For only the third time in its 66-year history, the World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency. This time it is for the Ebola outbreak in the three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. After their traumatic ordeal in recent months, governments and communities in those three countries are looking desperately for signs that Ebola can be stopped in its tracks.
“Speaking on the sidelines of the Summit (of African Leaders called by US President Barak Obama)”, Sudanese Billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, lectures our President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (FrontPageAfricaonline, August 6, 2014) FPA reports:
The New Dawn newspaper (New Dawn, July 8, 2014) reported that the “Former Public Works Minister (the Honorable Samuel Kofi Woods) has emphasized the need for a comprehensive audit of the Ministry of Finance before the merger of the Ministries of Finance and Planning & Economic Affairs . . . Even though an audit has already been conducted, the Public Works Committee of the Legislature must conduct the necessary hearings to establish a firm foundation for the merger . . . because they (the two ministries) were (and are) critical to Liberia’s development . . .” and that “the issue of the merger . . . has been a source of controversy . . .”.
The New Democrat newspaper (New Democrat, June 27, 2014) reports that “despite Liberia being independent since . . . 1847, the country is still controlled by individuals who pay allegiance to the USA”. They are dual citizens - Liberians who are naturalized citizens of foreign countries but claim Liberian citizenships. Case in point, the paper says, “is the President’s son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf, former Senior Advisor to his Mother/President of Liberia and an admitted US citizen with Passport #218198381, in Liberia on permit of residence (visitor, work?) since June, 2010, and former Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Corporation of Liberia”.
Legislature struggles under Imperial Executive” - Speaker & Pro-Temp Lament: A Reaction
According to the Analyst Liberia newspaper (Analyst Liberia, June 30, 2014), “The Constitution of Liberia, since the birth of (this nation and) government in 1847, is pillared on three-hinged legs – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – professedly bequeathed with equal, coordinate powers in the governance of the state. Though much of the people’s power is theoretically, technically placed in the hands of the Legislature whose elected members directly represent every facet of the nation, the President, head of the Executive Branch, has stolen the entire show”. Therefore, according to the newspaper, the Speaker and President Pro-Temp of both the Lower and Upper Houses of the Nation’s Legislature, the constituted law-making body that served, diligently, under imperial executive during these 167 years of the nation’s existence as an independent, sovereign nation, now realized that the National Legislature is “drowning in subservience, struggles under imperial executive” (Highlight & italics mine). This effort is our Reaction.
Corruption is one of the biggest themes on the lips of Liberians today. This issue has become prominent in the national debate because President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during her inaugural address on 16 January 2006, said ‘corruption will be public enemy number one’. Today, the President’s critics are judging her by this statement claiming that ‘not much is being done to prosecute corrupt government officials’.
The President’s address (New Dawn & FrontPageAfrica, May 29, 2014) on the nation’s Economy is a must-read for its deeply-penetrating, down-to-earth analysis in simple language of our economy’s performance - positive and negative.
It was an atmosphere of glee amongst Liberians when news about Jindal’s investment interest in Liberia first emerged about two years back. The arrival of the Jindal Chairman Naveen Jindal and his meetings with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf were further reassuring that this $18 billion group will turn the fortunes of the country.
This case study is on the Republic of Liberia, Africa’s first independent republic, located on the west coast of Africa. The country maintained an aristocratic republican democracy for 133 unbroken years (Sawyer 1991), but later slipped into a devastating 14 years civil war, which ended in August 2003. The war killed about 250,000 people of the country’s four million population, and damaged key infrastructure and basic social services including homes, electricity, education, health and water facilities, bridges, roads, air and sea ports, and telecommunication (UN in Liberia 2013). Peace and security have been restored to Liberia, following a transitional government instituted by the Accra Peace Accord, and the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in 2005 (CPA 2003). The first post war elections brought Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first African female head of state and government, to power (UNSG Report 2006).