Liberians Must Not Relent against Backwardness

first_imgThe persistent battles that Liberians waged against backwardness, misrepresentation, mediocrity, misogyny and self-glorification in the past must not be abandoned until poverty is destroyed, former Labor and Public Works Minister, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods has said.Despite the gains, including the exercise of political pluralism in the country, “We still have challenges and we need a government that will address miserable insufficiency that afflicts the people,” Atty. Woods urged.To do that, he said the people must be ready to recognize the “elites that are appearing in different forms, building alliances in the rank and file of our own. Their attitudes and their values must be defeated with the same conviction and passion of the 70s and 80s.” Speaking at the 46th anniversary of the Students Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia recently in Monrovia, Woods said like years past, “you (students) are now seeking an agenda to deliberately and radically transform our country come 2017.” On the gains achieved so far, Woods recounted political pluralism in the country, evidenced by the 23 political parties of all forms, colors and limitations, adding that “this is the political marketplace where all formations are on display and we can and do make choices, sometimes bad ones, but choices nonetheless. We have a plethora of news outlets: more radio stations than we have ever had, more newspapers than we have ever had, and more television stations than we have ever had.”Woods said though freedom of speech thrives under intimidation from those who claim to be the custodians of power, “we will strive to consolidate and make it better. We can all appreciate the common heritage bequeathed by our forefathers. We want to build a country that is free and democratic where all of our people are provided an enabling environment to improve their material circumstances.”“Indeed we devote ourselves to a preferential option for the poor; the vast majority of our people, who go to bed each night on empty stomachs, who cannot read or write, who cannot access a hospital, a school or a court. It is our right, our obligation to build this new society. We will not waver, we will not cower, we will not betray the people.”To address poverty in the country, Woods hit upon the restoration of the family and its values, education and developing the total person.He said a formation process should involve the family, “our communities, our religious institutions, traditional African systems of training and discipline. We cannot depend on an educational system that does not transform the living conditions of our people; that prepares us to seek only self-glorification and crushes individualism, consumerism and materialism. It must be an education for service and integrity. Government officials must send their children to public schools as a matter of policy.”On the health system, Woods called for the building of a resilient health system; one that works and responds to the epidemiological problems that confront our people. In fact we might want to consider a policy measure that requires those who are duty bearers in our government to be required to seek treatment and care in our public health system or pay for their personal health care.”On food sufficiency, Woods called for “a path to the future that places the well-being of our people as the central focus of public policy; and food security questions must capture our every imagination and our every action.” Woods said infrastructural development, road networks and clean, affordable drinking water for “our people along with electricity are some measures that should be considered; and communication, be it road network or information technology, must be at the service of our people.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GoL Urged to Set Up Free Hotline

first_imgTwenty of Liberia’s twenty-two political parties have called on the Liberian government to set up a free hotline to help stakeholders monitor and report situations that have the tendency to derail the peace during and after the October elections.The appeal was made after the parties signed “The Farmington River Declaration” committing themselves to holding peaceful elections and judicial resolution of election disputes in Liberia, according to a release by the Governance Commission.ECOWAS and other world leaders witnessed the signing of the Declaration during the ECOWAS Summit held last Sunday at the Farmington River Hotel in Margibi County.The Declaration commits standard bearers and their political parties to ensure that the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections are held within the confines of the law and other international standards pertaining to free, fair, and transparent democratic elections.The thirteen count resolution commits signatories to resolve election disputes through mediation and the courts; preventing election violence; peaceful political campaign activities; and to closely work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that they effectively perform their duties before, during and after the 2017 elections.The political leaders also promised to hold themselves accountable for promoting the effective political leadership of the campaign against electoral violence, impunity, and injustice.The leaders of the political parties have meanwhile mandated the mediation committee, which the Inter-Religious Council is a part of, to consult with the National Legislature to act with deliberate urgency to pave the way for the peaceful conduct of the 2017 elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Civil Society Group Backs LP’s Court Action

first_imgNCSCL chairlady Frances R. Deigh Greaves and executives of the group Following Liberty Party’s (LP) complaint of irregularities in the October 10 presidential and legislative elections by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to the Supreme Court, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has applauded the party for the action.The LP’s complaint led Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh to place a stay order on the NEC  from conducting all activities leading to the holding of the November 7 runoff between the ruling Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of Senator George Weah.The NCSCL is a consortium of national thematic clusters, networks, and organizations working in collaboration with the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND).Frances R. Deign, NCSCL’s chairlady, told journalists on Wednesday that, “We commend the approach taken by the LP to respect the rule of law by challenging their grievances through the court.”Madam Deign said that Liberians have grown through a period of political maturity, using the ballot as a choice for selecting their leaders and not by any violent means which is highly commendable. “Our dark days of history are behind us as a country, and what we must opt for is to welcome a growing democracy that promotes freedom of expression and respect for the rule of law,” she said.She said that after the October 10 elections, her institution observed with keen attention “that other parties have taken to the air waves and social media using hate messages and threats.”She believes that why it is true that freedom of expression is a human rights issue, it goes with responsibility, and therefore the misuse of freedom of expression can also abuse the rights of others.Deign said the NCSLC is urging Liberians to remain calm and await the decision of the Supreme Court. “We admonish all aggrieved parties to respect the tenets of democracy by respecting the rule of law.“We also call on all political parties to adhere to the Farmington River Declaration signed before the ECOWAS Heads of State, showing their commitment to peace for Liberia.”The NCSCL opposes any threatening statement and the use of hate speech that have the propensity to derail the peace process, said Deign.“We call on all our Nobel Peace Prize winners and peace ambassadors to stand for nothing less than peace and the court to expeditiously render judgment on the protest halting the elections process,” the NCSCL said in its resolution.“We admonish the NEC to take corrective measures and rectify the challenges encountered during the October 10 elections so as to avoid future occurrences,” Deign said. “We encourage all Liberians to give peace a chance. Liberia must rise again. Peace is what we want and peace is what we are going to maintain.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Newcastle legend issues rallying cry to Magpies stars

first_img 1 Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has issued a rallying cry to the club and urged the players to turn around the club’s fortunes quickly.The Toon have endured a wretched start to the Premier League campaign and many fans have called for manager Alan Pardew to resign following a return of just four points from seven matches.Newcastle have managed just one win in 15 league matches dating back to March and Shearer reckons things need to change at St James’ Park.The all-time top Premier League goalscorer said: “The most important game is the next one, they have to win at home on Saturday against Leicester City.“They’ve had a poor start to the season and have had a poor time right the way back to January. It hasn’t been good enough. Alan Pardew knows that, the fans know that but the players are the ones that can do something about it.“They’ve got to do that and do it pretty soon.” Alan Shearer could not turn Newcastle’s fortunes around as manager center_img Getty last_img read more

USC’s Leinart brilliant in defeat

first_imgPASADENA – Matt Leinart could only watch as Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns broke his heart. The USC senior was nearly flawless after halftime Wednesday night, completing 16 of 19 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. But Young scored on an 8-yard run with 19 seconds remaining to give No. 2 Texas the national championship with a 41-38 victory over the top-ranked Trojans in the Rose Bowl. “We just couldn’t tackle him,” Leinart said. “I still think we’re a better football team. They just made the plays at the end. “This is what it’s all about, 41-38 in the final game. You couldn’t ask for anything better. This was a great football game. We gave our hearts, they gave their hearts, and they came out on top.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Leinart threw an incompletion to finish his career, overthrowing Dwayne Jarrett as time ran out, and trudged off the field a loser for only the second time in 39 starts at USC. The 2004 Heisman Trophy winner didn’t seem himself during a shaky first half, perhaps feeling the rust of a month off. The Trojans moved inside the Texas 20-yard line four times in the first half and to the Longhorns’ 25 on another occasion, but scored only 10 points. “It’s disappointing. We missed some stuff in the first half, but that’s the way things go,” Leinart said. He was sacked twice in a row in the final minute of the half to prevent USC from perhaps scoring a touchdown. He knelt on one knee after one of the takedowns with his helmet off, appearing shaken up and in need of the halftime break. Once he got it, there was no stopping him or his team for a while as USC (12-1) scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the second half to take a 38-26 lead. center_img But Texas (13-0) had what it took at the finish. Next stop for Leinart: the NFL, where he could have played this season, assuring himself of all the money he could ever spend. That will come soon enough for the 6-foot-5 left-hander from Orange County, who decided to go with his heart and stay in school for his senior year. “No regrets,” he said. “This is what I came back to school to do.” Leinart beat out three competitors to win the starting quarterback job in the spring of 2003 after sitting out his first year and playing third string his second, playing in mopup time in three games without throwing a pass. He has excelled in his three years as a starter to the point where it’s reasonable to call him one of the best quarterbacks in college football history. “He’s got to be one of the all-timers, he’s got to be,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s one of the top few that’s ever played.” If that’s not the case, Leinart certainly qualifies as one of the most successful with his 37-2 record as a starter – including a 34-game winning streak snapped by the Longhorns. “He’s been a great champion, he’s been a great leader, he’s been a role model, he’s been a blast to be around,” Carroll said. “You know it and I know it, it’s time to go. “He played fantastic tonight again; it’s just too bad he couldn’t walk out of here as the Rose Bowl champ one more time. It isn’t because he didn’t do all he could.” Among the other outstanding records by starting college quarterbacks are the 35-0 mark by Toledo’s Chuck Ealey from 1969-71, the 32-1-1 record by Oklahoma’s Steve Davis from 1973-75, and the 38-2 mark by Miami’s Ken Dorsey from 1999-02. Young is 30-2 as a starter, and could surpass Leinart’s standard as a senior next season, assuming he returns to school. Carroll said Leinart’s decision to play his senior year was the right one, and should send a message to other youngsters. “He’s such an extraordinary kid,” Carroll said. “I know he wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. We’re very lucky that we’ve had the time with him; it’s been great to be with Matty.” Leinart went 29-of-40 for 365 yards with one interception against Texas. He was at his best in USC’s most important games, winning MVP honors in the Rose Bowl two years ago, when he completed 23 of 34 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-14 victory over Michigan, and in the Orange Bowl last January, when he hit on 18 of 35 for 332 yards and five TDs in a 55-19 triumph over Oklahoma. Leinart passed for a startling 10,603 yards and 99 touchdowns with only 23 interceptions in the past three seasons. 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

Fishing the North Coast: Record low returns for fall Klamath kings

first_imgStill reeling from four years of drought and less than ideal ocean and river conditions, it’s no surprise that the number of returning Fall Chinook to the Klamath Basin in 2016 were the lowest on record.According to the CDFW, the 2016 preliminary postseason river run size estimate for Klamath River Fall Chinook was 27,353 adults compared to the preseason-predicted river run size of 54,000. Only 15,818 adults escaped to natural spawning areas, which was well below the 40,700 adults needed for …last_img read more

Reading spreads ripples to a brighter future

first_imgThrough its literacy programme, Ripple Reading hopes to make a significant and lasting difference to the learners they work with. (Image: Brand South Africa)Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president.”It is with this in mind that Ripple Reading, a Johannesburg NGO, works to improve the reading skills and overall literacy of young South Africans in poor communities.“Imagine if you couldn’t read, what quality of life would you have?” asks Riana Robinson, the founder of Ripple Reading.PROGRAMMESRipple Reading works with schools in disadvantaged areas around the country by giving literacy training to children who are reading below the level appropriate for their age.Their literacy programme is research-based and includes a scientific assessment of reading difficulties. It works with children from early childhood to high school level.The Ripple Reading Leadership Development Programme equips learners with academic, sporting and leadership skills in their high school years.The programme places these promising learners in private and well-run public schools through a bursary-like process. The learners are also mentored through high school to bring out their full potential.A fair share of the learners enrolled in the literacy and leadership programmes come from underprivileged households.With this in mind, the facilitators at Ripple Reading created the Social Upliftment Programme, through which they provide stationary, school uniforms, shoes and sports equipment to help learners get the most out of their education.Watch this video and learn more about Ripple Reading’s Leadership Programme:GET INVOLVEDAccording to Robinson, Ripple Reading has helped change the lives of over 400 children since 2013, and aims to expand all over South Africa. She is now calling on all South Africans to help the NGO.If the Ripple Reading cause resonates with you, then play your part and help them continue to make a difference in the lives of children in underprivileged schools.There are a number of ways you can get involved. You can volunteer or make a donation to help them cover their running costs. Have a look at the “how you can help” section on their website for more details.PLAY YOUR PARTEveryone can make a positive difference in their own way. How are you working to support the development of those less fortunate?Are you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you through your everyday actions? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to uplift their community?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Clover supports its 40 Mamas

first_imgClover Mamas are ordinary ladies doing extraordinary work to make life better for other South Africans in need. (Image: Clover)There are 40 Mamas throughout the country who are making a visible and vital difference in the lives of children and the elderly. These Mamas are part of Clover SA’s biggest corporate social investment programme, Clover Mama Afrika.The Clover Mamas each run successful care centres throughout South Africa, and collectively take care of more than 15 500 children and 2 500 elderly people, many of whom are abused, orphaned, homeless and vulnerable. The programme began in 2004.Clover, the food and beverages group, empowers the Mamas with vital skills such as: cooking, baking, sewing, crocheting, business management, food gardening and bread baking skills. Over and above the training, the women are all supplied with the necessary tools, equipment and infrastructure to create an income for their communities.In 2014, Clover Mama Afrika received the Rural Development Award at the second Annual South African Premier Business Awards, hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry. It won for recognising and promoting community projects that were part of the government’s strategic interventions in poverty alleviation.Now, the managing team of the Clover Mama Afrika Trust is on the road visiting the Clover Mamas for the #40Mamas4Change 2015 National Roadshow. The trip was made possible by its sponsor, MiX Telematics, a global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions.KEEPING COMMUNITY ROOTSThis year, the roadshow started in Polokwane and in the last week of August, moved to KwaZulu-Natal, covering a substantial 2 552km. By the end of the roadshow, in December, the Clover Mama Afrika Trust managing team would have covered 7 204km.While on the roadshow, the team consults no more than two Mamas a day to establish their progress in their respective projects and identify what they need to continue their good work. Besides attending to the needs of the Mamas and their community centres, the roadshow allows the team to evaluate where each Mama is in terms of her progress.“When this time of year rolls around, the team is excited to visit the Mamas in their own homes and centres,” said Professor Elain Vlok, the corporate services manager of Clover SA and Clover Mama Afrika Trust.“Throughout the year we meet at training sessions which are usually not in their hometowns, so when we do the roadshow, we try to spend as much time with them to ensure that we receive all the information we need to update the auditors and provide further assistance, as well as enjoy a nice cup of tea and usually some baked goods freshly made from their ovens.”Vlok said the Mamas’ progress was evaluated and their financial status analysed; then assistance was given through financial education while their needs were assessed.“For the fourth year in a row we have supported this important cause,” added Mariette Myburgh, the divisional director of customer service at MiX Telematics (Africa), “as we believe by truly understanding the needs of each Mama, we can facilitate their access to skills and relevant equipment.“Thus, not only enabling them to support themselves and to grow their own business but to share their skills and empower the larger communities around them. Through this, we are not only creating employment but contributing to South Africa’s larger growth objectives.”For more information on the Clover Mama Afrika project visit its website.For updates on the roadshow, log on to the Clover Mama Afrika Facebook page or follow 40Mamas4Change on Twitter.last_img read more

Why create a business budget?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Brian E. RavencraftCash is king! For farmers, evaluating cash flow needs and budgeting are essential factors in the ongoing health of a business. Some of the key objectives of creating a cash flow plan are:Cash flow must be positive, timely and availableMeasure and monitor your plan on an ongoing basisUse the plan to manage the business proactively and reduce business surprisesPrevent problems before they arise and develop strategies to prevent problemsBudgets are forward looking documents — they force you to think about the futureIt’s the crystal ball. If you don’t like what you see, you have the opportunity to changeSignificantly improves your chances to be successful .Cash flow is an essential factor in the ongoing health of a business. Cash flow must be positive, timely, and available. The best way to ensure this, is to have a Cash Flow forecast. In order to stay in control, this plan needs to be measured and monitored on an ongoing basis so that you can manage the business proactively. What is cash flow?The definition of Cash Flow is fairly basic:Cash that flows into the farming business from all sources such as cash sales, borrowings, sale of equipment less the cash that flows out of the farming business such as operating expenses, equipment purchases, loan repayments. Key requirements of your cash lowSuccessful farming operations understand the importance of cash flow. The financial strength of a business depends on if cash flow is positive, available, and timely.Positive: Net cash flow should be positive. Cash inflows must exceed cash outflows.Available: A company must have sufficient cash flow in liquid assets so it can access the cash to pay its bills.Timely: Cash inflows must be timed to come in before cash outflows are due.Even though this sounds pretty basic, it doesn’t just happen by accident. Those farmers that do this successfully have cash flow forecasts, which they manage (at least) monthly so that they can plan for any cash shortage. Measuring your performanceCash Flow forecasts are useless unless the actual results are monitored regularly. Failing to fulfill, or exceeding your assumptions, can affect the long or short-term viability of your plan. Measure and understand the effects of variations to your plan. There is always the opportunity to do better. If you’re not monitoring your actual results regularly, you can’t capitalize on that opportunity. Finally, remember the farming environment is constantly changing and the same thing that works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.The key phrase you need to remember is: What you can measure, you can manage.Budgeting and Cash Flows are essential factors in the ongoing health of a farming business. In order to stay in control, your plan needs to be measured and monitored on an ongoing basis so that you can manage the farm business proactively. The best way to ensure that cash flow remains positive, timely and available, is to have a Cash Flow/Budgeting plan.Next time, I’ll take a look at different methods of improving cash flow.Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com or at BRavencraft@HolbrookManter.com.last_img read more