Internal Affairs Minister wants Liberians improve agriculture sector

Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf is calling on Liberians to forgo personal differences and work together for the improvement of Liberia’s agriculture sector.

Minister Sirleaf said recently that if Liberia is to move forward, there is a strong need for more attention to be given to the agriculture sector, adding that it is the most important thing in the world.

Minister Sirleaf narrates that his work will not only focus on coordinating the affairs of the Internal Affairs Ministry, but to also ensure that the necessary supports be given to the Agriculture Ministry for food productivity.

He told a cross section of citizens in Gbarnga that he will work with Agriculture Minister - designate Dr. Mogana Flomo, Jr., to ensure the implementation of plans for the agriculture sector.

Speaking about plans for the Internal Affairs Ministry, Minister Sirleaf said he will also ensure the full implementation of the Local Governance Council which he said will be followed by the election of local chiefs across the country.

He said electing chiefs will give them the full responsibility in discharging their duties without fear of being intimidated by top government officials.
Meanwhile, Minister Sirleaf has challenged newly appointed members of local government of Bong County to abide by the rule of law in all of their doings.

He wants local government officials of Bong County to respect powerless citizens and not to use their positions to terrorize them.

Local government officials of Bong County that were appointed by President George Manneh Weah include Anthony Sheriff, Assistant Superintendent for Development; Conteh Yallah, Statutory District Superintendent; Paul A. Sulonteh, Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs; Jerry Tinnie, Relieving Commissioner; Lucia Herbert, Gbarnga City Mayor, Aaron Mulbah, Fumah District Commissioner; and Daniel Tubman, Salala District Commissioner.

Other appointees include Milton Varney, Sanoyea District Commissioner; Annie Reeves, Yellequelleh District Commissioner, and Daniel O. Dudu, Suakoko District, among others.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Mrs. Weah tours LPRC

First Lady, Clar Weah says she is greatly impressed with the level of work ongoing at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC). A release from the Office of the First Lady said Mrs. Weah gave her impression on Friday, March 2, 2018 during a tour of LPRC facilities and to inspect ongoing construction projects.

She thanked LPRC Managing Director, Nyemade Pearson, and the management team along with the staff for their commitment to duty.

The visit was intended to pay a courtesy call on the new Managing Director, Ms. Pearson, as well as obtain first hand assessment of ongoing projects.

At LPRC, Mrs. Weah was taken on a guided tour, which started with the company’s clinic now being rehabilitated to offer immediate response to health needs in the place of work.

Mrs. Weah met with employees, who were pre-dominantly women, and expressed appreciation over her visit.

Speaking earlier, LPRC Managing Director, Ms. Pearson thanked the Mrs. Weah for the visit and assured her that the next time she returns, some of the projects, especially the clinic would have been completed and ready for dedication.

Father re-arrested

Police in Bong County have re-arrested rape suspect Benjamin Duncan, having earlier been released from a police detention center in Bong where he was confined for allegedly raping his daughter on Christmas night last year, in an act of incest.

Incest is sexual activity between two people who are considered, for moral or genetic reasons, too closely related to have such a relationship. It is regarded as a serious taboo in almost every society, although cultures differ as to the extent to which marriages are allowed between relatives.
Police were reported to have released suspect Duncan from detention recently, but gave no clear explanation over his release when our correspondent made inquiry at the Police Detachment in the county.

Report of suspect Duncan’s release from police custody was greeted by public condemnation, with pressure being mounted against authorities to ensure the suspect is held to account.

Our Bong County correspondent says following mounting pressure, the suspect was re-arrested on Thursday, 22 February based on the orders of County Attorney Wilkins Nah.

Attorney Nah had himself faced allegations of allegedly being in the know of suspect Duncan’s release, but he immediately denied the claims earlier.

Suspect Duncan was rearrested while enroute to an unknown destination in Bong County. He has denied any wrongdoing and has called on the police to have mercy on him. He accuses his daughter of acting in a way to denigrate him to the public, arguing if he is mad to rape his own daughter.

“How can I rape my own daughter, am I mad? A child that I have been washing her cloths from one year up to present, how crazy will I be to rape her?” he spoke in a very sorrowful mood.

Suspect Duncan claims that his daughter had over the past time been wishing to come to Monrovia to go to school, allegedly threatening to put him in trouble if he did not send her to her aunt in Monrovia.

He wants the police to independently investigate the case, adding that they should not take decision that will make them to be bias simply because the girl is a small child.

The alleged rape case was reported on 8 February when the 11 - year - old victim turned sick and was taken to the C. B. Dumber Hospital in Gbarnga for treatment.

She is said to have been raped by her father on Christmas night and the two have since allegedly been having sex at their residence in the Sugar Hill Community of Gbarnga, Bong County.

Health workers at the health facility were said to have noticed that the 11 - year - old girl had chronic infection related to sexually active person and decided to ask her. Upon health workers’ inquiry, the victim is said to have confessed that her father had tempered with her.

She explained that her father usually uses a lot of grease to lubricate her private part before penetrating her, allegedly threatening to kill her if she told anyone.

Police Commander Federick Nepay had accused Bong County Attorney Wilkins Nah of allegedly ordering the release of the alleged rape suspect, Duncan.

But Attorney Nah said he gave no order to release suspect Duncan, noting that it was the public defender who asked for the release of the suspect because he had spent over the 48 hours statutory period required to stay in police detention.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Gov’t vow to protect women’s right

Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor says the CDC-led government remains committed to respecting and protecting the rights of women in Liberia.

VP Howard-Taylor added that government is also committed to ensuring that girls are allowed to reach their full potential, guaranteeing that no opportunity is denied them to progress in their life. ‘This is the basic human right and we owe it to every woman and girl to live and grow up in a secured environment without any threat from any quarter’, VP Howard-Taylor emphasized.

The Liberian Vice President spoke today, Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at programs marking the celebration of the International day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation-FGM held at the Monrovia City Hall.

Female Genital Mutilation is a violation of the human rights of women and girls and denies their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering.

A 2016 survey by the National Working Group Against FGM shows that in Liberia, 40 percent of girls of school-going-age have suffered the practice. Globally, an estimated 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.

Though some progress has been made in Liberia, including the recent Executive Order which bans FGM, the practice is widespread and much more still needs to be done–working with all stakeholders including cultural and traditional leaders to enforce the ban.

VP Howard-Taylor therefore used the occasion to call on all Liberians and partners to remember that the fight against violence against women and girls is a collective responsibility that must be honored at every level.

Madam Howard-Taylor told the gathering that violence against women and girls takes many different forms including domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, child, early and forced marriage, sex trafficking and female genital mutilation.

According to a release from the office of the Vice president, Vice president Howard-Taylor asserted that violence against women and girls is one of the most significant barriers to end poverty.

She noted that violence against women and girls does not only devastate women’s live and divide communities, but also undermine development efforts and the building of strong democracies and peaceful societies.

The release quotes the Vice president as detesting violence, saying that violence locks women and girls into poverty, limits their choices and ability to access education.

President George M. Weah in his inaugural address assured that his government will focus on the country’s education system, improve health and sanitation, promote and strengthen gender equality, and provide for youth re-orientation and empowerment through training of all kinds, the creation of jobs, and the expansion of sports.


Put your education first

The Director for Finance at the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL, Mr. Dorbor M. Hagba, is cautioning young people especially, university students to prioritize their education sojourn if they must succeed.

“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to you members of the Students Movement to Promote Accountability and Transparency for award giving me, but I will want to encourage you to pay more attention to education, because myself, I was a student like you”, says Mr. Hagba.

The CBL Finance Director spoke Thursday, 25 January in his office at the Central Bank of Liberia when students from various universities certificated him as “Liberia’s Most Outstanding Personality of the Year” for his tremendous efforts to supporting student’s activities, and the country at large.

“The award came as a big surprise to me that they have given me a renewed sense of commitment to continue doing what I am involved in, I do not expect anything in return from these students, this award makes me feels happy; it means I am making a huge impact in the society”, he says.
According to him, for a group of students, whom he doesn’t know from anywhere to honor him, speaks volume to his contribution to young people in the society, saying, I am glad that people’r wacthing my little contribution that we make to share from the little things that we earn.

Mr. Hagba recalls those days when he had to walk three miles in Lofa County just to go to school noting, with this I am aware of the struggle that students go through just to acquire education, some don’t have parents, it is against this backdrop that my passion has led me to assit young people in the society.

He applauds the students for their thought in recognizing his efforts, but encouraged them to continue to award people of like mines not on the basis of expecting money, but for services they have rendered to needy.

For his part, the spokesman for the group Sensee Kiadi, says their decision to award Mr. Hagba is based on his tireless support to the youth, and student movements over the years.

He explains the group is a conglomeration of students from various universities including, University of Liberia, African Methodists Episcopal University, United Methodist University, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, and Cuttington University in Bong County, among others who though it wise to recognize the tremendous efforts of the honoree over the years.

“We have been following Mr. Hagba for a long time, and his track record of supporting youth and student organizations led us to honor him by giving his flowers while he’s alive, and we the students want to inform you we hold you in a very high esteem”, says Student Kiadi.

Meanwhile, presenting the certificate to Mr. Hagba, a member of the group, Mark Chea remarks, “We award you for your dedicated service in the financial sector, which has contributed toward the growth and development of the country.”

Chea notes that the honoree’s services over the years have positively affected the livelihood of many Liberians across the country, so it is worth commending him.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Accélérer la transition énergétique de l’Afrique

PARIS – Presque partout en Afrique, on estime essentielle sur le plan environnemental la transition des combustibles fossiles vers des formes d’énergie plus propres. Puisque les combustibles fossiles occupent la plus grande part — autant que 70 % dans certains cas — du profil énergétique des pays africains, la situation écologique du continent est vraiment sombre.

Or, la transition énergétique de l’Afrique est également urgente sur le plan économique. Chaque année, les subventions à la consommation de pétrole accaparent 1,5 % de PIB du continent — environ 50 milliards $. Il y a là assez d’argent pour distribuer de l’énergie solaire à plus de 300 millions de personnes. Si le continent pouvait rééquilibrer sa consommation énergétique, en s’éloignant progressivement des hydrocarbures, ces subventions pourraient être réaffectées de manière à générer des avantages économiques et environnementaux.

Aujourd’hui, ni les exportateurs ni les importateurs de pétrole ne sont assez isolés contre les fluctuations de prix. Lorsque les cours du pétrole ont plongé en 2015, par exemple, des pays africains importateurs d’énergie ont réduit leurs coûts en pétrole, tout en exportant vers des pays ayant subi des revers financiers. Lorsque les prix ont rebondi, la relation s’est inversée : les revenus des pays exportateurs d’énergie se sont mis à remonter, pendant que les pays importateurs peinaient à maintenir leur niveau de consommation.

Ces cycles ne sont pas nécessaires, car intégrer une énergie plus propre dans les systèmes d’énergie nationale non seulement relèverait les capacités localement ; mais libérerait aussi des stocks d’hydrocarbures pour l’exportation. Les recettes pourraient être investies dans de nouvelles formes d’énergie. Cette transition, à laquelle doit participer le secteur pétrolier, promet d’insuffler un élan au progrès socioéconomique.

Parmi les plus grands avantages, on y retrouverait l’électrification de régions qui, dans l’état actuel des réseaux de distribution, sont littéralement dans le noir. Aujourd’hui, uniquement 30 % de l’Afrique a accès à un réseau fiable de distribution d’électricité. Pourtant, avec une capacité totale estimée autour de dix térawatts, le parc installé de centrales solaires en Afrique pourrait grandement élargir l’accès. En fait, selon certaines estimations, la production accrue d’énergie solaire d’ici 2030 pourrait atteindre de 15 à 62 gigawatts.

Les combustibles fossiles ne sont pas prêts de disparaître de sitôt, mais une consommation d’énergie laissant beaucoup plus de place à l’énergie solaire amènerait des avantages économiques majeurs à l’Afrique, surtout dans les régions où l’agriculture est le secteur économique dominant. L’électrification des régions agraires faciliterait le stockage et le transport des produits d’élevage, améliorerait la sécurité alimentaire et développerait la capacité des exploitants agricoles de générer des revenus.

Dans sa recherche d’un bilan énergétique équilibré, le continent africain possède un avantage déterminant sur les économies développées : c’est un terrain vierge. La filière d’énergie la plus porteuse pour l’Afrique réside dans l’énergie verte, car l’Afrique a relativement peu investi dans les technologies du passé. Même si chaque pays doit composer entre ses propres besoins en énergie et le recours aux sources d’énergie renouvelable, en particulier à l’énergie solaire, cette stratégie s’avère la moins coûteuse pour stimuler l’essor économique de tout le continent.

Les quelques centrales photovoltaïques qui commencent à être exploitées en Afrique témoignent de ce potentiel. Par exemple, la centrale solaire Senergy 2 du Sénégal distribue son électricité à la Société nationale d’électricité du Sénégal à un prix, ce qui abaisse le coût du bilan énergétique de 50 %. Des solutions similaires en solaire sont mises en œuvre par les sociétés de télécommunications africaines pour électrifier les tours de communication.

La meilleure façon d’accélérer la transition des hydrocarbures vers des formes d’énergie plus écologiques serait de réaffecter vers les énergies renouvelables une portion des subventions nationales accordées au secteur pétrolier. Ceci créerait des incitatifs pour réduire la consommation des carburants fossiles, tout en encourageant les investissements et la croissance de la production d’énergie renouvelable. Pour les régions rurales de l’Afrique, de telles politiques auraient également l’avantage de sortir les collectivités de la noirceur et d’avoir des effets d’entraînement sur l’implantation d’autres infrastructures essentielles à la croissance économique.

Même si les énergies renouvelables détiennent la clé de la prospérité à long terme de l’Afrique, la transition du continent vers des énergies plus propres ne devrait pas mener à un abandon immédiat et complet des hydrocarbures. Le secteur pétrolier aura toujours un rôle important à jouer. L’expérience des intervenants du secteur sur le continent sera nécessaire pour mener à bon port la transformation énergétique. Et, puisque les combustibles fossiles feront encore partie du bilan énergétique du continent, il faut à tout prix intéresser les pétrolières à régler elles-mêmes les problèmes qu’elles génèrent.

Ceci semble être une alliance improbable. Mais pendant que des responsables politiques de tout le continent s’efforcent d’assurer des approvisionnements d’énergie propre pour générer une croissance économique rapide, inclusive et qui satisfait les critères de viabilité environnementale, ils se rendront probablement compte qu’il n’y a pas d’autre possibilité. La coopération entre le secteur des énergies conventionnelles et celui des nouvelles formes d’énergie est peut-être le seul moteur de croissance qui puisse vraiment faire progresser l’Afrique.

Traduit de l’anglais par Pierre Castegnier

Charlotte Aubin est PDG de GreenWish Partners, un producteur d’énergie renouvelable qui consacre ses activités à l’Afrique subsaharienne.

Charlotte Aubin

Une réponse réellement mondiale au changement climatique


BONN – La lutte contre le changement climatique ne porte pas uniquement sur la limitation des températures mondiales. Elle peut également être le moteur du développement et de la réduction de la pauvreté dans le monde. Lors de la 23e Conférence des Parties à la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques, la COP23, qui s’est tenue à Bonn, Allemagne, en novembre, les institutions multilatérales de développement se sont montrées plus déterminées que jamais à soutenir et à financer ces objectifs essentiels.

Le climat politique actuel est incertain. Mais le changement climatique ne l’est pas. Des partenariats mondiaux doivent être développés dans le cadre de l’effort global pour effectuer une transition en douceur vers un développement économe en carbone et respectueux du climat. A cet égard, les institutions multilatérales de développement sont particulièrement pertinentes.

Le développement respectueux du climat s’avère également judicieux au plan économique et commercial, en particulier en matière d’infrastructures durables. Nous avons déjà constaté une croissance phénoménale des énergies renouvelables, accompagnée de la création d’emplois et de nouvelles perspectives commerciales. De nombreux investissements intelligents au plan du climat peuvent aussi contribuer à réduire les embouteillages et la pollution atmosphérique. Développer aujourd’hui les capacités de résistance fera économiser de l’argent demain. Nous sommes déterminés à soutenir un avenir intelligent au plan climatique.

En tant qu’institutions multilatérales de développement, nous réaffirmons notre engagement envers l’accord de Paris sur le climat. Notre rôle est de faciliter le financement public et privé qui est la pierre angulaire des solutions devant être apportées au changement climatique.

C’est la raison pour laquelle, deux ans après la négociation fructueuse de l’accord de Paris, nous alignons de plus en plus les actions et les ressources en soutien des objectifs des pays en développement. En juillet dernier, le plan d'action Énergie et climat pour la croissance du sommet du G20 de Hambourg a intégré l’accord de Paris dans les politiques du G20 et noté qu’une utilisation plus efficace du financement apporté par les institutions multilatérales de développement était la clé de l’innovation et des investissement privés dans la lutte contre le changement climatique.

Rien qu’en 2016, les institutions multilatérales de développement ont engagé plus de 27 milliards de dollars pour financer la lutte contre le changement climatique et nous continuons à développer nos activités, déterminés à élargir le financement public et privé mobilisé pour les actions contre le changement climatique lors de la COP23.

Nous nous engageons à :

• Tenir les promesses faites en 2015 d’augmenter notre soutien aux investissements dans le domaine du climat dans les pays en développement, à la fois au moyen de nos fonds propres et en mobilisant un financement extérieur ;
• Mobiliser davantage les investissements du secteur privé en appuyant des réformes politiques et réglementaires, au moyen notamment de l’alignement des signaux-prix, de l’utilisation novatrice d’instruments politiques et financiers et, le cas échéant, en tirant parti des financements à des conditions de faveur (inférieures au taux d’intérêt du marché monétaire) pour intensifier les investissements publics et privés dans des projets climatiques.
• Renforcer les efforts internationaux en travaillant ensemble et avec d’autres institutions de financement du développement pour améliorer la transparence et la cohérence du suivi du financement de la lutte contre le changement climatique et des rapports sur les émissions de gaz à effet de serre ;
• Mettre le changement climatique au centre de notre action, faire des politiques climatiques une partie intégrante de nos activités et aligner les flux financiers aux objectifs de l’accord de Paris ;
• Soutenir les plans d’actions climatiques des pays, villes et territoires et créer les conditions d’une nouvelle génération ambitieuse de telles contributions ; et
• Travailler avec nos clients pour soutenir les initiatives qui protègent les zones les plus vulnérables des effets du changement climatique, dont les petits États insulaires en développement, tout en mobilisant davantage de financement pour les pays en développement afin qu’ils puissent renforcer leur résilience et adapter leurs infrastructures, communautés, écosystèmes et entreprises aux effets du changement climatique.

Chacune de ces mesures reflète notre ferme engagement envers les Objectifs de développement durable. En poursuivant ces objectifs, la lutte contre le changement climatique deviendra une partie intégrante fondamentale du travail de la communauté internationale pour placer les infrastructures et le déploiement de nouvelles politiques et technologies pour l’énergie, l’eau et la mobilité au centre du développement durable.

Il s’agit d’une réponse sérieuse à un défi majeur. Le changement climatique représente une grave menace pour l’environnement naturel, la croissance économique et les vies de l’ensemble de la population mondiale, et en particulier des plus pauvres et vulnérables.

Il est opportun que cette menace pour les économies nationales et pour chaque personne sur cette planète, ainsi que l’occasion de s’attaquer à ce problème, soit contrée avec l’appui des institutions multilatérales de développement. Nous invitons d’autres parties prenantes à se joindre à nous en plaçant la lutte contre le changement climatique au cœur de leurs activités, en augmentant le financement dédié à cette lutte et en suivant l’impact de ce financement partout dans le monde.

Akinwumi Adesina est le président de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD). Suma Chakrabarti est le président de la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement (BERD). Bandar M. H. Hajjar est le président de la Banque islamique de développement (ISDB). Werner Hoyer est le président de la Banque européenne d'investissement (BEI). Kundapur Vaman Kamath est le président de la Nouvelle banque de développement des BRICS. Jim Yong Kim est le président de la Banque mondiale. Jin Liqun est le président de la Banque asiatique d'investissement dans les infrastructures (AIIB). Luis Alberto Moreno est le président de la Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID). Takehiko Nakao est le président de la Banque asiatique de développement (BAD).


Par Akinwumi Adesina, Suma Chakrabarti, Bandar M. H. Hajjar, Werner Hoyer, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Jim Yong Kim, Jin Liqun, Luis Alberto Moreno et Takehiko Nakao

MOD official wants ECOWAS intervention

The Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations Jerome Larbelle, has urged the members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to continue its support towards the electoral process in Liberia.

According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the Liberian Deputy Defense Minister made the assertion during the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the Ministerial Level that held on December 12, 2017.

The MSC is part of series of the annual end-of-year Statutory Meetings of ECOWAS that are taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. The meetings come on the heels of this weekend’s 52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

According to the release, the Deputy Minister of Defense represented the Liberian side at the MSC, where security issues and the creation of a more stable region dominated the discussions.

The release adds that the Liberian Deputy Defense Minister noted that the return of ECOWAS’ team to help the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) with the Final Registration Roll (FRR) will help maintain the peace and security in Liberia.

He asserted that peace in Liberia means peace in the sub-region.

Earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza, in his welcome remarks, talked about the sub regional body’s support for electoral activities in member States.

The President also noted other security concerns, including transhumance, farmers-pastoralists clashes as well as the scale of humanitarian situation. He however stressed that the Commission was on top of the situation.

Mr. Souza stressed the importance of adopting a comprehensive and all inclusive approach to enduring security architecture in order to have a more stable region.

The ECOWAS Commission’s President who gave an overview and a situation report in Member States while briefing the ministers on the social and political developments in the regional community, cited some Member States where terrorism, violent extremism and inter-communal conflict continue to be major threats to peace and security. These countries include Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo and Chair of the MSC, Professor Robert Dussey, who declared the meeting opened, stressed the need to consolidate on the gains made so far by the Council.

According to him, it has become more imperative for all security issues with the potential of destabilizing the region to be treated with utmost care.

Among the issues considered by the Ministers were the Report of the 27th Meeting of the MSC at the Ambassadorial Level were memoranda on the political and security situation, and on the status of maritime security in the region.

The final report of the MSC would be forwarded to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers who meet on the heels of the MSC preparatory to the Summit of the Heads of state and Government on the 16th of December 2017.

The meetings continued on Wednesday and Thursday, December 13 to 14, 2017, with the 79th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers.

Liberia’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance and Development Planning, Honorable Marjon V. Kamara and Boimah Kamara, are representing Liberia at the event.

Earlier, the 22nd Meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) and the 27th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial Level previously preceded the MSC meeting.

The 52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government climaxes the meetings this weekend, the release concludes.

“Liberia IPDP will be heart of Africa”

The Director General at the Intellectual Property Development Plan (IPDP) Mr. Roosevelt Gould has promised to make Liberia's Intellectual Property Development Plan the heart of Africa.

“My vision is to make the IPDP here in Liberia the heart of the African, where we will be compared to our neighbors in this region in the creative industry,” Mr. Gould said recently at the YMCA Conference Hall up Crown Hill in Monrovia at the start of a two - day stakeholders review workshop of the intellectual property development plan in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

He says the creative industry here in Liberia and the work of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office have been sidelined by the government, with most of government's attention allegedly focused on Poverty Reduction Strategy and other initiatives across the country.

The draft intellectual property strategic plan meant to be integrated into the country’s national development agenda has been validated by stakeholders in the creative industry.

The document is titled "Intellectual Property Development Plan," The strategic use of IP for technological capacity building, economic growth and development.
The document validated recently through a workshop in Monrovia aims at encouraging and facilitating useful creations, critical developments and management and protection of IP at the national level, as well as providing support to creative industry societies, and challenges facing the creative industry.

The IPDP document is a crosscutting one which links with diverse policy areas to ensure effective coordination with other activities that strengthen the country’s ability to generate economic growth, both in terms of GDP and human capital from IP.

LIPO Director General Roosevelt Gould says this IPDP, when developed into government development agenda will attract foreign investment, promote research, and create an innovation and entrepreneurial culture.

Mr. Gould adds that as the country fights to become a middle income country in about two decades, it cannot be achieved without innovation, which is important tool of technological and economic development.

“With this document, government will encourage inventive activity and also to promote the development, exploitation and the commercialization of local inventions, by providing the inventor with the relevant support," Mr. Gould says.
According to him, one of the benefits of this document when integrated into national development agenda is the establishment of an innovation center to promote innovation and support innovators with the necessary funds.

With this center, he says innovators and creative individual will be able to receive special loans or subsidies and grants for development of certain inventions and innovations.

Director Gould further says with this plan, government will now be in the position to ratify lots of intellectual property treaties like the ARIPO Swakopmund protocol on the protection of traditional Knowledge, WIPO Copyright Treaty, and Beijing Treaty for Audio – visual performances and lots more- which are important treaties for the utilization of IP for economic growth and development of creative industry.

He notes that these treaties come with lots of benefits, but in the absence of these treaties not being ratified, it becomes difficult for the benefit to be realized.
“This [is] why this document comes in to change the way things have been. The world is now being controlled by IP, and so, this IPDA plan will bring about [the strengthening of the] IP infrastructure for economic growth and lot more,” he notes.

He reveals that his vision is to make Liberia the hub of innovation and the creative art, noting that the strategy document will be used as a roadmap for systematic input of the citizens in the achievement of its goal in order to make Liberia hotspot of creativity in Africa.

By Lewis S. Teh--Edited by Winston W. Parley

NMCP launches 2016 malaria prevention report

The Ministry of Health through the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) has launched the 2016 Malaria Indicator survey report with a glaring call to prevent the wide spread of malaria across the country.

The 2016 Liberia Malaria Indicator Survey (LMIS) is the third Malaria Indicator Survey conducted in Liberia since 2009 as part of the DHS Program, and activates here in Liberia.

The LMIS was designed to provide estimates at the national level, for urban and rural areas, and for five regions and Monrovia specifically.The launching of the 2016 LMIS report which was held Tuesday, 5 December at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town, Tubman Boulevard brought together both media representatives from various media intuitions.

The 2016 Liberia MIS provides populations-based estimates on malaria indicators including malaria prevention, case management, malaria, and anemia prevalence to inform strategic planning and program evaluation.

The report explains that all children between the ages of 6-59 months living in selected households were eligible for the malaria and anemia testing. Accordingly, the malaria testing was done through rapid diagnostic testing, and the anemia testing was also carried out using the hemocue system.

The report notes that of the 3,250 eligible children, 86% of them provided blood for RTD and anemia. In total 2,872 children were tested for malaria, and 2,873 were tested for anemia.

The 2016 MIS report suggests that the best way to prevent malaria is by suing Insecticide Treated Bednet (ITN), adding that the Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) for pregnant women to prevent themselves from malaria, and the treatment consists of two doses of fansidar at least once during antenatal care.

Speaking to this paper in an interview, the Communication Associates at Democratic Health Survey (DHS) Mrs. Anne Linn says the 2016 survey targeted about 4,000 households, and it ran from September to November 2016.

According to her, the objective of the 2016 LMIS report is to provide current information for policymakers, planners, researchers, and program managers to have an insight on the danger of malaria.Mrs. Linn names topics in the report as Ownership, Access, and the Use of Mosquito bednets.

By Lewis S. Teh--Edited by Winston W. Parley

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