Monday, June 22, 2009

More Market Women Acquire Writing Skills

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
International Clips on Liberia

Jun 22, 2009 (All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has formally launched a grassroots literacy movement, Literate Liberia, in Monrovia, with an assurance that Government will continue to support efforts to provide educational opportunities for Liberians who wish to learn, particularly market women. The President commended the organizers of the campaign for providing an opportunity for market women to learn how to read and write. She also lauded women who have volunteered their time to attend the literacy classes. An Executive Mansion release says the Liberian leader urged all women to take advantage of the program. She encouraged those who can read and write to provide whatever little time they can to teach others.
International Clips on West Africa
The American dream: Widowed African father honors wife's wish for children
Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Date
Ganieyou Salamy never wanted a new life. In Abidjan, the Ivory Coast capital, he taught high school physics and chemistry. Nothing suited him better. But his wife, Lysette, had died without realizing a dream. A computer operator, she envisioned her son and three daughters coming to the United States some day. There, she believed, they could have a richer education, a brighter future. Into her wish Salamy leaped. He sold his belongings and came alone to State College in spring 2001, starting over in a foreign land of falling leaves and snow with little English and useless teaching credentials. At one point, he juggled three jobs as he worked to save enough money for his children to join him. He served late-night hamburgers so his oldest daughter, Ade- Jelila, 24, could be a nurse in Philadelphia. Slicing meat and washing dishes paved the way for Anissat, 20, now a Penn State senior, to study counseling and become an award-winning African dance choreographer. Because he worked behind a supermarket deli counter, Seymira, 18, can play rugby on the USA Under-20 National Team as she goes into her sophomore year at Penn State. And Aziz, 10, can thrive at Radio Park Elementary School and enjoy his Nintendo Wii at home.
Local Media – Newspaper
President Sirleaf Instructs Ministers to Sack Corrupt Official without Hesitation
(New Democrat, Liberian Express)

· In a confidential memo to Cabinet Ministers, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has mandated them to fire corrupt officials without hesitation.
· The President’s memo comes just days after the U.N. Under Secretary for Peacekeeping, Mr. Alain Le Roy underlined the importance of transparency in the management of public funding saying that corruption deters donors.
· The President said continuing international and national reports on corruption were beginning to hurt the government.

Delegates at TRC National Reconciliation Conference Want Prosecution for Perpetrators of Conflict
(The Inquirer, Heritage, The News, Liberian Express, New Democrat, The Monitor, Liberia Journal, Public Agenda, Daily Observer)

· Delegates at the just-ended National Reconciliation Conference have recommended prosecution for perpetrators of the civil conflict.
· The delegates in a 38-count resolution also called for the banning of perpetrators to elected or appointed positions among other things.
· The over 400 participants recommended a review of the constitution and the rewriting of Liberia’s history.
· Receiving the participants’ resolution, TRC Chairman Jerome Verdier thanked the delegates and promised to place the recommendations in the Commission’s final report.

Finance Minister Suspends Two Officials over Budget Error
(Liberian Express, Heritage, New Democrat, Plain Truth, Liberian Journal)

· Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan says two versions of the 2009/2010 draft national budget are in circulation.
· In an interview, Minister Ngafuan said one of the budgets contains inconsistencies in figures while the other is without error.
· Addressing a news conference in Monrovia at the weekend, he said the budget with no error had limited copies and during the re-printing of the budget for distribution to members of the legislature and public the error came about.
· Meanwhile, two officials of the budget bureau who have oversight responsibility for printing of the budget have been suspended.

KRTTI Holds First Graduates in 20 Years, Graduates over 170 Teachers
(The Informer, The News, The Inquirer)

· The Kakata Rural Teachers Training Institute (KRTTI) in Kakata, Margibi County, has held its first graduation in 20 years, with 178 teachers awarded certificates.
· Speaking at the occasion, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the graduation was a manifestation of Government’s commitment to addressing the country’s weak school system.
· The President commended the country’s partners, particularly the United States of America, the Ministry of Education and the faculty and staff of KRTTI for their contribution to the success of the programme.
· Earlier, in a keynote address, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged teachers in the country to demonstrate commitment to the recovery of Liberia through their contributions to the education.

US$4M Microfinance Programme Launched
(Daily Observer)

· A Bangladeshi non-governmental development organization, BRAC Liberia, has officially launched an over US$4 million microfinance programme in the country.
· Speaking at the launch of the program over the weekend, BRAC Country Manager, Mohammad Salam said the programme was aimed as their contributing to the poverty reduction and the creation of employment opportunities.
· Mr. Salam said the program seeks to enhance the income of the poor with emphasis on women in the country.

President Sirleaf Launches Literate Liberia Movement
(The Informer)

· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has formally launched a grassroots literacy movement, Literate Liberia, in Monrovia, with an assurance that Government will continue to support efforts to provide educational opportunities for Liberians who wish to learn, particularly market women.

Liberian University Graduates Face Enrollment Problems Abroad
(Daily Observer)

· The National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) has expressed serious concern over the non-enforcement by universities and colleges in the country of basic requirements for meeting international standards of universities.
· Dr. Michael Slawon named the requirements as 'preparation of accreditation standard of higher education, mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, synchronizing curricula, data collection and research surveys'.
· He said as a result of this problem Universality graduates face enrollment problems abroad.

Local Media – Star Radio (culled from website today at 09:00 am)
President Sirleaf in Abuja, Nigeria for ECOWAS Summit
· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is in Abuja, Nigeria to take part in the 36th Summit of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
· The two day mid-year summit of ECOWAS is expected to bring together leaders of the 15-nation regional grouping.

Finance Minister Suspends Two Officials over Budget Error
(Also reported on Sky F.M., and ELBC)

Delegates at TRC National Reconciliation Conference Want Prosecution for Perpetrators of Conflict

Maryland Authorities Welcome ERU Police Officers
· Authorities of Maryland County have officially received ten newly deployed officers of the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police.
· In an interview, the Mayor of Harper, Regina Sampson said the deployment of the ERU in Harper would help improve of security in the county.
· At present, there is dusk to dawn curfew which was imposed in the city following a violent demonstration there.
· The Harper City Mayor called on residents of Harper to cooperate with the ERU and other police forces in their endeavour to restore total calm to Harper.

E.L.B.C. (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
KRTTI Holds First Graduates in 20 Years, Graduates over 170 Teachers

President Sirleaf Launches Literate Liberia Movement

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Liberia Retold History in USA

International Clips on Liberia
Liberia Retold History in USA
By: UMIL News
Monrovia, Liberia

Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- A Human Rights Watch new photographic exhibit, Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold, featuring the work of award-winning journalist Tim Hetherington has opened on June 12 at Lincoln Center's Furman Gallery in New York, USA. Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold explores the dynamics of power, international complicity, and the search for justice in recent Liberian history. Liberia's last three presidents have each faced a dramatic end - William Tolbert was disemboweled during a coup d'etat, Samuel Doe was filmed being tortured to death, and Charles Taylor is standing trial for war crimes in The Hague. The exhibit tracks both the terrible years of war and corruption and the more hopeful present, as Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has taken charge of the country as Africa's first elected female head of state.
International Clips on West Africa
UN's Accolade for Koroma
Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- The United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, has assured President Koroma that the UN would not only continue to support Sierra Leone but would align its priorities in accordance with the government's 'agenda for change'. Speaking during a brief visit at the President's Hill Station Lodge on Friday 12th June, Mr. Pascoe said the whole UN body was impressed with President Koroma's performance and presentation during the video link on the UN conference on Sierra Leone in New York, which he described as a "resounding success". In his remarks, President Koroma gave a detailed account of his government's aspirations and agenda. Starting with a note of gratitude for the world body's support during the country's most difficult period, the President said Sierra Leone is now engaged in real economic growth. He said the 'agenda for change' "addresses the aspirations and living standards of our people, addresses their poverty and the social services delivery system."

'DAC - a Day to Advocate for Children' - Unicef Rep
Freetown, Jun 16, 2009 (Concord Times/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Country Representative of the child advocacy agency, UNICEF has said that the 'Day of the African Child', celebrated all over Africa today, should be used as a day to advocate for the children of Sierra Leone. Speaking at a press conference organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs ahead of today's commemoration of the African child's day, Geert Cappelaere noted that child survival should be one of the major priorities of all non-governmental organizations operating in the country to help foster the standard of living for all children in Sierra Leone. He said UNICEF's theme for this year's commemoration is 'child survival' as the organization looks forward to scaling down child and maternal mortality rates in the country.
Local Media – Newspaper
Finance Ministry Concede Error in Budget Calculation
(New Democrat, National Chronicle, The Parrot, The Inquirer, Daily Observer, The News, Heritage)

· The Finance Ministry has admitted to an error in the 2009/2010 draft budget amounting to over half a million United States dollars.
· The amount was put in the proposed budget under the terms general claims without any explanation.
· The error was discovered by one of the Chairperson of the joint Legislative budget committee.
· Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan confirmed the mistake involving such a huge amount but described it as human error. He however said until a decision on appropriation is made the controversial amount will be reserved under the contingency reserved fund.

U.N. Secretary Wants Continue Support to Liberia
(New Vision)

· U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Liberia's partners to continue support to the country which remains fragile but has the potential to be a beacon on stability in the region.
· In his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Mr. Ban proposed that the Council authorize the continuation of UNMIL's troop strength of nearly 8,000 until after the 2011 elections.
· He said security conditions permitting the UNMIL drawdown would resume at an accelerated pace during the post-election period.

US Visa 'Fraudsters' Face Prosecution
(Daily Observer)

· Two persons, Wade Appleton and King Sun, have been sent to court in connection to an alleged U.S. visa scam in Monrovia.
· The defendants are said to have collected over US$7,000 from five individuals with the understanding that they would have provided visas for the five to travel to the USA.

Avoid Un-ambitious Recommendations… Former TRC Chairman for Sierra Leone
(Daily Observer, The News, The Inquirer, New Democrat, The Independent)

· Retired Bishop Joseph C. Humper, former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Sierra Leone, has cautioned the Liberian TRC commissioners against making 'un-ambitious and un-achievable' recommendations aimed at pleasing the victims and perpetrators of human rights abuses.
· Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a five-day national reconciliation conference in Monrovia Bishop Humper called on the government to ensure that the TRC recommendations were given deserved consideration.
· Meanwhile, the conference opened yesterday with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and top Government officials including the National Legislature being absent.
· Two commissioners of the TRC, Counselor Pearl Browne-Bull and Dedeh Dolopei were also reported to have boycotted the start of the conference.

WAEC Exams ‘Fraudsters’ Face NSA Inquest
(Daily Observer)

· The Head of National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Monrovia, Prof. Thomas K. Gaie, said schools that had been caught in examination malpractices for this year would be ‘thoroughly investigated’ by the National Security Agency (NSA).
· Last month over 86,000 students including 6th, 9th and 12th graders sat the WAEC examinations across the country, but with reports of some alleged malpractices.
· Schools that are alleged to have been involved in the examination malpractice are the St. Michael Catholic School, St. Philip Ecumenical School, E.J. Goodridge High School, St. Peters High School all of Gardnersville.
· Others are the Cavalry Chapel Mission, Cathedral Catholic School, the Monrovia Free Pentecostal School, Paynesville Community School P.M. section and the Amos Taybior institute among others.

Local Media – Star Radio (News monitored today at 09:00 am)
Tension Mounts at Guthrie Rubber Plantation
· Reports from Grand Cape Mount County say tension is mounting at the Guthrie Rubber Plantation
· The tension is as a result of the management’s alleged failure to settle the arrears of the workers.
· The workers last week threatened series of go-slow action including the setting up of roadblocks to claim government’s attention.
· The Guthrie Rubber Plantation has been the scene of many strike actions some of which turned out to be violent.
(Also reported on Truth F.M., Sky F.M. and ELBC)

Finance Ministry Concede Error in Budget Calculation
(Also reported on Truth F.M., Sky F.M. and ELBC)

35 Inmates Break Jail In Maryland County
· At least 35 inmates including murder and rape convicts are said to have broken jail in Harper, Maryland County.
· Reports say the escapees broke jail last week during a violent protest in Harper.
· The “mysterious” death of a man sparked the demonstration at which time angry youths vandalized the prison facility, the police depot and the home of the lone suspect in the case.
· Reports say the youths vandalized the prison because the police took the suspect into protective custody there.
· Police have meanwhile arrested 15 people including two youth leaders in connection with the violence. The youth leaders have denied any link to the violence.
· In April, dozens of inmates escaped the National Place of Correction in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County but were all re-arrested.
· At the same time, the Justice Ministry has dismissed two senior officials of the Monrovia Central Prison for their alleged role in a recent jail break at the facility.

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
ECOWAS Donates Several Computers to Liberia News Agency
· The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has donated a consignment of communication gadgets to the Liberia News Agency (LINA).
· During the turn over ceremony the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS, Ambassador Ansumana Sesay said the presentation was intended to help build the capacity of the national news agencies of its member states.
· Mr. Sesay said the commission was ready to support the post-war recovery programme of member countries.
· ECOWAS donated several laptop and desk top computers among other things to help in the revitalization of the agency.
· Information Ministry authorities have meanwhile expressed gratitude for the donation.

Chief Administrator of Largest Referral Hospital Admits to Bribery at the Facility
· The Chief Administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre (JFK), Winnie Scott McDonald has admitted to bribery at the nation’s number one referral Hospital.
· She said the act was undermining professionalism at the hospital but said low income was responsible for the problem.
· Speaking at the ongoing budget hearing, the JFK Administrator said the issue of bribery can only be curtailed if the salaries of health practitioners at the centre are improved.

FACE AFRICA clean water team returns from Liberia

After weeks of hard and hands-on works in the war devastated African Country of Liberia, The FACE AFRICA clean water team is back in the U.S.

Press release coming soon