Aside from the devastating effect on the Liberian state, the deadly Ebola virus at least did not spare and indeed shattered the already crumbling economy and resulted into a drastic decline of economic growth and development.
As if we had slipped back to anarchy, the campus of the United Methodist University right beside the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Ashmun Street was engulfed in unaccustomed uproar when students under the banner “Citizens for Open Society and Transformation” clashed with police, calling for the immediate resignation of Commerce Minister Axel Addy.
In a period of 12 months (FY2016-2017), Liberia is spending over US$10.2 million on just six (6) public offices, namely: President, Vice President, Speaker, Senate Pro Tempore, Deputy Speaker and Chief Justice. The budget of these six offices far exceeds the two biggest referral hospitals in Liberia: JFK Medical Center (US$5.3 million) and Jackson F. Doe Hospital (US$2.9 million). Where does the interest of the people lie? The budget of these six offices in 12 months could pay 571 medical doctors per annum (a doctor currently receives US$18,000 per year in Liberia).
No doubt, it seems that if nothing is done, the outcome of the Constitution Review Committee Gbanga Convention will be swept under the carpet and the next government will be left with no working tools to execute the recommendations that emerged as a result of conference. Despite the controversial nature of some of the prepositions, the House of Representatives through careful consultations and dialogues narrowed the prepositions to eight and forwarded same to the Liberian senate for concurrence.
An American Politician, Christopher Dodd once said “When the public's right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.” The media in Liberia remains an integral and indispensable embodiment of our democracy. Allowing World Press Freedom Day to pass on without honoring the legacy, courage and resilience of Liberian Journalists would be a disservice.
It seems like Liberians are always good at repeating the same mistakes that keep causing them untold suffering. It was about this same time last year when the Senate ganged up against former Finance Minister Amara Konneh, threatening to jail him for 48 hours over the Finance Ministry decision to reduce budgetary appropriations for government functionaries.
I am Moses Owen Browne, Jr., Global Youth Ambassador for Education, A World at School. A World at School is a global movement that unites people who believe every child deserves a safe and quality education, no matter where they live or who they are.
Helene Cooper’s fascinating new book, Madame President, made me think of my friend, the global girl rights advocate Chernor Bah (Ceebah). Chernor recently waged a vigorous campaign calling on the government of Sierra Leone to overturn what he called “an unfair and unsound” ban against pregnant girls from attending school.