A very interesting debate is taking place on the Liberian football landscape – one that could determine whether the face of Liberia changes or remains the same.Liberian Football Association (LFA) Chair Musa Bility has decided that youths who are not actively enrolled in institutions of learning will not be allowed to take part in the annual county meet.Mr. George Weah, an internationally acclaimed Liberian soccer legend, has disagreed with Bility. Weah’s position is that young people whose parents cannot afford to send them to school should be given the opportunity to make something of themselves, even as he (Weah) himself did.Both men have valid points. Bility’s position could change the face of Liberian, yea African football. Having a squad of educated men on the national football team could make for increased discipline, something Liberian football has been sorely lacking. It would also send the important message across Africa that education and football are not mutually exclusive. That means that a player does not have to – and must not – choose between football (or any sport for that matter) and education.As many former American basketball stars have learned, a sports career is not a substitute for education. A young man can sign a multi-million dollar contract today, suffer an injury on the court and lose his career in six months.Due to lack of education and discipline, a talented young man with money who knows nothing about investing can follow the wrong crowd, spend his money on drugs, drinking, material possessions and women, and have nothing to show or leave to his children by the time his life is over.Mr. Weah may have been very fortunate to have had strong personal discipline as well as good mentors who gave him sound financial advice and taught him how to invest. Today, long after his sports career is over, he is not begging for scratch cards and living off women.Even so, however, Mr. Weah will admit that with all of his wealth, he himself has twice hit the glass ceiling that has stood between him and the one dream that constantly seems to evade him – the Liberian presidency. With no shortage of campaign financing, Mr. Weah twice lost the presidential elections to a woman whose education opened the door for her to acquire the requisite experience voters looked for in a president. That education and experience enabled her to speak for her country on an international stage, which earned Liberia’s credibility in the comity of nations and hence a seat at the table of decision making. Has she made mistakes? A ton. But Liberians were more willing to take the risk with education and experience than without. By contrast, the majority of those who voted for the less-educated candidate were themselves mostly uneducated. We have to change that dynamic so that the entire voting population is able to make educated choices and decisions.Notwithstanding, Mr. Weah, clearly has a heart for the less fortunate, which stems from his own experience. The only problem is that his experience was more the exception than the norm. We cannot have a whole generation of children thinking they can all grow up to be King Pele. Out of a population of 3.5 million, everyone cannot play for AC Milan. We need to disabuse our children of that notion. We need to disabuse them of the notion that football is their only ticket out of poverty.The wonder of education is that it gives a man/woman options. If he breaks his leg today, once it heals, he can go into business. Education also gives a man the keys to his own destiny. Without it, he cannot even read his own contract. Only his managers know exactly how much he is really worth.Weah has proposed that if only youths enrolled in schools are to be allowed to participate in the inter-county meet, then school should be free for all children. We disagree. The point is for our children not to lose focus on their education every time the meet comes around. They must understand that there are no short cuts to success.A young man from Paynesville grew up with a natural talent for soccer. He became a rising star and a member of the Lone Star’s U-20 team. One day, the coach announced that a select number of the group would be traveling to Greece. Elkhart Davis, as this young Liberian came to be known, was one hundred percent sure he would be selected. He would go to Greece and become a star. In the final lineup, the coach chose his son, a far lesser player. Elkhart Davis became a drunkard. All of his eggs were in the soccer basket that crashed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As a result of the Ebola virus disease, Liberia is expected to markedly underperform in its 2014 and 2015 growth projections,” according to Mr. Jefferson Kambo, Officer-in-Charge, Research Department, Central Bank of Liberia.Mr. Kambo made the disclosure on Thursday, November 13 at the opening of a two-day forum on Economic Recovery from the Impact of the Ebola Epidemic.The forum was organized by the Consortium of Concerned Businesses in Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, National Investment Commission (NIC) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI). It was held under the theme: “Strengthen Trade and Commerce for Post-Ebola Liberia.”Mr. Kambo, who proxy for Dr. J. Mills Jones, Governor, CBL, said the Reserved Gross Domestic Product (RDGP) growth in 2014 has reduced from 5.9 percent to 0.4 percent meaning, there is a double-digit inflation.According to him, the economy is projected to remain stagnant (0.0 percent RGDP growth) in 2015 if the crisis continues.He said the economy has declined in mining, services and agricultural output that are driving the poor growth performance.Mr. Kambo further stated that though the international oil prices have been falling, the decline in domestic food production and increased freight and insurance charges on imports have largely led to double-digit inflation since June 2014.He maintained that coupled with decline in export earning, largely from rubber and iron ore, the recent move by the US Federal Reserve to end expansionary monetary policy (QE) will lead to a stronger US dollar globally, with concerns for stability in the value of the Liberian dollar in the near term.He also disclosed that the Ebola impact has also affected the domestic banking sector in several ways, including, decline in deposits and assets, especially during the third quarter (July to Sept. 2014).Despite the negative impacts, the CBL has been resilient and has provided prudent supervisory oversight, which has yielded positive results, said Kambo. “All nine banks maintain strong liquidity positions, remaining above the regulatory threshold throughout the crisis, adding that the banking sector continues to maintain strong capital adequacy, with all nine banks remaining well above the regulatory Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 10.0 percent,” Mr. Kambo stated.Through CBL’s risk-based supervision and macro-prudential policies, risk management within the sector has improved tremendously over the past few years, he maintained.Also speaking, Sam P. Jackson, consultant and Economist added that the post Ebola recovery strategy must not be based upon business as usual.Mr. Jackson said government must change the way it does business and if it wants to change the condition of ordinary Liberians during the post Ebola era.He said the definition of ‘insanity’ is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.He stressed that the country should create a friendly atmosphere so that doing business can lead to productivity.The Liberian economist said these are grimed statistics though, but Liberians are not in an entirely hopeless situation.He believed that the situation can be changed, provided if post recovery strategy is not based on business as usual.For his part, Dr. Byron Tarr, Director, Center for Policy Studies told the business audience that Ebola is only a manifestation of the collapse of a dysfunctional governance system built around elites since the independence of Liberia.Foreign Direct Investment, the main source of exclusive growth in the country’s economic history, is not necessarily the best alternative for national development, adding that concessions usually confer the right to exploit resources outside of a concessionaire’s core activities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,As I sit here and watch with dismay as the Amazon burns, and reflect on some of the other horrifying news of this time – Greenland lost 12.5 billion tons on ice in one day; Micro-plastics discovered in “extreme” concentrations in the North Atlantic; Nuclear monitoring stations went mysteriously quiet after Russian missile facility explosion, I wonder how did we get here, and where is the urgency of our response?There is little doubt that the news media have played a role in our diversion. No longer able to rely on annual subscriptions to fund their work, they resort to click bait headlines that bring in ad revenue. That’s why the international mass media spent more time in one week covering the royal baby than it did in all of 2018 on climate change and all the other millions of babies that died from starvation and diseases during this decade.But algorithms don’t lie; we’re taking in what they’re feeding us, and that is on us. So here we are, distracted by fashion trends, offers to shop online, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, videos and tweets. We were lulled into complacency while the Amazon was being clear cut, while the gulf between rich and poor widens by the day, and while the world slowly tilts towards tyranny and the annihilation being committed against innocent people in different parts of the world, the most recent being in Kashmir.We are facing a moment in time where we need a coordinated global effort to address a number of urgent issues, yet the superpower of South America seems no longer interested in, or capable of, playing a leadership role; and the United Nations without America’s active participation is impotent.But while governments around the world have ceded moral authority and leadership, it doesn’t mean we should give up hope. Ordinary citizens still have a voice, especially in the age of social media. Look no further than Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Abby Martin, Rewan Al-Haddad, Avaaz and the kids from Parkland; all have demonstrated the tremendous power of the individual.In recent days, I have seen a chorus of voices speak out against the destructive policies that are partially responsible for the fires consuming the Amazon. These voices, if loud enough, would have an impact on policy makers. Politicians will react to outrage by their constituents. We need a similar chorus of voices to speak out against other dangers we are facing; including climate change, inequality, unnecessary wars, etc. Activists in all these areas need to harness the growing disillusionment within their communities, and organize targeted campaigns much like the International Crisis Group did with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The bells rang loud enough to force policymakers to mobilize and help prevent an even greater crisis.It’s time we all start actively engaging in our future, as complacency comes at a cost none of us can afford. The ordinary indigenous Amazon Indians have raised their swords, bows and arrows, ready to defend the rain forest and their homeland with their last drop of blood.I petition: the world is in crisis; don’t be a passive onlooker, for the inferno that persists will consume the lives of millions of fauna in the Amazon and cause humongous destruction to our ecosystem and life on Planet Earth.Yours truly,Nazar Mohamed
Dear Editor,With all these excuses by Republic Bank on its new banking platform, supposedly making it easier for its customer to do banking and all that hocus pocus, the Bank needs to make it easier for customers who do online banking. In the past, to access your online banking account, they used the Republic ID-Secure card with numbers which were issued by the bank which I paid over US$15 to courier to me in the US.Now that card has become useless with the introduction of Republic Bank Guyana’s mobile app which has to be downloaded only on an iPhone or iPad, which I do not have. All my online banking is done with my Dell Inspiron Windows 10 laptop computer; therefore, the Bank must accommodate the use of computers if they want to keep their customers.Sincerely,Albert Persaud
The Mocha/Arcadia community and frequent commuters are happy that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has fulfilled its promise to install street lights along the Mocha Access Road, East Bank Demerara.Eighty-seven street lights installed on the Mocha Access Road, EBDOver the years, a high number of serious vehicular accidents have been reported along this road, the most recent being a collision involving a horse and a car, where Franky Morphine was travelling in his car PNN 4631, in company of two female cousins and their children, ages five and seven, when things took a deathly turn.As he was nearing his destination, a horse strutted out from the bushes and into the path of the vehicle.Believing the long stretch of road to be completely desolate at 21:00h, Morphine was caught completely off guard, unable to swerve out of the way in time after he noticed the stray animal running onto the roadway.The horse crashed through the windshield of the car, decapitating the animal instantly. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.However, only a few months ago Shemroy Cave, 21, a bartender lost his life following a head-on collision with a horse.Young cave was heading to see his girlfriend after visiting his father when he crashed into the stray animal. He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead.As a result, residents of the community, as well as the father of the young man appealed to government to provide lighting for the access road, raising the point that more lives will be lost if this darkness continues to be neglected.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson in an invited comment said: “A lot of accidents have occurred late at nights on the Mocha Access Road, one of which resulted in a young man losing his life, and the Ministry installed lights in Diamond and felt the need to install in Mocha, subsequently we have installed 87 street lights to date.”In mid-April, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure had announced that 100 streetlights would be installed along the access roads of Mocha and Diamond on the EBD. While the initial plan had been to install 50 streetlights per each community, this figure was increased. The Ministry made good on its promise, having completed the project in four months.The community expressed gratitude for the lights. It is expected that the newly installed streetlights will also heighten security in as well as reduce the likelihood of road accidents, they related.The Ministry of Public Infrastructure had also recently installed 100 lights along the Diamond/Grove Housing Scheme main road which was also prone to accidents.It is expected that the next phase of light installation will be on the Corentyne Coast, Berbice.
The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), World Health Organization (WHO), along with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has initiated the process of a proposed framework for a formal Caribbean network on the surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases.According to CARPHA the formalisation of the Caribbean Network is expected to take place before end of 2016. It stated that one of the research priorities identified is investigating insecticide resistance of the vectors of arboviruses, which are groups of viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods.With the emergence of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya, the region has labelled vector surveillance and control a priority. Zika, the latest of the vector borne diseases, has been reported in more than 30 countries of the Americas. This disease, along with Dengue and Chikungunya, continue to threaten the health, tourism, social and economic development of the Region.Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at CARPHA stated that the Region: “Have been waging a losing battle and so the battle strategy needs to change if we are to win the war.”In 2015, there was an outbreak of Chikungunya in Guyana; the National Insurance Scheme was laden with sick leave from employees from all over the country. However, the then Ministry had remained adamant that the situation was under control. CARPHA was receiving estimated data on the situation.“During the 4-day discussion in the island of St Kitts and Nevis, country representatives described their vector control operation systems, discussed research activities on vectors with a special focus on insecticide resistance and reviewed new vector control tools. Presentations suggested highly variable levels of testing, methodology and insecticide resistance,” CARPHA stated.It noted that the harmonisation of the methods to study this insecticide resistance was strongly recommended, as well as further investigations into supportive vector control strategies and capacity necessary to address this.Also research on community participation was deemed a priority because prevention through reducing the numbers of mosquito breeding sites is one of the most powerful tools for reducing diseases transmission.“Communities can do a great deal to reduce this transmission through water management and protecting homes. Prior TDR research has shown how communities can make significant improvements, and the Caribbean network members would like to use this approach to study what works best in this region,” CARPHA said, noting that other recommendations were made to link relevant networks already in place, to develop specific research and operational projects, and identify funding for the network’s continuation.A website will be set up by CARPHA for the network, providing open access to all the reports, guidelines, WHO recommendations and publications.The concept was initiated by TDR, which also funded the start-up of the consortium led by CARPHA. The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) was also involved in this meeting.So far, there have been 12 reported cases of Zika virus in Guyana. The Public Health Ministry has called on women not to get pregnant since the virus can affect the development of the unborn baby, causing brain disorders such as microcephaly.In terms of a child being born with microcephaly – a rare birth defect said to be linked to the Zika virus, which causes the baby to be born with a small head or the head stops growing after birth—the Ministry said it has already set up procedures in the event of such a case.The ministry has embarked on a campaign to distribute treated bed nets to all pregnant women in health centres and private clinics.The World Health Organisation has labelled the Zika Virus as an emergency crisis.
– tells Magistrate he was in a “tight squeeze”A man was on Wednesday jailed for three months by City Magistrate Fabayo Azore after he pleaded guilty to a robbery under arms charge.Kennard Persaud, 29, of Lot 25 Regent Street, Georgetown, confessed that on August 16, at Georgetown, and while being armed with a knife, he robbed Ronald Ishmatine of one Apple iPhone valued $85,000.Confessed robber Kennard PersaudThe prosecution contended that on the day in question, the Virtual Complainant (VC) was standing in the vicinity of Footsteps Store when he was held at knifepoint and robbed by the defendant.After the robbery, Persaud attempted to escape but was apprehended by the Police after the VC raised an alarm. He was searched and the item was found on his person after which he was arrested and charged.However, the defendant admitted to the offence but explained that he was not armed when he carried out the act.He further told the Magistrate that the act was not premeditated, but was done out of frustration, since he was in a “tight squeeze” and went on to explain that he has three children to feed but could not find work after he was just released from prison.Persaud was previously sentenced to 18 months in prison on a narcotics possession charge. He pleaded for leniency, promising to stay out of trouble.
Loud screams came from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling on Thursday as the body of a 25-year-old block maker was removed from the Berbice River.Elroy Lewis, of Lot 72 Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, plunged into the muddy river on Wednesday afternoon and soon after, disappeared under the water.He had left home on Tuesday for a fishing trip. Lewis and four others – Javid Mohammed, Noel DeCuna, Ramnarine Mangroo and Rambally Chand – went to Ithaca, West Bank Berbice where they spent several hours.Mohammed was the captain of the boat the men were using. He told investigators that they were on their way home when Chand, Lewis and Mangroo undressed and plunged into the water. Lewis, who was considered an excellent swimmer, was heard calling for help and soon after disappeared beneath the murky water.The four other men are currently in custody, assisting the Police with the investigations.Elroy’s body was discovered floating in the vicinity of Stanleytown and was taken to the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling where it was handed over to Police.Initial investigations indicate there were no marks of violence on the body; however, an autopsy will be performed.Family members are of the view that foul play was responsible for Lewis’s death.The investigation continues.
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“Many unfortunate situations have befallen Liberia as a result of Liberians ignoring their creator and involving themselves in unwholesome activities that continue to annoy God,” Catholic Church in Liberia Archbishop Lewis Ziegler has observed.Liberia, often considered a Christian nation— though not legally— is being denigrated with calamities befalling the nation, the clergyman asserted, as was the case of Biblical Israel where God Almighty turned His back on His people as a result of their sins. Due to their immorality, disaster upon disaster tore them apart.Serving as the guest preacher at the official service in observance of the climax of the National Fast and Prayer Day on Friday, April 11, Archbishop Lewis Ziegler said the many calamities, such as the civil crisis and the recent outbreak of Ebola and many more, are all the results of Liberians doing things, which according to him, are forbidden to God.One of the major transgressions against God for which He may be punishing Liberia, according to Archbishop Ziegler, is the act of homosexuality.The Archbishop said Liberians are “whole-heartedly” engaging themselves in this act and that is being promoted in the country.The Catholic Archbishop also stated: “Where are we going as Liberians if we are advocating for homosexuality? Are we not calling for curses upon ourselves? How will a man marry his fellow man, this is an abomination. These are the same things that brought down Sodom and Gomorrah.”The event was held at the Providence Baptist Church, under the auspices of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC). The event was attended by an array of top government officials from the three branches of the Liberian government. At the top of the attendees list were President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.Archbishop Ziegler, who spoke on the theme “Love,” also touched on the issues of rampant corruption in the Liberian society as well as the lack of love on the part of Liberians for each other.He said these negative acts are throwing the country further backward. He called on Liberians to see the need to love each other and collaborate for the development of their beloved country.He called on the government to take a pro-active approach in addressing poverty and hunger; indicating that many Liberians still go to bed hungry.He said, “It is true that we are observing national fast and prayer today, but let us think of the many Liberians who are compelled to fast every day. They too deserve a right to a good life like all other Liberians.”He spoke against greed and nepotism, which he said have the propensity to create more tension in the country. “If we have love for each other, we will share the little we have with our neighbors. But Liberians, we have too much entrenched grudges for one another. Until we can desist from this, we are headed nowhere,” said the Catholic Archbishop.The occasion was spiced-up with music by the Providence Baptist Church Choir, the Georgia Pattern United Methodist Church Kru Choir, the Susan Brooks AME Bassa Choir and the Free Pentecostal Global Kissi Choir.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)