“Unifying the Nation for Progressive Development”: Making a New Beginning in Liberia

first_imgProf. Augustine Konneh, PhDBy Professor Augustine Konneh, PhDDean of Graduate School, A.M.E. UniversityLast December, our nation emerged from a peaceful presidential election, not witnessed in the past 74 years, in which the incumbent Vice President and Standard Bearer of the erstwhile ruling Party, UP, His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai, conceded to His Excellency George Manneh Weah of the then opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).  Moving forward, several major steps need to be taken to promote national unity, including electoral reforms, qualification of candidates, civility, tolerance, and putting the interest of Liberia first. Our hope is that the emergence of our new government will lead to the formulation of a progressive national socio-economic program, including poverty reduction, unemployment abatement, infrastructure expansion, education provision, healthcare and food security deliveries as briefly outlined below.The overwhelming majority of Liberians are experiencing excruciating poverty.  For example, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that over 80% of the Liberian population is poverty-stricken in 2018. The effect of mass abject poverty is that many Liberians find it very difficult to survive. Hence, begging for assistance daily has become the way of life for some of our impoverished brothers and sisters. Urgent action through the provision of employment and living wages are required to address this national problem. Public Private Partnerships in labor force training, and job recruitment in public works projects such as road construction and sanitation can also address this problem in the short run.The second area of intervention is the reduction of unemployment, which is currently estimated at  about 95% of the population actively seeking jobs. Youth unemployment is particularly very high. This phenomenon is evident, for example, by the large number of young people roaming the streets of Monrovia, other cities, and communities throughout Liberia.  Consequently, the crime rate is rising.The third area of intervention is repairing the healthcare system, which currently has inadequate personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies and drugs. In addition, some existing health care facilities in the country need urgent repair. Sanitation and access to clean drinking water need to be addressed to address the risk of water borne diseases like typhoid fever and cholera.Education is the fourth sector urgently needing our attention.  Serious challenges facing education include untrained teachers, lack of instructional materials and equipment. Consequently, there was a recent mass failure  in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and University of Liberia entrance examinations.  These outcomes indicate the urgent need for massive investment in basic education, from K to 12 complemented by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and proficiency training for teachers nationwide.The fifth issue, which is related to poverty reduction and health, is food security.   Many Liberians now find it difficult to meet their food needs. And this is contributing to hunger deterioration of their health statuses. Food production programs, with the aim of making Liberians self-sufficient in their nutritional needs, are urgently needed.The sixth area is the need to address the physical infrastructure which is characterized by inadequate roads, bridges, power, water and food storage facilities. Fortunately, the Weah Administration has committed itself to constructing roads throughout Liberia.A key pre-requisite that Liberia must meet for national unity is the development of a patriotic citizenry that places the interest of the country first.  Patriotic citizens must be fully and actively engaged in the affairs of the country, be grounded in its critical values including honesty, integrity, commitment, tolerance, respect for others, and hard work. Further, the patriotic citizens must develop skills urgently needed to develop the country as a new democratic and prosperous abode for  all Liberians.Another pre-requisite is the need for servant-leadership.  Those who lead in government, the private sector, and the civic and religious spheres must consistently demonstrate a commitment to serving and promoting the interests of the people that they lead, rather than promoting their own interests. They must be willing to make sacrifices that will better the citizenry, the communities and the nation-state.Finally, my fellow Liberians, Liberia now has an historic opportunity to unify for a progressive development that will lead to the building of a democratic and prosperous country that can be the envy of the world. But, this cannot be done simply by rhetoric.   Instead, it will require that all Liberians at home and abroad combine their individual and collective efforts in contributing to national socio-economic development, as briefly outlined above. As our National Anthem guides us,  “In union strong, success is sure. We cannot fail…. Long live Liberia, happy land, A home of glorious liberty by God’s command.”   THANK YOU, AND HAPPY ’26’!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dougbeh, We Hail You for Hailing Liberia!

first_img‘Hail’ used in this heading means “To call loudly to, or after; to salute, to address.” In the context of this definition, we deem it expedient to hail Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan for using his profession to lift the name of his country and Africa on the world stage.Dr. Nyan, who studied Zoology and Chemistry at the University of Liberia, holds a degree in human-medicine (infectious diseases) from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. In 2014 he headed the Diaspora Liberian Emergency Response Task Force on the Ebola Crisis, and had participated in the Innovation Prize for Africa for Social Impact in which he won an award.Since coming to prominence as one innovative Liberian doctor, Dr. Dougbeh Nyan has participated in a number of scientific innovation events; one of which recently took place in Kigali, Rwanda.In the June 25th edition of the Daily Observer, the Rwandan Government through its military hospital is reported to have offered support for the ground-breaking invention of Dr. Nyan following his presentation on Multiple Infections Diagnostic Test and lectures held at the Rwandan Military Hospital.At the event, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kigame lauded the Liberian Medical Doctor and Scientist, and said “I like people who are problem solvers.” Dr. Nyan has played and is playing a key role placing Liberia and Africa on the plane of scientific innovation and erasing stereotyped images of drought stricken victims or fleeing African migrants on leaky boats drowning in the Mediterranean desperately trying to reach the shores of Europe.In this regard, the success of Dr. Nyan is an achievement that has won the envy of his scientific colleagues in the United States of America and elsewhere. Indisputably, Dr. Dougbeh Nyan has indeed made Liberia proud but his achievements belong to all of Africa.Interestingly, Dr. Nyan was educated right here in Liberia from elementary through high school and at the University of Liberia before going abroad to study. Unlike Liberia’s prewar days, when its referral hospital, John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital, and premier university, the University of Liberia was a magnet that attracted patients as well as students from across the African continent.Against the decline in values and respect for education, one can ask as Nathaniel did about Jesus when Dougbeh’s story is told, “Can anything good come out of Liberia?” Yes of course, and we believe that there are many Dougbehs waiting in the wings only if attention and support are given to education with the view to inculcating renewed values of hard work, discipline, patriotism and service to humanity.Only then we shall make it possible to reproduce many more Dougbehs. In short, investment in education is the surest means through which the country can develop and place itself on par with other countries in the world.Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan’s professional accomplishments in Liberia and on the African Continent at large should not only inspire all and sundry but should also serve as a wake-up call to our national leadership to provide the requisite support to the building of a healthy and vibrant educational system, a system which will say a good-bye to the lack of libraries and laboratories as well as the shortage of educational materials including books, desks, chairs and other relevant materials.With this done we can safely boast of creating an environment wherein every child can live up to his/her fullest potential and to be all what they want to and can be. It can be recalled that former US President, Barack Obama, speaking to beneficiaries of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) fellows in Washington, D.C. in 2014, told them to work to bring the change they want in their respective domains.This is exactly what the Liberian scientist is doing to change the future health situation of Liberia and Africa respectively. In this regard, all Liberians in their various fields of endeavor and from all disciplines, must see themselves as drivers of Liberia’s development to lift its people out of poverty and free them of the shackles of disease.In our National Anthem, we sing, “All hail Liberia hail! All hail Liberia hail!” We are all under obligation to adhere to the true meaning of this national song to demonstrate our patriotism to this glorious land of Liberty if it should remain ours in shining glory.The country where the Liberian scientist lectured and presented his innovative work is one of the fast developing countries in Africa. In order to create a spirit of oneness and patriotism in its citizens, the government of Rwanda invested heavily in education — with emphasis in Technology in university and vocational studies.We hope and pray that the Government of Liberia will learn the best from Rwanda to create conditions in Liberia that will help inspire other innovative and enterprising Liberians to emulate the good example of Dougbeh Chris Nyan.We say bravo to Dr. Nyan again for his achievement and we laud the government of Rwanda for acknowledging and recognizing the value and relevance of his achievements to Liberia and Africa.The Daily Observer hails Dr. Nyan and wishes him the best in all of his endeavors now and in the future.May God be his able and trusted guide!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for North Peace

first_imgSevere thunderstorms possible this afternoon and evening.This is an alert to the potential development of severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds.Monitor weather conditions, listen for updated statements. If threatening weather approaches take immediate safety precautions.- Advertisement -Conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Potential exists that some of these thunderstorms may become severe. Strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours are possible associated with these thunderstorms.last_img read more

Di Maria is ‘one of best signings’ Man United could make, insists Old Trafford hero

first_img Angel di Maria Federico Macheda insists Angel di Maria is “one of the best signings” Manchester United could make.The Argentine winger is on the verge of completing a British record move from Real Madrid, and Macheda believes his arrival will give everyone a boost.Macheda, now at Cardiff City, said: “I think he’s one of the best signings they could make. At Man United a player like Di Maria will lift the players and the club as well. If they can get him it will be great for the club.“He has played already for a big club in Real Madrid so he will be fine with the pressure on him.” 1last_img read more

Reflections on a day of sun and huge waves in the South Bay

first_imgAt sunrise on Wednesday morning I was driving the various Palos Verdes Drives to Marymount College, where a bunch of wonderfully deluded chamber of commerce people were waiting for me to be funny over breakfast. This was a mass meeting of the San Pedro and Palos Verdes Peninsula chambers and they were all newspaper readers, smart people who politely laughed at all the dumb places in my talk. There was a time in my cynical young life when I didn’t think much of groups like this. Then I realized that cynicism doesn’t provide a community backbone, it doesn’t raise money as this group did for Cheer For Children, and it doesn’t make things work like these people make things work. All in all, it was a gift of a day that started with the kind of clear bluish dawn that you see on early-morning air approaches into places like Dublin and Reykjavik. From Palos Verdes Drive West, sky and sea merged in a light offshore flow destined to reverse itself, with Thursday night rain taking us from deadly dry to deadly wet. It was that kind of sea, epic as a Winslow Homer painting – a sea vast, killing and irresistible. I parked in the crowded lot at Paseo del Mar, where towel-wrapped men and women wriggled expertly in and out of wet suits. There, high above the point break at a spot called Haggerty’s, 60 surfers – straddling boards – bobbed like seals in 10- to 12-foot waves. This after navigating an eroded 100-foot cliff-face barefooted, bloodied often, with board under arm. Having grown up in Florida, beside a sea still as a swimming pool, I have been from my first days here taken with what may well be the most difficult and demanding sport ever, an eccentric, special-case activity for people who have the right mix of audacity, balance, grace, stamina and stupidity. That and the desire to enter a cold sea early on a Wednesday morning, forsaking all other responsibilities, for a sport absolutely dependent on the whims of nature. There is, of course, a surfer stereotype. You know, the dim bulb, the terminally hung-loose. And while they certainly exist, most of the surfers I’ve met over the years were anything but that. In fact, they were everything and everyone but, as several surfers reminded me on this morning, you still don’t want to penetrate the jealously guarded waves on the other side of that break. USC architecture student Ryan Fischvogt (a pretty good name for a surfer, I thought) had just come up the cliff and was still looking out to sea when he described for me his three hours in the surf. “They weren’t super powerful, not overpowering. They were just beautiful,” he said, tired, awed, satisfied and standing only feet from people trying to capture with cameras that which can only be felt and experienced. Being a West Coast guy, he wasn’t nearly as impressed as classmate and fellow surfer Nathan Doctor, who told me, “I’m from New York. We got nothing like this.” Actually, we don’t either. Not all the time. But every few years or so we do. And sometimes it’s terrifying, like the single day in January 1988 when I watched waves nearly demolish King Harbor. At those times our fleeting grip on this storied coast is made clear. It’s ours only on loan. Mostly, the vastness and power of an onrushing sea humbles us as it makes nonsense of our sand berms, homes and seemingly substantial piers. Christiana Boerger, a 28-year-old marine biologist from San Pedro, has just navigated the cliff trail with surfing pal Danica Holt, a longshore worker. Even sand-covered and water-soaked, the wet-suited pair were the very images of California women. They are fit, smart, funny and they have great smiles. During nearly three hours in the water they took about six rides each and were elated. “You get noodle-arms and claw-hands after paddling for that long,” Boerger joked. “But the waves had awesome size and shape. That plus the sun’s out, the air is warm and, best of all, when you go through a wave, when you’re on its far side, the offshore wind blows a spray over you like rain. It’s amazing. Just amazing.” And it was, for all those nonsurfers just standing and watching, for me, for everyone with a beating heart and eyes to see, it was just that, amazing. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at john.bogert@dailybreeze.com or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThis reminds me of the old Bob Hope joke: “Only in California do you have fire, flood, rain, snow, high winds and earthquakes and all on the same day.” After the breakfast I drove back to the paper via Portuguese Bend just because I love the view from the sheltered side of the Peninsula and because I enjoy the road sign that warns of constantly moving ground. There’s something magical and truly terrible in that great swath of earth that started moving back in 1956 for reasons mostly man-made. And it’s still sliding across its slick Bentonite base toward an intractable sea. But what I was looking for lay just beyond that, where the high cliffs face into the rare big swells that were on this day pounding the entire California coast. Suddenly there were people standing in every turn-out, at every spot where there was a view of the huge waves that slipped around normally sheltering Point Conception and between the Channel Islands, coming at us from a storm in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way these wind-generated monsters kept boats in port and killed an experienced big-wave surfer at Ghost Trees near Monterey. last_img read more

Kicking myself over a missed chance to help

first_imgTwo things a little after the fact. First leads to second. Terry is in Georgia for Thanksgiving. I’m figuring on my typical Thanksgiving. This is simple business. Pro football, a nice variety of ingredients for sandwiches, plus all the accessories: chips, drinks and bakery cookies to wrap it up. Of course, the best laid plans and all that. Yep … Nancy calls. This Nancy is one of the three ladies who have taken to picking up trash as they walk. Had Sally of West Jordan, Utah, or Peggy of Asheville, N.C., called, I guess I would have accepted their invitations also. Hard to resist a walker who picks up trash. Yes … I’m a walker who picks up trash. Two miles a day, seven days a week. Actually, it’s wonderful fun. Plus, at times, fascinating. The four of us exchange nails, screws and any sharp object that could flatten a tire. Very nice knowing that someone won’t have the inconvenience and cost of a flat. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champBread in the freezer (it’s wrapped in twos and fours). Meat and cheese wrapped tightly. Pickles will be fine. Onion, lettuce … both can be adjusted into future meals. Some imagination, a few people invited … all should turn out swell. OK … off to Jack and Nancy’s. Beautiful day. Cool with blue skies. Music on. Day is moving by, full of pleasant thoughts. A smile over hostess gift. Small shopping bag is a great wrapper. Autumn-leaf design. Inside rests a jar of chow-chow. For the uninitiated, chow-chow is pickled onions with a nice splash of spices. In stews or soups, or on a sandwich, it will send your taste buds looking for more. Jack and Nancy’s home is of the style where entering from front or back are both options. My choice is always the back, because passing tomato plants can reap a person a marvelous prize. They are Jack’s tomatoes, and he encourages sharing. Inside, it’s introductions to new faces. Handshakes and hugs. Drink is poured. Aromas are wafting. Turkey, dressing and gravy are all in the air, plus one that won’t trigger: visual reveals it’s Brussels sprouts. Not traditional, but they look wonderful. Six around the table. Food and drink dominate for a while. Conversation takes over as the bounty decreases in size. Talk is politics, religion, money … the big three. We move on to stories. It’s a terrific afternoon in many ways. Goodbyes all around. New friends, old friends, hugs and handshakes. Jack walks me out. A nice civility in walking a guest to the car. The day is late, yet hasn’t given up a thing. Sun is now low in the west. Air is cooler. My car is in my driveway. Two containers of leftovers in hand. I’m feet from front door when a car stops. I turn; she rolls down the window. A couple in their mid-40s. The question is, do I know of an open restaurant? Not being sure, I give information that might help. They say thank you and drive off. I’m just about to yell something, when another car crosses their path. Yelling might distract, and then it’s too late. I’m standing there with these thoughts. Terry’s in Georgia; the house is empty. Between thumb and four fingers are turkey, dressing and gravy. And in my fridge are all the makings of a great salad. Add to this that I do all the cooking. Talk about feeling the dunce. Thanksgiving is a time of sharing. Indians, pilgrims, etc. And two people, late in the afternoon, looking for a place to eat, while I stand fully armed with all the ingredients, giving vague directions. As is said, one loses chances, but maybe gains knowledge. Hopefully, another time, the situation will arise, and the brain will kick in. I’ll see the blue car, the couple, and I’ll remember a chance lost, with an opportunity to be quicker to recognize an opportunity. Retired longshoreman and San Pedro native Tank Nelson writes a biweekly column for More San Pedro. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgMore than 30 new Youth Councillors from the Donegal Youth Council met in the Regional Cultural Centre last Saturday for a team building day and also to plan for new projects which will run across the year.The Donegal Youth Council, which is made up of young people from all across the county from Carndonagh to Carrick, will meet regularly each month in Letterkenny and also in their local electoral areas to work on identified topics of Youth Facilities, Mental Health/ Suicide, Health & Well Being, Education and Bullying. Donegal Youth Council is funded by Donegal County Council, HSE Health Promotion and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and aims to provide young people with opportunities to identify, prioritise and work on topics and projects which have been identified by the wider youth population of the county.It also aims to provide young people with opportunities to have their voice heard by being involved in the development of local services and policies which affect them.As part of their work on Saturday the young people of the Donegal Youth Council also voted “Bullying” as their chosen topic to be put forward for this year’s national Dail na nÓg event. Dáil na nÓg is the National Youth Parliament of Ireland.It gives young people in Ireland the opportunity to represent the views of those under the voting age of 18 at a national level, and to call for changes to improve the lives of young people in Ireland. Donegal Youth Council is co-ordinated at local level by the Donegal Youth Service. For more information you can contact Donegal Youth Council Co-ordinator Marty Keeney on 087-6806676 or email youthcouncil@donegalyouthservice.ie. DONEGAL YOUTH COUNCIL UP AND RUNNING FOR 2013 was last modified: March 5th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Youth Councillast_img read more


first_imgSHE may be one of the cool voices of Dublin-based radio station Phantom FM, but Donegal DJ Michelle Doherty has vowed never to lose her accent!The 34-year-old model now lives in Terenure has been named Ireland’s top DJ two years in a row by Hot Press.But the Malin Head girl says she doesn’t like fellow DJs who adopt an American twang! “Sometimes DJs in Ireland put on an American or English accent but I could never do that. I love my Donegal accent,” said Michelle.“Anyway my parents would kill me – when I go home to Donegal now, I’m accused of getting a Dublin accent!”‘I’M STILL A DONEGAL GIRL AT HEART’ SAYS DJ MICHELLE was last modified: August 15th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal DJMalin HeadMichelle DohertyPhantom FMlast_img read more

Pendleton not interested in Dodger job

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! New York Mets ace Pedro Martinez hopes to represent his native Dominican Republic in the inaugural World Baseball Classic after rehabbing an injured toe. The three-time Cy Young Award winner also said Tuesday he’d like to pitch for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican winter league tournament. He hasn’t played professionally in his homeland since 1996. New York Mets reliever Felix Heredia was suspended for the first 10 days of next season for violating baseball’s steroids policy. Heredia became the 11th major league player suspended for steroids. last_img read more


first_imgRebeccaTHE mother of a young Donegal woman who took her own life in America two weeks ago has appeared on national radio hoping to raise awareness on mental health.Carmel Lynch, who has been a psychiatric nurse and suicide counsellor for the past 20 years, is struggling to come to terms with the death of her own child.Letterkenny girl Rebecca Molloy was just 26 when she took her own life in New Hampshire. Speaking on The Colette Fitzpatrick Show on Newstalk, her mother made an emotional appeal for people to seek help if they feel troubled.She said: “Rebecca was a very strong-willed, caring, considerate person.“Since she passed away so many people have spoken about how caring she was. From an early age she suffered from depression and anxiety.“She had her good days and bad days, but had more good ones than bad. “Maybe she thought that moving to America would change her life. She got a job with a railroad and was doing fantastic.”Carmel spoke to Rebecca on the morning of the day she died, and said there was no indication anything was wrong.She added: “I rang her nearly every day. She had a long commute to work and I would speak to her.“I called her that morning and she seemed fine.”However, later that day Carmel got the awful news that her daughter had died. She said: “When I got the news I was crying and was really angry as I did not believe it was true. Even when she was really low she always said she would never harm herself while I was alive. I could not take it in.”Carmel stressed how important it is for people to talk to someone if they are feeling down.She said: “I want people in trouble to seek help. Kids keep everything bottled up. Talk to somebody. There’s always somebody there that can help when you’re in a dark place.”MUM OF TRAGIC DONEGAL SUICIDE GIRL: ‘WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH’ was last modified: September 21st, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Carmel Lynchdonegalletterkennymental healthRebecca Molloysuicide awarenesslast_img read more