Meeting in Liberia on 6 September 2017 The Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Special Representative of the ECOWAS Commission’s President to Liberia The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, The Honourable Minister of Defense Liberia, UNMIL SRSG The Special Representative of the ECOWAS Commissioner for Gambia, Colleague Chiefs of Defense Staffs, UNMIL Force Commander, Force Commanders of our missions in Gambia and Guinea Bissau, Officers, Distinguished Guests, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 37th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS commences today at the Boulevard Hotel in Monrovia. Fourteen of the regional Chief of Staffs from the ECOWAS and their delegates will be discussing regional security matters like insurgencies in Nigeria and Mali.
Introduction The debate about the person that will succeed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2018 is at the verge of being consummated within a matter of days instead of months. The much anticipated 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections are about 42 days away, and will continue to capture the front pages of newspapers and remain at the epic center of radio talk shows. The elections debate continues to be the central argument of pep talks at street corners and is the main focus of discussions at intellectual centers in the lead up to the scheduled voting day. It is not a surprise that this subject is claiming the attention of many educated and conscious minded Liberians at this particular time because the key question of ‘WHO WILL BE LIBERIA’S NEXT PRESIDENT’ will be a critical test of how inure our democracy has become and will also hopefully occasion a democratic transition from one elected government to another in 70 years.
Given the social and economic environment in which the Liberian media, like many other media in countries of the global south work, it becomes bit more subjective to determine the actual effectiveness of the media. One would wish to see a corporatized media institution rather than an individualized one; one would wish to see media institutions that would impressively remunerate its staffers as an insulation against receiving material or financial gifts or inducements which lead ultimately to the breach of professional ethics. The issue of ethics is a side bar for this piece, so it’s not a contentious issue for now. Therefore, its mention is merely in passing.
Despite their huge followings, Liberian musicians’ quest to blend economic benefit with the hard task of brainstorming and producing great songs have often fell on unfertile soil. With a barrage of challenges that include improper management, limited market, piracy, Liberian musicians are most often left with pittance for their works.
Background and Issues The issue of the dual currency regime became a topical issue during the nationwide consultative meetings on the Vision 2030, Liberia Rising with several speakers favoring changes in the present dual currency law to one having the Liberian currency as the sole legal tender in the country. The issue is again receiving public attention, this time, as a result of the House of Representative’s recent vote to amend Part V Section 19, Subsection 1
The intense conversation regarding dual citizenship reminds me of the Liberian proverb, “Teeth and tongue may fight; they cannot separate”. Indeed, how many times during their occasional battles in our mouths haven’t we felt an excruciating pain? You see, when God created man, by design, God intended each part of His handmade to work together. One may ask, why? The answer is found in that aforementioned proverb. And, for example, organs such as the mouth, cheek, tongue, teeth and throat need each other like links on an assembling line in a manufacturing plant. Thus in order for them to perform as Our Almighty Father stipulated they have to cooperate. Basically, that’s how their main function of processing a drink or food is achieved; and unless fed intravenously, without that cooperation, it results to starvation, dehydration, and expiration – death.
Corruption is a serious threat to the Liberian society. Like a vicious disease it tears away at the systems and institutions that should work to address national development challenges like illiteracy, health-delivery care, unemployment, among several. Society is being robbed of scarce and valuable resources that can be used to undertake substantive development transformation by some individuals in positions of public trust. Howbeit, the threat of corruption is not delimited to individuals in positions of public trust, it slithers through society with almost every known established institutional structure including the family, being suspicious and needing some form of query.