Shortage In Hospitals
By Calvin Brooks (LINA)
MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) – Grand Kru CountyB Senator Numene Bartekwa has raised alarm over the shortage of beds in hospitals and clinics across the country.
According to him, the lack of sufficient beds in hospitals and clinics has contributed to untimely death of patients around the nation.
The Grand Kru County lawmaker made the statement Tuesday through a communication to the plenary of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
He noted that the unwholesome practice of clinics, health centers and hospitals of turning emergency patients away at night hours without first receiving and stabilizing them until the next day, before referring them on claim of there is no bed is killing people.
Senator Bartekwa stressed the no bed situation is causing huge deaths of several persons with minor cases that could easily be managed.
He maintained that if emergency patients were given attention upon arrival at the health institutions, a lot of lives could be saved.
Bartekwa asserted that as soon as a patient is turned away by more than two medical centers that are far apart in distance, the patient will definitely lose hope and eventually die.
The Senator suggested that the Senate considers adding to the National Health Law of Liberia presently before that body, the obligation that every clinic, health center and referral hospital receives all emergency patients between 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and all medical efforts to stabilize the patient should be exerted.
He indicated that the law should ensure that every health facility should have certain number of reserved campbeds, according to its size, to accommodate emergency patients.
Pres. Weah Suspends Import Tariffs On Agric Products
MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) – President George Manneh Weah has suspended import tariffs on agriculture products and materials with immediate effects.
President Weah’s action is contained in Executive Order #115 issued Monday, January 23, 2023, which aims to solidify the gains realized under Executive Order No. 106 and to continue to accelerate the development of the forestry and agricultural sectors in Liberia.
The action is further intended that the government’s determination to seek and promote a stable macroeconomic environment to enable private sector-led economic growth, greater competitiveness, and diversification of the economy.
According to a statement from the Executive Mansion, the Order is consistent with the PAPD, the Liberian Government and international partners’ determination towards making tremendous strides to boost the Agriculture Sector by working with key market players to make agriculture affordable for farmers through; inter alia, farm development and management, aggregation, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), Training and enabling Legislation that would boost Agriculture output.
The President also indicated that the decision stemmed from the findings of local and international partners in the Agricultural Sector and the government’s internal review process, which discovered that the Tariffs associated with Agriculture Inputs are high and affecting the Agricultural Sector adversary and poor Rural Farmers who rely predominantly on agriculture for their livelihood.
Dr. Weah indicated in the Order that it is also against the realization that the causal effect that such high tariffs have on the Agricultural Sector and livelihood of rural farmers, contravenes its Agenda to promote a stable macroeconomic environment, enable private-sector economic growth, competitiveness and diversification in the Liberian economy.
The President envisioned that by lowering the tariffs associated with the importation of Agricultural Inputs, the imports of agro-distributors would increase, and the price of Agriculture Input Farmers would be lowered.
It is further projected that by reducing the tariffs on agriculture inputs, farmers would be able to access high-quality agriculture inputs at affordable prices, agricultural productivity would improve, agricultural activities would become commercially viable; product consistency would increase, and local farmers would have sustained high incomes.
President Weah reckoned that the effect of reduced Tariffs on the Agricultural Sector brings the Government closer to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (#2) of ending hunger, improved nutrition, achieving food security, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Agriculture products exempted under Executive Order #115 as was in Executive Order #106 are Live cattle (bovines) for breeding, Live pigs (swine) for breeding, Live sheep and goats (small ruminants) for breeding and Live fish for breeding.
Others are all types of agriculture seeds for sowing under chapter 12 of the Harmonized Coding System (Customs Tariff) Ingredients (raw and processed) used in animal, fish and poultry feed preparation commercially prepared or complete feeds for farm animals, fish and poultry- feeds, also included.
President Weah said there is a strong need to act with urgency, being fully aware that an Amendment to the Customs Tariff of Liberia of 2017 to affect Tariffs currently imposed on Agricultural inputs, would require a lengthy Legislative process that would not be best in the current public interests.
He also realized that the temporary suspension of tariffs on agriculture inputs would solve the aforementioned issues in the short term until at such time that the government deems it necessary to enable proper legislation.
President Weah has, accordingly, mandated the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to, in consultation with the Minister of Agriculture and Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, establish the processes and procedures by Administrative Regulation to grant Tax Exemption to eligible beneficiaries in the Agriculture Sector.
According to the President, importers of Agriculture Inputs shall pay only Customs Users Fees (CUF) and the ECOWAS Trade Levy (ETL) where applicable, and added that Beneficiaries of the Executive Order must be directly involved in the Agriculture Sector, as verified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The SONA Chronology: Pres. Weah Delivers 6th Annual Message Monday
By Wilfred S. Gortor & Ibrahim A. Sherif (LINA)
MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) – President George M. Weah will on Monday, January 30, 2023 deliver his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in fulfilment of Article 58 of the Liberian Constitution.
Article 58 of the Liberia Constitution states that: “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative programs for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the Republic, the report shall cover income as well as expenditure.”
In pursuance to this constitutional directive, the Liberian leader is all set to present his administrative programs to the 54th Legislature up Capitol Hill in Monrovia and it is highly anticipated that he will highlight his Government’s achievements, challenges as well as plans for the upcoming 2023 Presidential and General Elections which are slated for October 10, 2023.
Since the ascendancy of President Weah to the nation’s highest seat in 2018, his government has made significant progress in various areas of governance, including health, education, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, transparency and accountability, and energy, among others.
During his first SONA on January 29, 2018, it can be recalled that the Liberian leader outlined his priorities and vision for Liberia while introducing the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). He then announced a 25 percent cut in his salary – a move which was hailed by many citizens.
In 2019, President Weah reported that the state of the nation was in a stable and strong condition as he pointed to gains made across the socio-politico and economic landscape of Liberia.
In 2020, however, the Chief Executive outlined in his Annual Message the Government of Liberia’s commitment to improving governance and the business climate to spur investment in the country.
During his Fourth Annual Message on January 25, 2021, the Liberian Chief Executive committed his government to fiscal discipline and further improvement in cash management, transparency and accountability in spending, and domestic revenue mobilization.
He referenced his government’s stance on monetary policy, stating that “it is appropriately aligned with the inflation objective and significant progress that has been made in strengthening the Central Bank’s independence.”
He also highlighted the country’s progress relating to the fight against the COVID pandemic.
In his Fifth National Address on Monday, January 24, 2022, President Weah told the Liberian people that: “The state of the nation is peaceful and strong.”
He subsequently informed the nation about Liberia’s fiscal period transition from July 1 to June 3 to January 1 to December 31.
In the area of health, the Government of Liberia under the astute leadership of President Weah can boast of improving the health sector of the country through the construction of the Emirates Hospital in Western Liberia (Gbarpolu County), the 14 Military Hospital in Montserrado County and the ongoing Redemption Hospital in Caldwell, Montserrado County, the seat of the Liberian capital, Monrovia, among others.
The health sector also saw an increment in doctors’ monthly salary from US$700 to US$2,000 as well as an addition of 2,500 health workers to the government payroll after the Donors Health Pool dried up.
The Pro-poor government is also credited with the provision of specialist training for more than fifty (50) doctors and also the regularization and increment of salaries of over 500 supplementary health workers.
In the fight against the Coronavirus disease, which exposed the weakness of health systems across the globe, Liberia, under the leadership of President Weah, has been recognized for the vaccination of over 80% of Liberians against COVID-19, making the West African nation the Third best in performance relative to containing COVID-19 in the sub-region and Seventh best in Africa.
In the area of education, the provision of Free Public University/college education benefiting over 30,000 students yearly has been captured as one of the outstanding accomplishments.
The payment of fees for the students writing the West African Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for more than 80,000 students yearly (Grades 9 & 12), upgrading the status of over 3,500 supplementary teachers to a permanent status on the government’s payroll as another achievement and also the increment of 3,500 supplementary teachers’ salaries from L$8,000 to US$125 as yet another milestone in the sector.
On the economy, the Government of Liberia has worked expeditiously to ensure that Microeconomic stability and gro,wth is realized in the country through the institution of sound Monetary and Fiscal Policies.
In regard to making sound decisions that have improve all spectrums of the Liberian economy, the Government of Liberia ensured the re-establishment of macro-stability after inheriting a weak macroeconomic foundation from the previous government as a result of the Ebola virus disease and the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), among others.
The Government of Liberia also endeavored to reduce inflation from a high of 30 percent to seven (7) percent, marking a milestone, which neighboring Ghana is trying to replicate amidst a quest to clampdown on its high level of inflation.
In the Energy Sector, the Government of Liberia has connected over 140,000 households or 800,000 people to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) grid since 2018.
As a means of beefing up the strength of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant in order to connect more Liberians to the electric grid, the government invested more than US$65 million to bring the electricity from neighboring Cote d’Ivoire through the CLSG lines.
As a means of making electricity affordable, the Government of Liberia, through the LEC reduced the cost of electricity from US$0.35 (cents) per kilowatt hour to US$0.21 (cents) per kilowatt hour.
In the area of Road and Infrastructure, which the Government of Liberia holds dearly, because of the huge deficit associated with the sector as a result of the 14- year civil war and other factors, it has made strides in the sector.
The Government has built more than 620km of primary and urban community roads from 2018-2022, which include the Ganta–Harper, Doe Community, Logan Town roads, amongst others.
The Government of Liberia has also ensured the construction of more than 1000 pro-poor homes across the 15 counties in order to bring relief to its less fortunate population and also improve the infrastructure sector of the country.
The construction of over 20 new market buildings across the country coupled with the erection of several new government offices, including the new administrative offices of the National Port Authority (NPA), Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC), Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), amongst others.
The construction of the only renowned recreational center in Liberia for now, the Invincible Park and the renovation of the primary soccer stadium in the country the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Complex to meet international standards are among notable gains of the Weah-led government.
In the area of Agriculture and Forestry, the Government of Liberia has guaranteed the provision of agricultural grants to over 60,000 farmers, completed more than 200km of feeder roads to strengthen farm-to-market roads, and placed Liberia’s forest reserves at the center of the climate change agenda.
Amidst the Government of Liberia’s quest to improve the area of Human Rights and improve the Rule of Law in the country, it has supported the expansion of courts throughout the country.
Accountability and Transparency efforts by the Government of Liberia to cultivate a culture of propriety across its Ministries and Agencies, the Government restored the budget of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to levels before the macroeconomic shock and planned more support.
It has also improved the audit of the government revenue account through the Internal Audit Agency to enhance better financial records.
It has, moreover, revised the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission law and availing more powers to the LACC to fight corruption, waste, fraud and abuse, among others.
With countless achievements to indicate and others unnamed here, it is anticipated that President Weah will not fall short of naming or highlighting the challenges the country has faced since his ascendency to the country’s highest seat nearly six years ago.
With months to the 2023 General and Presidential Elections, the Liberian leader may announce subsequent development plans which are intended to improve the socio-political and economic landscape of Liberia.
Backlogs of his government’s agenda (PAPD) may be highlighted and, until then, all eyes are set on the 2023 polls.
Pres. Weah Submits Financing Agreement On Women Empowerment
MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) – The Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Gender and Judiciary to review a financing agreement between the Republic of Liberia and International Development Association and report to plenary in two weeks.
Plenary’s decision followed a communication from President George M. Weah in which he submitted for ratification the financing agreement for Liberia Women Empowerment Project.
In his communication to the House on Tuesday, the Liberian leader said the objectives of the project is to improve the social and livelihood services for women and girls in targeted communities, foster positive social norms as well as strengthen the Government’s capacity to advance women and girls’ empowerment.
The Agreement, according to the communication, was signed on July 4, 2022, between the International Development Association and the Republic of Liberia.
Under the Agreement, the Association agrees to extend to the Republic of Liberia a Grant and a Credit, which are deemed as Concessional Financing in the amounts of: (a) an amount equivalent to Thirteen Million Three Hundred Thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 13,300,000 as Grant); and (b) an amount equivalent to Twenty Million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 20,000,000 as Credit).
Liberia’s Finance Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, has expressed thanks and appreciation to his supporters for the uncountable number of prayers offered that led to his recovery from a motor accident.
Upon his arrival, scores of supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), employees of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, as well as admirers of the Finance Minister converged at the Roberts International Airport in support in his recovery and return home..
Twaeh immediately disclosed that he had returned to Liberia to recommence his job as the Minister of Finance and Development Planning with immediate effect.
Minister Tweah returned to Liberia 44 days after a tragic motor accident along the Lofa Highway after seeking medical treatment in Turkey as a result of injury sustained during the accident.
It can be recalled that on November 27, 2022 Minister Tweah, his wife; Delecia Tweah, along with his driver and security personnel on board his official vehicle were involved in a motor accident along the Lofa highway.
The accident occurred Sunday at about 3:45 P.M. around Ganglota, a town along the Lofa highway
Minister Tweah had gone to Voinjama to deliver a keynote address at the 5th Commencement Convocation of the Lofa County Community College.
The Ministry of Finance head was immediately rushed to the Phebe Hospital in Bong County for medical attention where he was stabilized and transferred to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia.
However, the Minister along with the wife were flown to Turkey for advanced treatment and have since recuperated well, prompting their discharge.
As the due date for the decision of who will lead Liberia for the next six years draws closer, the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia has released the calendar of events for the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
According to the official publication of the NEC, the activities leading to the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections will begin with the Accreditation of Party Agents, Media, and Observers for the Voter Registration which will run from January 23, 2023 to February 20, 2023.
The NEC additionally stipulated the period from February 6, 2023 to February 20, 2023 as the period for the publication of Voter Registration Centers.
Meanwhile, the Liberia Election House named February 20, 2023 as the date set aside for the official Launch of the Civic Voter Education for Voter Registration process, while the Voter Registration itself runs from March 20, 2023 to May 11, 2023.
The official date for the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections is October 10, 2023.
The Constitution of the Republic of Liberia states that “Voting for the President, Vice President, Members of the Senate and members of the House of Representative shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the second Tuesday in October of each election year”.
Against this backdrop, October 10th, which falls on the Second Tuesday of October in 2023 has been stipulated as the date of the Presidential and Legislative Elections in conformity with the constitution of Liberia.
President Weah Suspends Import Tariff on Rice; Establishes West Africa Police System
Monrovia, Liberia – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has issued two Executive Orders affecting critical national issues germane to the security and wellbeing of citizens. The President on Friday, January 6, 2023 issued Executive Order #113 suspending import tariff on rice, and Executive Order #114 establishing the West African Police Information System (WAPIS).
Executive Order #113 is in consideration of the expiration of Executive Order #105 and the government’s commitment to ensuring that the prices of certain basic commodities on the market are affordable, and do not impose unnecessary burden on the citizens.
“Now, therefore, the government of Liberia in its desire to continue bringing relief to the public, hereby issues this Executive Order #113, suspending import tariff on rice as classified under tariff Nos 1005.30,00 (in packing of more than 5kg or in bulk); 1006.30.00 (in packing of at least 5kg); and 1006.40.00 (broken rice) under the Revenue Code of Liberia Act with immediate effect,” asserts the President.
President Weah further indicated that Executive Order #113 is issued against the backdrop of an assessment and evaluation conducted by the government on the causes of increases in the price of various strategic commodities including rice with an intend to ameliorate the situation.
According to President Weah, based on the findings of the assessment, government has seen the need to curb “the continuous increase in the price of rice, in order to make it affordable to the public for purchase”.
The Liberian Leader also insists that there exists a need for what he calls “exigent measures to achieve the desired objectives of easing the economic burden on the citizens and residents to enable access to rice, the staple food, and such measures can’t await long legislative processes.”
Regarding Executive Order #114 establishing the WAPIS program, President Weah said the decision aligns with an ECOWAS mandate of December 12, 2017 that all member states endorse the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) program.
He said it’s also against the backdrop that Liberia is a member of International Criminal Police Investigation and implementer of the WAPIS program in the sub-region.
The Executive Order opines: “Whereas, the government of Liberia desires the establishment of a National electronic Police Information System to be shared by the National Law Enforcement Agencies in Liberia as part of the WAPIS program.”
The organic objective of the WAPIS program is to strengthen information exchange and coordination among regional law enforcement agencies.
The Executive Order is accordingly consistent with the MOU signed on December 17, 2018 between the government of Liberia and the International Criminal Police Investigation (INTERPOOL), coupled with the fact that actions and activities leading to the establishment of the program have not been enacted by the appropriate Status to enable to operationalize the WAPIS program in Liberia.
As per Executive Order #114, a National Steering Committee or WANACO has been established to administer the affairs of the WAPIS program, which falls under the Executive Branch of Government, directly the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
The Executive Order states that WAPIS will be headquartered in Monrovia at the edifice of the Liberia National Police.
“Keep Your Heads Up and Make Liberia Proud,” President Weah Motivates At-Risk Youth Grads
Zorkpah Town, Margibi County – The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah has petted former At-Risk Youth, graduates of the Detoxification and Rehabilitation Center, to keep their heads up and make Liberia proud following months of training, completing their first transition into normal life.
Speaking Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at graduation ceremonies of the youth held in Boy’s Town, Margibi County, the President thanked the graduates and extended heartfelt best wishes to them on their transition to a new and productive life.
“Go forth from this program with your heads held up high, and make Liberia proud of you,” Dr. Weah said.
The President recalled how it all began with the now transformed young people, reflecting on one of his regular visits to the Invisible Park when he encountered a throng of them hanging about in a deplorable state of living condition.
“I made a visit to the Invincible Park one day and saw many of them hanging around the park,” President Weah reflected on the fateful encounter.
“Many of them were not in the best of health. Many of them had problems with their teeth, their eyes, and other illnesses. I was so moved by their plight that I collected all of them that day and sent them here to be taken care of.”
“Today, during this Program, you have seen the very positive results of this initiative,” the Chief Executive said rather proudly. “They were given appropriate medical care, including the necessary dental and eye treatments.”
He continued: “They were put through an effective detoxification program, from which they have all benefitted. They were made to attend various training programs that would give them some basic skill-sets. And here they are before you today, proud graduates of this First Transition Program, poised and ready to return to normal life with confidence, and with assurance that they are appreciated, and can now claim their rightful and respected place in our Civil Society.”
The President said he was delighted to witnessed and participate in the ceremonies “marking the first transition of some of our at-risk youth from this Detoxification and Rehabilitation Center” which was recently opened by his administration in Margibi County.
He also recalled the launch of the National Fund Drive for the Rehabilitation and Empowerment of the At-Risk Youth of Liberia, under the theme, “Reclaiming Our Youth For A Better Liberia” which was intended to raise approximately US$13.9 along with development partners, including the United Nations System, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the IMF, and the Diplomatic Corps, as well as the prominent members of the business community.
He said as a Government, “we have made an initial contribution of US$1m to kick-start the Fund Drive, and we intend to provide an additional Two Million United States Dollars to be appropriated within this year’s budget to support this program.”
Dr. Weah said the first batch of the graduation of 35 former “at-risk youths”, their transition after detoxification is a manifestation of the seriousness that he attaches to this program and a demonstration of his personal commitment to rehabilitate these young people, and fast-track their return to society as productive citizens.
“Funds are being raised under the Fund Drive, and other facilities are now being prepared to deal with the vast majority of these At-Risk youths, which some estimates suggest number more than 130,000,” President Weah said.
He added: “These programs are designed to orientate, rehabilitate, and build their capacities over the long term, through skills-based vocational training, as well as economically empowering them through jobs and business opportunities.
President Weah renewed his commitment to improve the lives of the young people of Liberia, “all of them, not just the youths that are at risk”.
“As a youthful leader of this country,” the President said it should come as no surprise to anyone that he hold young Liberians very dear and very close to his heart. Today, we are seeing the first step in a journey of a thousand miles.
He noted that the transition and transformation of the former “at-risk youth” is a significant first step because it is proof that “we can make a significant change in their lives and livelihoods if only we can combine political will with passion, and apply it with compassion”.
President Weah Describes Journalists’ Role as Cardinal To Peace and Development
Monrovia, Liberia – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah has once more accentuated the importance of the Liberian media to the peace, security, and stability of the state.
Speaking Sunday, January 8, 2023, at the Forky Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship Church, President Weah said journalists in Liberia have a very cardinal role to play in making the country developmentally strong and vibrant
In a show of love and good leadership, President Weah hosted journalists from all walks of life to express appreciation for the work they have done and continue to do in the interest of the country.
The President made specific reference to the ensuing general and presidential elections in October as a process journalists should endeavor to protect and promote by ensuring that what they report is nothing but the truth.
“You are the voice of the voiceless. These forthcoming elections are not about me nor you. They are about the nation,” President Weah told the journalists who he had invited to worship with him.
“Liberia’s Port Is Vulnerable, No Scanning Machine”, Customer Brokers Boss Alarms:
The President of the National Customs Brokers Association of Liberia James Hinneh has attributed the lack of scanning machines and other sophisticated equipment and facility to the vulnerability of the Country’s Port.
“Even though people are repeatedly paying for this equipment and facility but they are not available”, he disclosed.
According to him, the relevant authorities among other things only focus more on the CTN which gives them more money rather than taking into key consideration security issues which are very important at the Port and the country in general.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, January 6, 2023, He blamed key stakeholders in the sector for the repeated arrival of unwanted substances in the Country order than the ordinary custom brokers.
“Customs Brokers only operate on documents and physical examination” he clarified.
The Custom Brokers head at the same time called on relevant authorities to put in place all of the necessary measures in order to facilitate fast and good trade.
James told the media that the lack of scanning machines at the destination site is seriously affecting trade and revenue generation in the Country and needs to be addressed soon.
Speaking on the arrival of the weapons issue in the Country, he stated that the Broker only identify as Melvina Payne received a bill of landing and other necessary documents indicating cars, used clothes, shoes, and other legal materials and not guns or other unwanted substances as later on uncovered by national security following tips up.
However, he said, there were signals on the container issue and the relevant authorities were alerted before.
Mr. Hinneh wants the public to be more aware of custom issues stating that they generally operate on documents and physical examinations.
James who commended the APM Terminals for what he describes as a cordial working relationship between the two entities also encouraged the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to do the same with them and avoid the unending and unnecessary bureaucracy with them which he noted is affecting their operations.
The National Port he emphasized will continue to remain vulnerable until the right things are done by relevant authorities as currently, the situation is getting worse by the day, he maintained.
Ukraine Bestows Highest Honor On Liberian Foreign Minister Kemayah
MONROVIA, Jan. 3 (LINA) – The President of the Republic of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, has conferred the ‘Order of Merit (1st Degree)’ on Liberian Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, for his (Kemayah) significant personal contribution to strengthening interstate cooperation, support of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Ukrainian President issued and published on his official website Decree No. 902/2022 of December 30, 2022, to appreciate and recognize the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia for his exemplary stewardship towards the promotion of the rule-based international order, global peace, and security in the context of the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and international law.
In a communication from the Government of Ukraine dated Saturday, December 31. 2022 addressed to Foreign Minister Kemayah, informing him about the highest award from President Zelensky, Mr. Yurii Pyvovarov, Ambassador of Ukraine accredited to Liberia, wrote: “Dear Mr. Minster, I have the great pleasure to inform you of the great news.” “By the Decree of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky No. 902/2022 of December 30, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah was awarded the Order of Merit (1st Degree) for a significant personal contribution to strengthening interstate cooperation, support of State sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian envoy said.
The communication from the government of Ukraine continues: “My sincere congratulations to you, Dear Minister, from me personally and all Ukrainians! We look forward to your visit to Kyiv in early 2023. Happy New Year 2023: Sincerely Yours, Ambassador Yurii Pyvovarov, Ambassador of Ukraine accredited to Liberia.” In response to the honor from President Zelensky of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Kemayah, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, and in the name of his family and himself, extended profound gratitude to Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine and the Government and people of Ukraine for awarding him the Order of Merit (1st Degree).
Further, Foreign Minister Kemayah immediately dedicated his honor from President Zelensky to Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia, and the Government and People of Liberia and his family for the confidence reposed in him, as well as the unwavering support and opportunity to serve. The Ukrainian Chevaliers Order of Merit (1st Degree) is the highest rank in this category of national honor awarded to distinguished individuals for their outstanding achievements in international affairs, government, economic, military, cultural and political spheres of society.
The former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma established the ‘Chevaliers Order of Merit’ on September 22, 1996.
Meanwhile, minutes after the news of the award, tons of congratulatory messages began and continue to pour in at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Foreign Minister Kemayah. Political pundits assert that the award is another clear indication that the work of Foreign Minister Kemayah transcends the borders of Liberia, noting that his performance has been recognized and appreciated on the global stage, evidenced by this award from President Zelensky.
President Zelensky also presented Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (3rd Degree), including the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Anniken Huitfeldt, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Catherine Colonna, with the Order of Princess Olga (3rd Degree) each for their significant personal contributions to strengthening interstate cooperation, support for Ukraine’s state sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Recently, Chairman Mulbah K. Morlu and Secretary General Jefferson Tamba Koijee of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) rained praises on the Minister of Foreign Affairs for his outstanding work and exemplary leadership at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chairman Morlu described the Minister of Foreign Affairs as one of the pillars of success in the CDC Government and stressed that the CDC is proud of its decision to support Amb. Kemayah in his role as Foreign Minister.
Chairman Morlu mentioned that the Foreign Minister is determined to strengthen and promote Liberia’s foreign policy.
He averred that Minister Kemayah has been working to improve and promote Liberia’s foreign policy for the past five years.
Chairman Morlu assured that Amb. Kemayah would continue to serve as Foreign Minister until the Day of Judgment if he (Chairman Morlu) had the appointing authority. The CDC Chairman called on assistant and deputy ministers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lend their fullest support to the reforms Minister Kemayah has initiated at the Ministry to implement President Weah’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
MONROVIA, Jan. 5 (LINA) – The Liberia National Police (LNP) has confiscated a huge shipment of assorted arms brought into the country through the Freeport of Monrovia in a forty-foot container.
The police worked in coordination with the Joint Security and the Small Arms Commission of Liberia to carry out the operation.
According to Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, there was intelligence given to the Police, and they were able to trace who sent the huge assorted arms and to whom it was sent.
The Police Chief said during their investigation, they were able to locate the weapons to a lady identified as Barbara Debra, who lives on Sinkor Old Road.
She was in contact with the individual who sent the materials and the Customs Broker for the container named Melvina Kpan, the Police boss said.
He disclosed that the police has arrested the two ladies who are currently undergoing investigation.
The Police IG further revealed that the individual who sent these heavy military weapons is identified as Benjamin Baker of the United States and is based in the state of Texas.
He is the prime suspect, and the police are doing everything in ensuring that the individual is either investigated in the US or here in Liberia.
“After we got our intelligence, we immediately proceeded to his house in Brewerville G- 4 road, but it was late, and later today, we got a search and seizure warrant from the court, and proceeded and found out that he had a very dangerous weapon placed in his home along with a guy identified as Ezekiel was also hiding in the home.
The container has in it AK47s, and other assorted rifles as well as long-range weapons and other deadly ammunitions, Police IG said.
He explained that the weapons confiscated are “very powerful” to be used in Liberia, noting that if these weapons fall in the wrong hands it will cause serious harm to the citizenry.
Therefore, he said, the Police will make sure that the container, which came with these weapons, is checked carefully
MONROVIA, Dec. 28 (LINA) – On the occasion marking the dedication of the newly constructed Emirate Hospital, President George M. Weah has reassured Liberians of his Government’s commitment to provide efficient and affordable healthcare delivery across the country aimed at improving the wellbeing of the citizenry.
The modern 100-bed capacity, state-of-the-art Emirate medical facility covers more than 52,000 (fifty-two thousand) square feet, comprises several operating theatres, a modern laboratory, an intensive care unit (ICU), various specialized departments and many more facilities that set it apart from other hospitals in the country.
The Liberian leader Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony of the Emirates Hospital in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County said improving healthcare delivery has always been foundational to the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, citing. “This is why there have been consistent increases and add-ons to the operational budgets for already-existing hospitals, in order to provide the equipment and trained staff required for the delivery of critically-needed services”.
President Weah indicated that the inauguration of the Emirates Hospital is a further manifestation of his Government’s commitment to improving the quality of health services in Liberia by expanding health coverage to our rural population.
He revealed that the dedication of the Emirates Hospital now brings to three the number of new hospitals that have been built and opened during his Administration, namely: Gbandeya Hospital, 14 Military Hospital and now Emirates Hospital in Rivercess, Margibi and Gbarpolu Counties respectively.
“As we strive to improve the health sector by training healthcare workers both at home and abroad, and by providing free medical education in public health training institutions, such as the Medical School and the School of Pharmacy, my Government is committed to creating access to health infrastructures by constructing more new health facilities in under-served communities,” the Liberian Chief Executive maintained.
He spoke about further talks by his Government and the Government of the United Arab Emirates for the construction of additional structures of the same kind, to be built in other parts of the country, citing, “the goal is to ensure access and affordability, as we exert more effort to improve quality healthcare.”
The Liberian leader pointed out that the above move by his Government is another demonstration of the commitment they have always voiced to help to improve the living condition of the Liberian people, regardless which part of the country they may be.
According to the Liberians leader, the construction and commissioning of the Emirates Hospital will not only help the people of Gbarpolu to have access to quality health care, but will enable the surrounding counties (Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Bong), as well as some parts of Lower Lofa, to benefit from better health care.
He emphasized that the presence of the facility may even encourage some citizens of Sierra Leone, who are close to the Liberian border in Kongba District, to seek medical care at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Weah asserted that the project selection, groundbreaking, and construction of the facility can all be traced back to the selfless decision he made many years ago to leave Europe and play for a relatively unknown team in the UAE, called AL JAZEERA.
He maintained his move was based on the budding friendship he shared at the time with the then Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who subsequently became President of the United Arab Emirates.
“It was also based on the love that was shown to me by the Emirati citizens on the pitch. Leaving Europe at a time when my services were still being sought by many of the world’s top clubs was no small feat. But sometimes in life, it is important to put people and friendship above material gain. I am glad that I did that at that time, and I am also glad to see that that act of friendship is today yielding dividends for my country,” President Weah recounted.
Additionally, the Liberian leader extended his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, for this profound act of humanitarian generosity to the People of Liberia.
“I would also like to thank him for the very high level of representation that he has sent to grace this occasion on his Government’s behalf, led by His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and including Her Excellency Dr. Aysha Sultan Aldhaheri, Executive Director of the Military Health Services of the UAE Army, among others.
“Your Excellences, thank you for coming to Liberia to share this historic moment with us. You are very welcome,” the Liberian Chief Executive accorded special thanks to his guests.
Also, the Liberian President extolled the Management and Staff of Intbox Global Building Contracting LLC, Dubai, UAE, the construction company that built the facility in only 14 months from groundbreaking, in spite of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, and its sub-contractor, Horizon Construction Company of Equatorial Guinea.
The Construction and subsequent dedication of the Emirates Hospital in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County is a milestone achievement that will help shape Liberia’s health sector in a positive direction.
When given the necessary support, the hospital will help bring relief to many ailing Liberians in the Western Region of Liberia and its surroundings.
MONROVIA, Dec. 6 (LINA) – Hundreds of Liberian citizens from the Grebo ethnic group residing in Monrovia have distanced themselves from an endorsement in favor of the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, ahead of the 2023 General and Presidential Elections in Liberia.
It can be recalled that on the 19th of November, a group of Grebos endorsed the candidacy of the ANC political leader on the Clara Town Sports Pitch.
However, barely a week after the endorsement ceremony, hundreds of Grebos residing in Monrovia have expressed their dissatisfaction with the action of few people kinsmen, claiming to be the entire Grebo community.
Speaking during the denouncement program at the Clara Town Sports Pitch over the weekend, the spokesperson of the dissenting group, Rev. Tehneseo P. Brohdonyen Sr., described the endorsement as “a deception and disappointment on the part of a few individuals.”
“We have distanced ourselves from such endorsement of the ANC leader,” the group’s spokesman noted.
Meanwhile, Tehneseo further expressed his dissatisfaction on the part of the chairman of the community, stressing that “he is very much deceitful.”
He added that the chairman was supposed to be neutral and behave like a twin mother, but instead he became the coordinator for the ANC on behalf of the Grebo people, something, he said, did not meet the consent of the majority.
“His attitude has caused serious embarrassment for us. You can’t be a Chairman in a political party serving as coordinator in the name of the Grebo people. What face will you have to welcome other political parties who might want to come and have discussion with us? Don’t you think that they will see us as being deceitful?” the clergyman wondered.
Rev. Brohdonyen stressed that Jeremiah G. Namely needs to be dethroned based on such action which, he emphasized, is unfair to the Grebo community.
“We are in the vast majority of the Grebo people constituting 73% living here in Clara Town who do not endorse this decision,” the group spokesman said.
The denouncement program was attended by Grebos from Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe and Rivercess counties whose representatives spoke against the recent endorsement.
The group concluded that the endorsement was done by a few groups of people, alleging that they were paid to do so.
President Weah Arrives in France for Paris Peace Forum, Holds Bilateral Discussion With President Macron On The Margins
Paris, France – On a chain of international duties, the President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, today, November 9, 2022, departed the Arab Republic of Egypt and arrived in Paris, France to attend the 5th Edition of the Paris Peace Forum.
The President was earlier in Morocco and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt where he attended the MEDays Forum and COP27 respectively, delivering Liberia’s position on critical world issues, mainly bordering on peace, pandemics, and climate change.
He is now in Paris to attend the renowned Paris Peace Forum which serves as a platform upon which state and non-state actors engage in transnational cooperation for collective action.
With the far-reaching and combined effects of crises across the world on people and global cooperation, this year’s forum focuses on “Riding out the Multi-Crisis” with special emphasis on managing the fallout of the multi-crisis on populations, cooperating through conflicts, rethinking globalization in a polarized world and catalyzing climate and environmental solutions as well as ensuring a safer and ethical digital world and fostering more inclusive and just societies.
On the margins of the forum, President Weah is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
The President is also expected to hold discussions with other world and business leaders.
The two-day Paris Peace Forum kicks off on November 11, 2022, and ends on November 12, 2022..
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has warned world leaders meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, that the inequity and imbalance between high and low emitters in the climate change architecture still remain high, and that the financial flows also remain disproportionate and unfair to emitting countries.
The President especially called attention to those significant carbon capture capabilities and those countries that are expected to reserve their forest without commensurate benefit to the populations.
He however noted that there is still hope and confidence to mitigate and devastating effects of global climate change, something he stressed can only be achieved if the world acted together.
Speaking on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, in Sharm El-Sheikh at the Conference of Parties 27th Edition dubbed COP27, Dr. Weah called on all parties to recommit, refocus and live up to previous commitments made at COP26 to meet the target of 1.5 degrees Centigrade by 2030.
“We acknowledged our shortcomings in terms of inequity, and admitted our shortfalls in meeting our targets for reducing our carbon emissions and footprints,” the Liberian Leader reminded world leaders on commitments made at COP26 forum last year. “We also re-confirmed our commitments to contribute higher levels of financing to support our efforts, and reviewed and re-evaluated our chances of limiting the rise in global warming to meet our temperature target of 1.5 degrees Centigrade by 2030.”
Despite those commitments made, the Liberian Chief Executive further noted, there are still inequity and imbalance between high and low emitters in the climate change architecture, and that financial flows within still remain disproportionate and unfair to commensurate with benefits to the populations.
“As we assemble here once again to find a pragmatic and productive way forward, let us do so with renewed dedication, commitment, and sincerity, so that we harness our collective strengths to develop lasting solutions that will save our world, not only for ourselves but for generations yet unborn,” President Weah challenging the Conference of Parties delegates said.
President Weah called on world leaders to stand by the decisions and commitments to be made at COP27 conference in Egypt to avert a global catastrophe noting, “, together can implement and make our one world a better place.
Monrovia – More than US$$200,000 has been illegally and surreptitiously withdrawn from a saving account that was opened at the United Bank of Africa (UBA) Liberia Limited to help address financial constraints confronting agents of the elite Executive Protection Service (EPS).
The EPS is an elite group of armed men and women providing security for the President, Vice President, Speaker, and all VIPs in the Executive. They also provide security for foreign guests visiting the country.
It can be recalled that in June 2018, over 800 agents of the EPS adopted a constitution under the banner “Executive Protection Service Employees’ Development Fund” to afford them the opportunities to accumulate saving and create credit facilities for themselves, from which they can obtain loans for productive and provident purposes at a fair interest rate of 5%.
The Fund was managed by a team of five (5) persons and its activities were being monitored by a team of three Board Members as Observers and Auditors.
Those who headed the management team were James Helb (Chairman), Alex Togba (Co-Chair), Tony Morris (Credit Manager), James Paye (Financial Secretary), and Joseph Weah (General Secretary).
The Board members were Esther P. Chea (Chairperson), Emmanuel Wesseh, and Stephen Morgan.
Those comprising the management team and board were elected by agents of the EPS, who are referred to as shareholders under the Fund.
Section 1 of the constitution adopted by the agent states that: “In order for the EPS Employees Development Fund to achieve its intended goal and objectives, the sum of US$20 is charged as monthly due per member and it is to be deducted from all agreed member monthly salary check by the Comptroller of the EPS and transferred to the Fund’s Bank Account through its Management Team.”
Since then, more than US$300,000 has been deposited in the Fund’s account at the UBA.
The Fund Account number # is 53010550002258 with the title: EPS Employees Development Fund.
Several employees of the EPS benefitted from the initiative and were also made to pay back interests into the account of the Fund, which was being managed by the James Helb leadership.
However, the initiative backfired when both the administration of the EPS and the Board noticed a high level of discrepancies and alleged malpractices in the management of the Fund following multiple complaints and concerns raised by some of the agents or shareholders.
An unimpeachable source at the EPS confided in FrontPage Africa that the administration of the EPS requested a comprehensive audit of the Fund in October 2021.
The audit, which was conducted by an independent firm, recommended a halt in the deduction of US$20 each from the salaries of the agents (shareholders) and requested the payment of monies that were already paid by the agents to the Fund to avoid additional problems in the future.
The source revealed that following the move, the Management Team of the EPS Development Fund, through the Board made a payment of 70% to all employees of the agency, with an outstanding of 30%.
The Board shouldered the responsibility to commence the payment of the 70% when agent James Helb allegedly reneged to show up for work in August this year, following the release of the audit.
Though agent Helb promised several times to return to work to uphold the trust and confidence reposed in him by his colleagues, our source added that, he failed to do so.
In October 2022, the Board again made multiple attempts to ensure that the Management Team settled the payment of the remaining 30% to the agents (shareholders) of the Fund through agent Helb, but he failed to avail himself up to the present.
Our source disclosed that Chairman Helb has not been seen on the grounds of the EPS on Capitol Hill in Monrovia for nearly four months now.
Helb, Togba, and Paye were the previous signatories to the Fund’s account at the UBA bank.
“Following James Helb’s surreptitious departure from the agency, the U-Direct code which was being used previously to electronically withdraw monies from the account of the EPS Fund at UBA, was clandestinely changed, making it impossible for agents Togba and Paye, who were also signatories to the account to have access. Since then, over US$200,000 has been clandestinely withdrawn from the EPS Employees Development Fund Account, and agents (shareholders) cannot receive their outstanding 30% the Fund owes them along with the interest,” a source who spoke on condition of anonymity stated.
Agatha Nyhorpulu Sayee, an agent of the EPS, holds account number: 53030500099138 at the same UBA in Liberia.
A copy of the EPS Employees Development Fund account bank statement, which is in the possession of FrontPage Africa, revealed that the amount of US$180,000 was paid to agent Sayee from the account between the period of January 26 to October 12, 2022.
But her personal bank statement only shows that she only received the amount of US$3,800 from the Fund.
She was previously given a loan under the Fund to seek advanced medical treatment in Ghana following a period of protracted illness.
“We want to know how the US$180,000 disbursed to the account of agent Agatha Sayee from the EPS Employees Development Fund’s account was not totally captured in her personal bank statement”, the source maintained.
Other accounts were also credited from the EPS Employees Development Fund account through the use of the LEO App, which is connected to the bank account.
When contacted via telephone, the Managing Director of UBA Madam Nkechi Joyce Arizor requested this writer to contact her via text message.
“I am in my Board meeting and the meeting is sensitive. I cannot attend to this now,” she responded via text message when she was abreast about the situation.
Madam Arizor promised to call back later, but however, failed to do so up to press time.
However, FrontPage Africa has independently gathered that the administration of the EPS has written the bank seeking reconciliation of the two conflicting bank statements issued.
On the run
Agent James Helb, Chairman of the Management Team of the EPS Employees Development Fund is said to be on the run.
He reportedly fled Liberia for Ghana.
He has been linked to allegedly using LEO APP to transfer and withdraw monies from the account.
The Board of the Fund was reportedly planning to pay the balance when it noticed that its account at UBA was depleted.
From October 14 to the present, a little over US$300 remains in the account.
EPS administration victimized
FrontPageAfrica has established that the administration of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), headed by Director Trokon Roberts, has not been directly involved with the management of the EPS Employees Development Fund.
The various Directors were also part of the Fund in which the amount of US$20 each was deducted from their salaries.
They also benefitted from loans under the program, but at some point, in time, overpaid the amounts credited along with interests before realizing it.
According to Section 2 of the bye-law and constitution of the EPS Employees Development Fund, the roles of the administration include: serving as an internal prosecutor against all offenses that contravene the Fund’s bye-laws and the standard operating procedure of the EPS, providing administrative authority over the financial affairs of the union because they work at the will and pleasure of the President, and all periodic financial report according to the standard set in the document, shall at all times be channeled through the EPS Administration for perusal to convene a general meeting for the shareholders’ acknowledgment and discussion, among others.
Those who are part of the administration of the EPS are also victimized as their remaining 30% from the Fund along with interest cannot be disbursed due to the depletion of the account at the UBA.
Apart from the 30%, the over US$50,000 accumulated as interest from loans repaid by some of the agents (shareholders) which were deposited in the bank, is not also accounted for.
Police in Monrovia backed by other state security actors has launched an investigation into the matter.
An arrest warrant has also been issued for agent James Helb, who is said to be on the run. Interpol has also been alerted on the matter.
President Weah Accentuates Importance, Benefits of Africa Public Accounts Management
FARMINGTON, MARGIBI COUNTY – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has spoken highly of the importance of the Africa Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) and its benefits for citizens across the African Continent.
AFROPAC, which was founded about a decade ago, is holding its 4th Meeting and Symposium in Liberia to review progress and proffer fresh ideas and benchmarks as to how Africa conducts and manages public finances.
The 4th Meeting and Symposium is being held under the theme “Collect Comprehensively, Borrow Wisely, Spend Efficiently: Public Finance in the Pandemic Recovery.”
Addressing the Symposium Monday, October 31, 2022, President Weah said like other countries, Liberia stands to accrue from the fair, transparent and accountable management of public accounts across the African Continent.
President Weah briefly reflected on the founding of the organization, stating, “I’m informed that AFROPAC was founded almost a decade ago with the vision to be the voice of all legislative and parliamentary public accounts Committees on the African Continent, for the purpose of promoting transparency and accountability through the PAN African network of parliamentary committee to structure budgets and other public accounts.”
The Liberian Leader acknowledged the objective of creating a unified structure of public accounts across the Continent is to regulate all parliamentary oversights of public expenditure, describing it is an important undertaking that gives rise to opportunities to share knowledge benchmarks and best practices to African peer review and exchanges.
“This network leads to increased prosperity for all our citizens and as they stand to gain immense benefits from greater transparency and accountability in the management of public finances,” the LIberian Chief Executive further noted.
He expressed profound gratitude to the Liberia’s Public Accounts Committee for ensuring the hosting of the 4th Symposium in Liberia and inviting him to participate.
On behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in my own name, I welcome you all to Liberia,” President Weah stated, wishing the delegates well in their deliberations towards the fruitful holding of the 4th Meeting and Symposium in Liberia.
President Weah Excites Young Students About Reading As He Joins First Lady In Launching Reading Program
MONROVIA, LIBERIA – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has continued to demonstrate love and concern for the educational well-being of the young people of Liberia, this time joining First Lady Clar Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor to launch a reading program for young students.
It can be recalled that since his ascendancy to national leadership in 2018, President Weah has been reaching out to Liberian students in many ways, not only modernizing education facilities and making learning free and rewarding but also always encouraging youth to take education as their foremost priority.
Thus on Thursday, October 27, 2022, the Liberian Leader joined his wife, First Lady Clar Marie Weah on the grounds of the Executive Mansion to formally launch a reading program dubbed “She’s You Reading Program” under the theme “Promoting Civic Education and Patriotism.”
“She’s You Reading Program” is an initiative under the education pillar of the First Lady’s flagship program “She’s You Movement” which also aligns with the Education Pillar of Government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development” Sharing his experience with the students drawn from a few outstanding early learning schools in Monrovia, President Weah encouraged the kids to take reading seriously and adapt it as a working tool in their daily learning process.
President Weah explained to the kids the importance of reading as critical in their academic sojourns, stating that the opportunities they enjoy today going to school did not exist during the time he and other adults were going to school.
“During our time going to school, we didn’t have many better libraries around, but we were able to make it through reading. Reading gives you the ability to be focused and to communicate well.” He told the students that it would be difficult for them to improve, communicate and understand well if they don’t devote time to reading.
“Read everything and anything, even signboards, to know where you are going and what you are doing because it gives you the ability to comprehend what you want to do and how you want to do it”, the President further encouraged the young people. “Reading gives you the ability to be confident of yourself, and enables you to understand what you try to do.”
The President also interacted with the students who asked him about the importance and benefit of reading.
The goal of the First Lady’s program is to promote, encourage and sustain the culture of reading amongst students, help them develop patriotism from an early age, and to educate students about the functioning of the government and its responsibilities to the people. The program was attended by officials of the Ministry of Education and partners. Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor served as a co-launcher.