VP Boakai Encourages Partners to Prioritize Agri-Business

first_imgVice President Joseph N. Boakai has urged business institutions in the United States partnering with Liberia to give first preference to agriculture and agri-businesses to enhance sustainable progress.Speaking to a cross section of Liberians and American entrepreneurs on September 16 in New York at the US-Liberia Trade and Investment Forum, VP Boakai said, “We come to seek strategic partnership especially in areas of agri-business and agriculture value chains.”He said intervention in agriculture and agri-business will engender diversification of Liberia’s economy from overreliance on and extractive sector that has made the country susceptible to “exogenous shocks” such as fluctuation in global commodity prices.He stressed that Liberia is interested in natural resource development, mainly in areas of mining, oil and gas, as well as manufacturing and processing.He added that Liberia is also seeking collaboration in other non-trade sectors, such as infrastructure development in energy, road construction, seaport development, health, education and Information Communication Technology (ICT), noting that strategic public-private partnerships in such areas will have the greatest impact in raising the living standard of the people.“Liberia’s resilience in building democratic institutions and ensuring peace and stability over the last decade is the greatest guarantee for the security of foreign direct investment and capital flow,” the VP said.“This assumption has been backed by critical reforms of Liberia’s public institutions, including reform in the security apparatus and judiciary; the passage of critical legislations such as the Freedom of Information Act, Anti-Corruption Act; and Land Reform.”The Vice President encouraged American and Liberian private sectors to become catalysts for stimulating and spreading entrepreneurial spirit of Liberia and join in helping to open opportunities for job skills development and youth employment. “I need not remind anyone that Liberia is always a welcome place for Americans. Our people will be waiting with outstretched arms to warmly welcome and embrace you,” VP Boakai assured.For her part, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Bisa Williams, delivering a special statement, urged American investors to be a part of Liberia’s prosperous future by investing in the country. She said now is the time to be thinking about Liberia, grow American businesses in Liberia and by extension grow Liberia and its people; indicating that the American Government and people believe in Liberia, its leaders and people and the prosperity of the country. Other speakers at the forum were UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Ebola David Nabarro; Riva Levinson of the Ebola Private Sector mobilization Group; NIC’s Executive Director Gyude Wisner; Henry Saamoi of the International Bank Liberia Limited; and Anna Rogers of GROW Liberia, among others. Several panel discussions and roundtable meetings focused on Liberia’s economic outlook; agriculture and agribusiness; investment in infrastructure; investing in extractives, amongst others, were held. The forum, organized by the Liberia’s National Investment Commission in collaboration with the America-based Developing Markets Associates (DMA), was sponsored by several groups including ExxonMobil, APM Terminals, Firestone-Liberia, Dawnus, KOSMOS, SunERGY, SoENERGY, International Bank Liberia Limited, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue reading

Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi Day

first_imgDear Editor,On October 2, 1869 a great teacher was born in Porbandar, Gujurat, India. The weapons that existed in his lifetime cannot be compared to the sophisticated means of mass destruction available today not just to nations but to ordinary individuals whose only aim is to destroy innocent people anywhere in the world.  Anger, greed and injustice are not new to mankind but resorting to violence to correct historical wrongs is now so frequent that we need to remind all societies about the life of the Mahatma, the greatest universal apostle of peace in modern times.Too many of his birthdays have gone by without any sustained effort to pass on his message to those who may not know of his achievements. Excessive reliance is placed on national and locally (mostly religious) organisations planning an event in which those who already know about him participate. However without great fanfare or expense every single person irrespective of race, religion, nationality or social status, can show appreciation for this great soul by trying to step into his shoes by  initiating or participating in an event to show that his life and message can still provide answers to some of the social issues confronting mankind today.The following non-exhaustive list are a few activities that each person can attempt to sense his greatness without relying only on religious leaders, temples or any formal organisations.Fast for the day; skip a meal or just eat less. Be a vegetarian; Wear less clothing as permitted by the climate; Do not pollute but instead clean up the neighbourhood. See and discuss the movie GANDHI and other shows of his life. Persuade and assist all schools to get speakers to inform the children of his legacy. Donate blood, food, clothes, books or other material possessions to those in need, particularly to strangers.Practice Ahimsa which does not simply mean non-violence, but non-harm.  Words, ill-thoughts, anger, harsh judgements are all forms of harm to us or others. Tell the truth even if it means loss of social or economic status. Do not smoke or consume alcohol or anything that alters the mind.Take the longest walk that your health with allow, either alone or with others, preferably to highlight or redress a social wrong or injustice. Passive resistance or soul force is infinitely superior to body force.Jesus, Socrates, Tolstoy, Buddha and many successful political leaders used this method. Be prepared to admit temporary failure if your end cannot be achieved by peaceful means.Do not try to convert anyone by telling them they can only obtain salvation by following your religion because it is a blatant lie historically supported overtly and covertly by governments. All religions have produced holy, charitable, loving, caring human beings.Be silent for as long as possible while meditating. Control your lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, or fear. Show respect and appreciation not only for family and friends but all forms of life and the environment.Obtain copies of the book that provided him with inspiration and comfort in his most difficult days, the Bhagavad-Gita and donate to others who may very well find and apply Vedic concepts other than truth and non-violence which he practiced irrespective of the consequences.This is India’s gift to the world and appropriately donated to President Obama by Prime Minister Modi on his first trip to USA. Government and private schools should ensure that these books on him are readily available in libraries, classrooms.A dinner in the evening for speeches and fundraising for a charitable cause can crown the day with resolutions to ensure that he lives on. Name a street, a building, or other structure after him or reward deserving students by financing Mahatma Gandhi scholarship.Yours sincerely,Ramnarine Sahadeolast_img read more

Continue reading

Corpsman makes deal to testify

first_imgCAMP PENDLETON – A Navy corpsman accused of kidnapping and murdering an Iraqi man will give testimony about seven Marines’ role in the incident in return for having charges against him dropped, his attorney said Wednesday. Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos was a medic who patrolled with the Marine squad that allegedly kidnapped and murdered 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad last April in the town of Hamdania. All eight were charged with crimes including premeditated murder and kidnapping. “We have reached an agreement with the government which will take Bacos out of harm’s way,” attorney Jeremiah Sullivan III told The Associated Press. Under the deal, Bacos will give details of the incident Friday morning at a general court martial at Camp Pendleton, Sullivan said. In return, all of the charges against him will be dismissed. But he will plead guilty to two new charges, said Sullivan, who declined to elaborate. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsWhen asked if Bacos would be freed after Friday’s testimony, Sullivan said he would not be. Marine Lt. Col. Scott Jack, Bacos’s military attorney, also declined to elaborate on the deal, but said: “It is a very beneficial agreement for Bacos, and gives him an extremely bright future.” 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

Continue reading