Liberia

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    Inside LACC Asset Declaration Verification Report Inside LACC Asset Declaration Verification Report

    Inside LACC Asset Declaration Verification Report

Inside LACC Asset Declaration Verification Report

Since the formation of Liberia’s republican governance system, public service has largely been regarded by most Liberians as shortcut to prosperity. When an official leaves public life without owning huge properties and colossal bank accounts, he’s regarded a stupid person. This quick-wealth mentality of Liberians toward public service not only sustains the culture of loot, plunder and thievery by a few persons but also leaves a majority of citizens in squalor and underpins the country’s political and social upheavals. To tackle these consequential effects of corruption in the public service, the postwar government of Liberia has made it nearly obligatory for all officials to declare their assets before accession to public office—something scores of them have already done. But a probe of the declarations unveils something startling: many officials failed to comply, some provided half-baked information, and even though others complied honestly. The Analyst looks at a report published this week by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. The LACC says out of the 63 officials of Government from 7 ministries, agencies and public corporations who had declaresod their assets to the Commission, it has booked several persons for misrepresentations and unexplained wealth accumulation while others could not be verified for various reasons and some officials failed to cooperate. The Commission also announced that it could not complete the verification of assets of some officials. In a report published in Monrovia, the LACC sais while its verification exercise portends tremendous opportunities for success in the fight against corruption, there were difficulties due to the unscrupulous behaviors of some officials in the asset declaration process. The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is the cardinal Government of Liberia (GoL) Agency charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting acts of […]

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    Liberia: Journalists Disappointed – Over President Sirleaf’s Silence Liberia: Journalists Disappointed – Over President Sirleaf’s Silence

    Liberia: Journalists Disappointed – Over President Sirleaf’s Silence

Liberia: Journalists Disappointed – Over President Sirleaf’s Silence

Most governments, even repressive ones, at least give lip service to supporting freedom of the press–especially on World Press Freedom Day, May 3. But in Liberia this month, Othello Daniel Warrick, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s chief security aide, shocked local journalists by threatening them and calling them “terrorists” at a public event to mark the occasion, according to news reports and local media groups. Warrick’s threats set off a firestorm of protest which has yet to subside. Although he has since backpedaled and some government officials have spoken up to reaffirm their commitment to press freedom, the media are imposing a blackout on coverage of the presidency, which they insist they will uphold until Sirleaf herself speaks out. Warrick–the head of Liberia’s presidential guard, the Executive Protection Service (EPS), which oversees Sirleaf’s personal security–was a scheduled guest speaker at a May 3 event titled “Media-Security Relations: An Imperative for Consolidating Peace in Liberia” in west-central Grand Bassa County. But instead of emphasizing peace when he took the podium, he threatened the gathering of over 100 media practitioners assembled, saying the EPS has the right to arrest them without warrant and he would “go after” any journalist who publishes articles critical of him or the presidency, news reports said. “Any press member that surpasses his/her responsibility to get involved in presidential intelligence; trust me, we will restrict you,” Warrick said. “Be careful, because you have your pen and we have our guns. And if you incriminate the character or integrity of Liberians, like myself, we will come after you… the EPS has the right to arrest you without warrant.”

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    Liberia: U.S., Liberia Strengthen Bilateral Ties Liberia: U.S., Liberia Strengthen Bilateral Ties

    Liberia: U.S., Liberia Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Liberia: U.S., Liberia Strengthen Bilateral Ties

US and Liberia have signed a joint statement affirming commitment to work together to address the challenges in Liberia and boosts the two countries’ bilateral relations. In his closing remark on US-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Washington DC, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman says both countries are committed to hold the next session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Monrovia, Liberia within the next year.

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    U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue Inaugurated U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue Inaugurated

    U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue Inaugurated

U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue Inaugurated

The inaugural session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue was held in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2013, with the signing of a joint statement, following a day-long deliberation involving senior government officials of both countries. Held at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Liberia and the United States reached another historical milestone in the relationship between both countries with the signing of a joint statement at the end of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue. The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, signed on behalf of Liberia, while Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs, signed on behalf of the Government of the United States.

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    Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

    Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

Liberia Among World’s Fastest Economies

A new report released by the World Bank places Liberia amongst the world’s fastest growing economies. Liberia’s latest upward movement amongst the world’s top economies, according to Madam Shanta Davaranja, World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, comes as a result of recent discovery and development of natural resources in the economies of said countries as well as direct foreign investments. “In 2012, about a quarter of African countries grew at 7 percent or higher and a number of countries, notably Sierra Leone, Niger, Cote’ d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, are amongst the fastest growing in the world” Madam Devaranja disclosed in Monrovia Monday through a video conference gathering that received huge attention across the globe. “Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5 percent on average in 2013-2015 as a result of high commodity strong consumer spending on the continent, ensuring that the region remains amongst the fast growing in the World” the World Bank’s latest Africa Pulse, a twice yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, said in its latest global economic ranking. Despite attractive growths in the economies of these countries, the World Bank said in its report Monday that more needs to be done to reduce poverty on the African continent. Although Governments in Africa have shown some positive attitudes that have led to the cutting down of poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank said that Less Poverty significantly remains elusive. In order to tackle the issue of poverty reduction on the African continent, WB suggested that African governments must invest in the informer sector, particularly agriculture, since in fact, “about 79% of poor African communities are mainly surviving on agriculture.” “Welcoming […]

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    Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

    Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

Mud Huts: Resourcefulness of the People Observed

During our most recent trip to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team spent most of the trip on a 6 day backpack adventure deep into the jungle. One of the things we became curious about was the methods of building construction. There were many small towns deep in the jungle that we visited along our trek . Most of them were not accessible by vehicles of any kind due the impossibility of crossing the rivers. The only means of crossing the river was by manmade canoes and thus everything must be carried by hand including food, clothing, and of course building materials. The buildings, or “mud huts” as they are called, are built from the only materials readily available. First long straight sticks are collected from the jungle. Bamboo was used typically.   The sticks were lashed together in a grid spacing the sticks about 10’’ horizontally and vertically. With the grid complete, the native soil was mixed with water to create a mud that would be packed into both sides of the grid. This type of building was expected to last 10 to 15 years after which a fresh mud pack would be in order. Towns closer to the difficult river crossings often had corrugated metal roofs. Carrying the metal to the towns further from the river was not practical and those roofs were made of palm leaves. We especially enjoyed the palm leaf roofs and their picturesque qualities, but much more upkeep is required if they are to keep out the heavy rains of the African jungle!

  • The father (in the yellow) of the 15 year old boy who died from a snake bite
    Snakebite = Fatality? Snakebite = Fatality?

    Snakebite = Fatality?

Snakebite = Fatality?

During a recent visit to Liberia, Africa, the Sahbu team ventured out to the remote village of Gbalala. Gbalala is a beautiful mud hut village that is not accessible by car or even motorcycle. Any type of medicine or health care is a day’s walk from Gbalala, and if a person is not able to walk or be carried, it’s an additional day’s travel back to town. The Sahbu team was saddened upon our arrival to learn of a 15 year old boy who had died the day before. The people of Gbalala, like each of the villages we visited on our trek, rely on the jungle for food. Common food sources found in the jungle are rice, various fruits, avocado, and the people hunt for deer, bush goat, and other sources of meat. The 15 year old boy had been hunting with a friend in the jungle close to their village. They had been stalking a bush goat which they had shot at previously. They came into the area they had pinpointed as the animal’s hiding place only to find a foxhole. The boy reached into the hole for the bush goat and instead a yellow snake instantaneously struck him three times in the wrist and forearm. The boy was injected with a large amount of poisonous venom such that he had lost his vision within 6 minutes and had passed away within 30 minutes. When poisonous snake venom is injected into the human cardiovascular system, there is usually time for the anit-venom to be given to the victim which is the only hope to save his/her life. In this area of Liberia, the anit-venom for the Yellow Snake is available but is only […]

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    Knock and Ye Shall Receive Knock and Ye Shall Receive

    Knock and Ye Shall Receive

Knock and Ye Shall Receive

Just last week we received some very bad news from Borto Orphanage, one of the orphanages we support in Harrisburg, Liberia. They informed us that they were out of money. They pled with us and we called upon you, our faithful followers who have come out of the woodworks to help us multiple times. We asked you to help us raise $500 by the end of the week last Friday and we met that goal within the first four hours. The total that came in from that push was over $1,000 and we’re still getting donations that trickle in from that post. Now the orphans at Borto will have food to eat for the next couple of months. We couldn’t be more happy for your response. We would love to get Borto to a point where they’re self-sustaining and we’re asking you for your input. If you have any ideas on how Borto could become self-sustaining, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share this blog post with your friends and family so we might get others involved.

The Economic Development in Liberia

Liberia has struggled since its 14-year civil war ended in 2003. Some would say there is no infrastructure, and the infrastructure that’s starting to be put in place isn’t high enough quality and isn’t coming soon enough. At the end of the war, with issues including  corruption, abuse and misuse of resources, the United Nations had to step in and take control. Many fear that if the UN pulls out of the country, the war would rise up once again. For those living in the very rural villages in the Liberian bush, not much has changed. Across the St. Paul to an area in Bong County, people still live in mud huts with thatched roofs, and have no means of transportation except by foot. Many of the services including schools and clinics are almost non-existent. Students who want to go to school beyond the 4th grade have to travel very long distances, including hours of walking and having to cross deadly waters. Farmers have a difficult life as they try to grow the necessary resources to stay alive. In order to grow certain products, the jungle must be burned to clear out the land.  After seeds are planted and products harvested, they have to do it all over again in a completely different parcel. The knowledge of refertilization hasn’t been introduced to these people yet. During our recent trip to Liberia, our eyes were opened to this economic development issue.  Sahbu wants to increase economic development by helping these Liberians understand the resources they have and how to better utilize time and how to produce greater quantities of product. Liberia is rich with many resources and we want to help them achieve their goals of […]

Education is Key in Liberia

When Sahbu visited Liberia in October of 2012, they learned something…that education is the key to a better Liberia. Enjoy these interview snippets with squatters, child prostitutes, pastors, school founders, and students to learn more about the real life situations these people face in Liberia. Follow us on Facebook and visit our site.