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“It has to start with us”

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UN Women, Madam Marie-Goreth Nizigma on 16 Days Of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

By: Leila B. Gbati

Workers of the United Nations have been called upon to prevent all forms of violence against women, girls and boys in Liberia.

The Country Representative of UN Women, Madam Marie-Goreth Nizigma, made the call on Friday, November 26, 2021 at the Launch and Celebration of the 16 Days of Activism for UN Staff held at Pan African Plaza, UN Headquarters on 1st Street Sinkor.

The UN in Liberia along with the GOL and other partners is celebrating the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2021 under the global theme “Orange the World: End violence against women now!” and the national theme, “Enough is enough! Let’s act now to end violence against women, girls, children and other marginalized groups.”

In a special message at the occasion, Madam Nizigama told the UN Staffers that as they celebrate the 16 Days to say ‘enough is enough’, has to start with them and they must carry the torch and making the world free from violence against women, girls and boys.

She indicated that as UN Staff they have the responsibility to continue to raise awareness on ending all forms of violence against women and girls.

“It has to start with us, we have to be the agent of change and the voice that speaks and people listen,” she said.

Madam Nizigama also encouraged her fellow colleagues to ensure that their homes, streets, mothers, children and all women, girls and boys are protected from all forms of violence.

She further urges them to redouble their efforts to end violence against women and girls now and not any other day.

According to her a UN Staff has responsibility to promote human rights everywhere and also be an example to fight violence perpetrated against women and girls.

Speaking further the UN Women Country Representative said that there are various forms of violence being perpetrated against women and girls in communities, neighborhoods, work places and the world at large.

She disclosed that their partner, non-partners or a boy subjects one in every three women before the age of 50 years around the world to physical or sexual violence once in a lifetime.

She maintained that violence against women remains unchanged over the last decade and gender stereotypes in harmful social norms including the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, stressing that in Liberia there is an increase in rape, domestic violence and FGM.

“Violence against the rights of women really need to stop, enough is enough. We cannot continue to live in a society where our lives as women and girls continue to remain endangered,” she said.

She however recognized that significant progress has been made through the Spotlight Initiative to prevent and eliminate violence against women, noting the gender equality forum and Government of Liberia and partners’ actions to build a global movement base on mobilizing GOL, CSOs and the national community on ending violence against women and girls.

Also speaking, the President of the Federation of the United Nations Staff Association in Liberia (FUNSAL), Kaman Weah condemn all forms of violence against women and girls at work places especially, amongst UN Staffers.

Mr. Weah said that UN Offices must be a safe place for both men and women to work.

He used the occasion to call on all UN staff to speak out if they experience any form of violence in their offices.

“If you think that you have no one to talk to, I am encouraging you to come to the leadership of the UN Staff Association and speak out and we will address the matter. Colleagues, we must use these mediums available and our leadership is ready to listen to staffs and act because there is no room for this in this leadership,” he said.

He told his fellow workers that gender equality should be obtain therefore every woman and girl should enjoy the same rights and opportunity equally as their male counterpart.

He also pledged his commitment in doing his part to end violence against women, girls and other marginalized groups and at the same time calling on his fellow workers to join him publicly to pledge their support to his commitment to end violence against women and girls in Liberia.

“You can lift your voice by advocating for gender equality in this country. Today is the day to say enough is enough let us act now and end all forms of violence against women and girls in Liberia and the world,” he said.

For his part, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Liberia, Niels Scott pointed that there cannot be sustainable development without basic human rights without eliminating violence against women in the homes, community and workplace.

According to the UN Liberia Resident Coordinator, Liberia cannot move ahead without eliminating all forms of violence against women, girls and marginalized group in schools, institutions and every aspect of work places.

He stressed that the Launch of the 16 Days of Activism is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to reenergize himself or herself to end violence against women.

Meanwhile, he encouraged everyone to get engage and contribute toward eliminating violence against women.

He vowed that they will continue to speak and if all of the messages and voices of violence against women and girls can come together than they can amplify the message against Sexual Gender Base Violence (SGBV).

“We are all responsible, ask yourself what have I done to help achieve gender equality or women empowerment, everyone needs to contribute and show concern to this fight of violence against women,” he said.

He recommited the UN effort to support the GOL and people of Liberia to end SGBV, FGM and other forms of violence against women, girls and marginalized groups.

At the same time he emphasized that lot more needs to be done and there should be a collective effort to bring violence against women down.

Mr. Scott noted that violence against women and girls hinders progress towards the attainment of sustainable development emphasizing that it is time for all of us to come together and fight gender-based violence against women and girls in Liberia.

“It is time to double efforts to implement the laws that have been passed, such as the Domestic Violence Act and enact outstanding bills designed to address the high incidence of gender-based violence,” Mr. Scott said.

However, the occasion ended with a penal discussion on the topics: Addressing Negative Practices Affecting Women and Girls in the Traditional Setting and Violence Against Women in Elections in Liberia.

Panelists and facilitators at the event were, Tamba Johnson, Chairperson of the National female genital mutilation working group; Setta Fofana Saah, Coordinator of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL) ; Counsellor Gloria Musu Scott, former Chief Justice and Chair of the Constitutional Review Committee; Mmonbeydo Nadine Joah, President of the Network on Peace and Security for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO) and Executive Director of the Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH) and Senator Botoe Kanneh.

“There is a lot more that needs to be done”

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Niels Scott, UN Liberia Resident Coordinator

UN Resident Coordinator to Liberia

United Nations’ Resident Coordinator for Liberia, Mr. Niels Scott, has noted the need for more work to be done in eliminating all forms of violence and harmful practices against women in Liberia. The UN Envoy noted that in spite of effort made through programmes such as the European Union, United Nations and Government of Liberia Spotlight Initiative, and the sexual and gender based violence program previously funded by the Embassy of Sweden, more effort is still needed in ending gender based violence in Liberia. Mr. Scott spoke recently at the official launch ceremony for the 16 days campaign held in Margibi County, Liberia.

Mr. Scott cited statistics from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, which show that cases of gender-based violence increased alarmingly in 2020 with more than 2240 cases being reported.

“There is need for us to collectively and individually contribute to ending gender-based violence and bring the number of cases down,” says Mr. Scott. “There is need to strengthen primary prevention efforts and redefine power relations that have often put women and girls in a vulnerable situation at family, community, and institutional levels,” he says.

Mr. Niels recommitted the United Nations’ efforts to support the Government of Liberia in the fight against gender-based violence. He emphasized that the United Nations would continue to provide support and work with partners to end all forms of violence in Liberia.

The keynote speaker, Honourable, Mawine Diggs, Minister of Commerce and Industry delivered a powerful speech and challenged everyone to question themselves what they have done to fight this societal plague at the individual level.

 “I call upon all Liberians and foreigners in Liberia to end violence now. “We must work together and end gender-based violence now. Issues of violence can no longer be handled the family way…Victims must be heard, and perpetrators must be held accountable, she said.

The Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia, Urban Sjöström who spoke on behalf of the embassies of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Sweden and the European Union; urged the government to fulfill all commitments made including scaling up survivor center, comprehensive response to gender-based violence that includes prevention, psychosocial support for survivors, medical assistance, access to justice and rehabilitation programs for survivors, among other things.

Other speakers included Honourable Hassan Karney the Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who highlighted that stopping violence starts with believing survivors. He emphasized the need to end all forms violence against women and girls now.

Marie Goreth Nizigama, UN Women Country Representative for Liberia also attended the official launch ceremony.

The United Nations joined the Government and people of Liberia to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which kicked off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will run until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The United Nations in Liberia is supporting the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to host a series of events that have been lined up to commemorate the 16 days of Activism campaign

The global theme for this year’s campaign is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!” The national theme is, “Enough is enough; Let’s act now to end violence against women, girls, children and other marginalized groups.”

“We are in the stage of opportunity”    

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 Amb. Endee, others showcase Liberia’s potentials in Dubai

Ambassador Juli Endee and team have been showcasing Liberia’s tourism investment opportunities to investors by splendid display of cultural performance in Dubai. Liberia’s Culture Ambassador said of the many places she has traveled to perform; Dubai was the biggest of all. She said showcasing Liberia’s culture in the UAE was a stage of opportunity for young artists in Liberia.

Ambassador Julie Endee, who heads the country’s team of cultural and musical artists attending the world event, Expo-2020, says Liberia’s participation is “not about dancing and music” alone. Instead, it  is alsot “making statements about who we are as a people and what we bring to the table”.

Ambassador Endee said her team of 60 members comprising of cultural dancers, artists and traditional people got five performances ready approved.

 The Culture Ambassador, in a very excited mood, thanked President Weah who she said did not travel to Dubai in person, but has nonetheless provided enormous support to ensure Liberia’s participation is a resounding success. “Before traveling here in Dubai, we went to President Weah for blessing and because of his blessing, we were able to perform excellently”, Ambassador Endee said.          

The periodic world fair, taking place this year in Dubai, the UAE, runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. It provides an opportunity for countries to showcase their unique potential through displays of their cultural heritage, innovation, business opportunities and general way of life. It’s being held under the theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

Organizers say bringing the world together can serve as a catalyst for the “exchange of new perspectives and inspire action to deliver real-life solutions to real-world challenges”.

This year, 192 “pavilions” representing the total number of countries have been set up to feature each country’s story. In addition to featuring Liberia’s arts and craft, the country will also be exhibiting its potential in ecotourism, infrastructure, mining, Agriculture, etc.

Artifacts of more than a hundred years, which convey the story of the Liberia’s forefathers, will be on display, as will the account of President George M. Weah’s humble beginning.

The official Liberian delegation, headed by the Minister of State Without Portfolio, Trokon Kpui, held a major investment forum on the sidelines of the event with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. About 60 investors from the UAE met with officials of the Liberian government and private business people from various sectors.

Both partners explored opportunities in Agriculture, Tourism, commerce and industries, waste management, maritime, etc. 

Tuesday, November 30, was set aside as “Liberia Day” at the Expo.

 “We showcased Freedom, and our Cultural Heritage’, Ambassador Endee said.

The Liberian government delegation,according to information Ministry release, included Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie, Acting Public Works Minister, Ruth C. Collins and Gender Minister Williametta Saydee Tarr.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr will today on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 address cross section of participants at the Women’s Pavilion Programme Visions and Journeys Event of the 2020 Dubai Expo. 

The Gender Boss is expected to roll out Liberia’s transformative approach in uplifting women as well as outlining insidious challenges most Liberian women go through daily.

“Minister Tarr will highlight amongst others the significance of Liberia passing into law of the Domestic Violence Act of 2019; the surge in appointment of women into key Cabinet positions; the declaration of free Education in all public schools that has seen the rise in enrollment and retention of girls; the creation of Gender and Social Inclusion Units in various Ministries and Agencies that is currently blustering gender mainstreaming in the formulation and implementation of government policies and programs; the decline in the number of reported sexual and gender-based violence cases which can be attributed to the launch of the Anti Sexual and Gender Based Violence Roadmap 2020-2022 and Rural Social Cash Program which is reducing poverty by directly giving cash to households that are mainly headed by women”, Gender Ministry release said.

The release said, the Gender Minister would also touch on the firmed commitment and unflinching support from the Feminist-In-Chief H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah in achieving Gender Equality, which is the fulcrum of the Sustainable Development Goal #5. 

Additionally, she will share the Liberian Leader’s insistence that Gender Equality, which is a subset of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), Pillar One, should be mainstreamed and prioritized by all government Institutions.

The organizers assert that the Expo principles are aligned perfectly with the values of the UAE, and with millions of visitors expected both on-site and online, the event will provide a unique opportunity to design and deliver a meaningful programme that accelerates the UAE’s collective progress.

Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr is being accompanied by her Deputy Minister for Research, Planning and Policy – Hassan Karneh and Assistant Minister for Administration, Mamensie Kabba.

Flashy Deal

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  • House Passes Bao Chico Mineral Development Agreement

Monrovia, Liberia November 30, 2021: The plenary of the House of Representatives has unanimously voted to ratify the Mineral Development Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Bao Chico Resources of Liberia Ltd.

Plenary took the decision Tuesday November 30, 2021 following a report from a joint Committee on Concession & Investment, Mines & Energy, Ways, Means Finance Development Planning and Judiciary.

Accordingly, the Mineral Development Agreement between the Government of Liberia and BAO CHICO Resources Liberia Ltd is for the extraction of iron ore, to be operated under a Class ‘A’ Mining License for an initial term of 25 years from the effective date.

BAO CHICO Resources Liberia Ltd. is a corporation duly registered under the laws of Liberia, TIN Number 500118730 for mineral exploration and mining in Liberia and on the 12th of August 2008, the company was granted an Exploration License MEL 12005 in accordance with Section 1.2 of the Exploration Regulations for the exploration of Mineral Products within the area specified on the license which covered a total area of 87.4km2 within Gbarpolu County.

The company’s license, which was renewed on the 15th of August 2013, is expected to provide direct benefits in the form of employments and revenue generation.

In terms of financial benefits, According to the report the company shall pay all taxes and duties and conform to all procedures pursuant to applicable law; the company shall be taxed on its net taxable income at a rate not to exceed 25 percent; pay the Government’s royalties on all its mineral product sales and transfers for iron ore, a royalty of 4.5 percent determined in accordance with Section 703 of the Revenue Code and for other minerals, as provided for in the Revenue Code and pay into the Government’s general revenue account a signature fee of US$3 million, payable according to the following schedule: that US$1.5 million within 30 business days of the effective date; (ii) US$1 million on the first anniversary of the effective date; and (iii) US$0.5 million on second anniversary of the effective date.

The report further stated that in the space of 10 years following the effective date, the company shall pay an annual lump sum amount of US$60,000 to be paid in two installments of US$30,000 each on January 15 and July 15 of each calendar year.

Pursuant to Section 18.4 of the Mining Law, the company shall make one-time contribution of US$10,000 to the Mineral Development Fund, payable on the Effective Date. Pay an annual surface rental fee for all land within the production area of US$50,000 from the effective date up to the fifth anniversary of the effective date; from the sixth anniversary through the term, the company shall pay an annual surface rental fee for all land within the production area of US$30,000.

In terms of social/economic benefits, as part of its social contribution, BAO CHICO Resources Liberia Ltd. is expected to provide the followings, an annual social contribution of US$300,000 commencing on the effective date until the fifth anniversary of the effective date, and an annual social contribution of US$500,000 from the sixth anniversary of the effective date until the end of the term.

A General Education Funding of US$80,000 to Gbarpolu County, contributed annually through a company administered program.

Pay a Scientific Research Fund of US$50,000 annually, commencing on the start of commercial production and payable thereafter on the anniversary of the effective date through the term.

This amount shall be paid into the general revenue account of the Government for the Scientific Research Fund aimed at generating geo-scientific data and information.

NEC declares campaign open in Lofa

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  •  As it announces receipt of joint legislative resolution
NEC Chairperson, Madam Lansanah

NEC Board Chairperson, Madam Brown-Lansanah

The National Elections Commission (NEC) would like to inform the general public that it has officially received the joint resolution, LEG-001/2022, for the conduct of the Lofa County Senatorial By-election. NEC made the announcement as it declared campaign open in the county.

The National Elections Commission is required by the joint resolution that was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia to hold the by-election for the senatorial seat in Lofa County on the 28th of June in 2022.

In a letter to the Chairperson of the NEC, Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah, President George Weah explained that his approval of the joint resolution is in line with Article 35 of the Constitution of Liberia.

In his letter, the Liberian Leader informs the NEC Chairperson that the joint resolution gives the Commission permission to hold the Lofa County Senatorial By-election on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. This information is included in the letter that the Liberian Leader sends to the NEC Chairperson.

The President of Liberia, George Weah, has expressed his optimism that the Lofa County Senatorial By-Election will be carried out smoothly and efficiently by the Commission.

In the meantime, the National Elections Commission has given the formal green light for political campaigns to begin in the Lofa by-election. According to the Commission, the political campaign began on Monday the 20th of June 2022, and will continue until Sunday the 26th of June 2022 at twelve in the morning.

FIU releases five-year National Strategy and Action Plan today

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FIU Boss

Today June 22, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) releases a five-year National Strategy and Action Plan on anti-money laundering and terrorism funding.

 By G. Bennie Bravo Johnson

Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit will officially launch its National Strategy and Action Plan on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing today, June 22, 2022, with the goal of mitigating the risks identified in the National Risk Assessment (NRA) 2019 report and enhancing investment and development in the country.

The Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia will host the launch of a five-year National Strategy and Action Plan on anti-money laundering and terrorist funding, which is expected to bring together a number of government and non-governmental groups.

The Director-General of the FIU, Edwin Harris, said in an interview with reporters on June 21, 2022, that the NRA’s goal is to “understand and determine the level of vulnerability of the economic and financial sectors to ML/TF, as well as to determine and understand the weaknesses in the legal framework to help formulate an informed and robust regulatory development.”

According to him, the National Action Plan’s launch will also address the NAR’s goal, which is to assess the criminal and administrative justice systems, as well as existing preventive systems, for compliance with FATF standards and to measure ML and TF risk by identifying and prioritizing risk based on underlying threats and vulnerabilities, so that the most appropriate and cost-effective mitigation measures can be designed and implemented.

The assessment found significant flaws in the country’s anti-money laundering AML/CFT regime, and intervention will focus on the following major areas of work to close those gaps: enhancing the AML/CFT legal and regulatory framework; strengthening risk-based supervision and coordination; maintaining outreach and awareness-raising; monitoring existing new and emerging risks; strengthening law enforcement efforts and intelligence capability; strengthening law enforcement, Mr. Harris elaborated.

The National Risk Assessment on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Document suggests that LEAs be given specialized training in several aspects of financial crime investigation. The government should devote appropriate budget to help the battle against money laundering and terrorist financing, and financial crime investigators, prosecutors, and LEAs should be strengthened.

He went on to say that the report also asks for encouraging and enhancing inter-agency coordination, as well as the efficient execution of Assert Forfeiture laws and regulations, and the construction of a single infrastructure platform to capture the real biometrics of all Liberians.

“This also recommends amending laws pertaining to the financial institutions sector in order to compel them to comply with the AML/CFT regime/measure and establishing an asset management office to manage property seized and confiscated in order to obtain the required economic benefits to the country,” he said. He said the sanctions regime should be proportional, punitive, and dissuasive enough to deter criminals and enhance tax audit, monitoring, investigation, and administration.

“However, it necessitates that supervisory and regulatory organizations pay special attention to the product or service with the greatest vulnerabilities,” he stated.

Mr. Harris also stated that the national plan will implement the document recommendation that the government take concrete and effective steps to improve Liberia’s address system to make it easier for banks and other financial institutions to verify their clients’ residential and business locations in order to conduct effective KYC/CDD.

He stated that the FIU will take seriously the advice that the FIU tighten its punishments against banks and other regulated institutions found to be complicit and guilty in their failure to file suspicious transaction reports and currency transaction reports as required by the FIU Act.

ULCHS, USAID Launch Medical Academic Hub at UL

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DCM Joel Maybury, US Embassy

By: G Bennie Bravo Johnson & Emmanuel W. Conway

 In continuation of the strong partnership and collaboration between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia, the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS), in partnership with the USAID-funded BRIDGE–U: Liberia project, has launched a Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CTLI).

CTLI, a public-private academic hub for research utilization, inter-professional training, innovation, and knowledge generation in Liberia, will deliver: faculty development programming; Research on utilizing evidence in the health sciences; the Experiential Learning and Assessment Lab (ELAB), a clinical simulation centre at John F. Kennedy Medical Center; an evidence-based decision-making course for current policymakers; and innovation and entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and venture incubation.

At the Launch of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation yesterday, June 21, 2022, at A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine Campus, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Joel F. Maybury, said that the launch is a proud moment because it brings together several partnerships between the United States and Liberia.

He said first, there is the USAID-funded Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research, or PEER/Liberia. This project is working to strengthen medical education both at the undergraduate and residency levels. 

Then, he continued, there is the Resilient & Responsive Health Systems Initiative, funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and administered by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration. This initiative supports classroom and clinical training for physicians, nurses, midwives, and health managers.

And now, the US Diplomat noted that the Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization (BRIDGE-U), also funded by USAID, is building off these initiatives to enrich faculty development and student learning across the College of Health Sciences.

“These projects are models of innovation and impact, demonstrating the tremendous change we can achieve through partnership and collaboration. Our U.S. university and other partners are working with the University of Liberia and Tubman University, just as we at the Embassy are working with the Ministry of Health to rethink medical education in Liberia.

“The launch of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation is yet another great achievement that marks our long-standing partnership.” The CTLI will serve as a gateway to modern health education technology for the next generation of essential health workers—doctors, nurses, administrators, and faculty. Most importantly, the CTLI will be a source of research information for entrepreneurs who are expected to improve their business initiatives using research-based evidence, “Mr. Joel F. Maybury said in his moving remarks.”

The U.S. government is proud of the many ways in which our assistance improves health outcomes for the Liberian people, he added.

Speaking further, he said strengthening the health workforce is a priority for every country, and as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, as such, he noted that there is no time to waste. “Strong leaders, competent clinicians, and innovative entrepreneurs need research information to prepare for and respond to pandemics such as COVID-19. I am impressed with your innovative and strategic vision to establish the CTLI, which serves this purpose. “

He then acknowledged the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, the President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Sarwolo Nelson, the Vice President, UL College of Health Sciences, Dr. Bernice Dahn, and all the esteemed faculty and others who have participated in this important work, as well as the U.S. government’s implementing partners, with whom he said are administering these programs, saying we celebrate what our great countries can achieve together.

In his opening special statement, Dr. Julius S. Nelson, Jr. thanked the leadership of the College of Health Sciences, in the person of Dr. Bernice T. Dahn and her entire team, for the work and collaboration with partners in bringing the project to fruition and said the ULCHS remained grateful to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners for their faith and investment in the country, adding that he is confident that the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CTLI) and all related programs will be very transformational for the faculty and students. 

“I am also excited because the Center will serve as a hub for collaborative training and innovation with the larger community, including clinicians, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.” “Universities are a part of the fabric of the community, and it is our privilege and mission to promote lifelong learning and research in partnership with our neighboring institutions and colleagues,” the UL President said, noting that the opening of the CTLI is a momentous occasion, which builds on years of progress at the College of Health Science and ushers in a new era for high quality and professional health education.

He noted that fifty years ago, the UL started with just the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, but today, in spite of the challenges faced over the years, the institution has a busy campus with four schools, including the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and School of Nursing and Midwifery, as well as strengthened administrative systems. As we all know, such growth comes along with its own set of challenges. With an ever increasing number of students, we are reaching the capacity of our classrooms and dorms. Dr. Nelson further narrated, “We have relocated the pre-clinical medical students to our Fendall Campus and envisage an additional expansion there to support the anticipated growth within the college.”

“As the need for clinical training continues to remain critical for quality health profession training, we also realize that our own campus needs continuous strengthening.” As a result, we will continue to work with our partners at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center and elsewhere to make sure that we are providing our students with well-equipped faculties and quality supervision and mentorship.

We are proud to be associated with the training of our future generations of Liberia’s health workforce, which includes the clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and even future faculty members, who will keep us all safe and healthy. It is our duty to provide a comprehensive and enriching educational experience that prepares these students to be the leaders and change-makers of the future, and we are so grateful for the support of our many partners and everyone here today. “

In closing, he urged all stakeholders to continue working together as ULCHS continues to develop the health workforce of the beloved country and reduce the patient to health worker ratio far lower than it is now.

The University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS) is the flagship public higher education institution responsible for training Liberia’s clinicians, researchers, health policymakers, and innovators. ULCHS is poised to become a globally recognized leader in research utilization, meaningfully connecting academics with policy-making innovation and clinical practice. ULCHS is the strategic lead and main partner for the BRIDGE-U: Liberia project. It is also home to Liberia’s only medical, pharmacy, public health, and midwifery schools.

Gender Ministry appears unconcerned as Mentally ill-woman suffers in jail

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Ms Benita Baryo, a women believed to be mentally ill

By. G. Bennie Bravo Johnson

A woman believed to be mentally unstable has continued to languish in jail since she was incarcerated for the alleged kidnapping of a school child.

The sick woman’s father, Mr. William Baryo, says he continues to appeal to the gender ministry and civil society organizations for assistance in obtaining Benita Baryo’s release from the Monrovia Central Prison, as her condition is said to be worsen.  

On Friday, June 10, 2022, City Court Judge Jomah Jallah jailed a mentally ill woman named Benita Baryo for kidnapping a school child. When Womenvoices published the story, the Assistant Minister for Gender and Children’s Protection requested the paper to assist with contacting family members, which the paper did. Mr. Baryo said the Gender Ministry has had no contact or intervention since June 10, 2022.

When contacted, the Assistant Minister for Gender and Children Protection, Manmina Carr, said she left the contact information for her office to follow up on the matter since she was not well and seeking medication attention at a local hospital in Monrovia.

 Meanwhile, Mr. Eric Pervist, the Gender Ministry’s public relations officer, confirmed that the Ministry is working with the Ministry of Justice to have Miss. Benita Baryo released from the Monrovia central prison.

However, some believe that Eric’s assertion appears to be window-dressing of the situation, considering the fact that no one from the ministry of gender has reached out to the family.

Ms. Baryo was arrested and taken to the Clara Town police station on May 30, 2022, for allegedly kidnapping a girl from an Islamic school on Randall and Gurley Street and transporting her to the Todee District of Montserrado. Prior to her incarceration, the youngster was reunited with her parents.

Kidnapping is illegal under Liberia’s new panel law, Sections 14.50 and 14.53. So, under Liberian law, the city court’s decision to put a kidnapper in jail is legal, as long as the person who did it was of sound mind when they did it.

Her father, Ms. Baryo, 28, is languishing in jail because she had no one accompanying her to the Monrovia municipal court to bill her out. Her father, she said, was not in the country and her mother had died. She’s been in the Monrovia central prison for around twelve (12) days already.

Meanwhile, according to people who commented on the incident during an investigation undertaken by this paper, Ms. Benita Baryo is mentally deranged and acted out of character. She appears to be suffering from schizophrenia and should be committed to a mental health facility rather than be imprisoned. 

Mr. William Baryo, Benita Baryo’s father, stated in a recent interview that his daughter is not in the right frame of mind and that he has been unable to bill her out of prison because of his financial incapacity.

As a result, Mr. Baryo is appealing to the government, the gender ministry, the CSO, and all responsible Liberians to assist him in getting his mentally ill daughter out of prison.

He said that his daughter is going through a spiritual nightmare that makes her act strange at certain times of the year. He also hinted that she once left her son because of a fight with the father, which led to the death of the child on May 19, 2022.

“We beg the Honorable Senate to take an honest look…”

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  • Liberian Women plead for Ms. Edwina Collins
Flash back photo of women at fourteen days of fast and prayer

By Dearest K. Sammie

The Liberian Women’s Mass Action for Peace has called on the Senate to reconsider Ms. Edwina Collins for the position of deputy commissioner for ship registry, and has asked the Senate to give her a chance to show herself on the job.

The Liberian Women Mass Action for Peace is a collection of well-known and powerful Liberian women from various backgrounds. They recently fasted and prayed for 14 days and presented petitions describing how horrible things are to the administration, opposition leaders, international partners, and other influential people in the country.

In a six-point petition, Liberian women urged the Liberian Senate to reconsider its decision to confirm Ms. Edwina Collins. The women claimed that the Senate’s denial of the lady’s nomination would wreck her dreams and undermine the much-touted 40 percent female political involvement and UN Resolution 1325.

The Liberian Senate recently rejected Edwina K. Collins’ candidacy as Deputy Commissioner designate of the Liberia Maritime Authority for International Ship Registration because to a lack of qualifications, according to the Women.

In a petition, the women encouraged the Senate to take a hard look at the role of the office, citing Ms. Collins’ high academic credentials, readiness, and capacity to do the job.

However, we respectfully request that the Honorable Senate examine the functions of the office, which we feel she is fully qualified and capable of performing, based on her high academic qualifications “According to the petition,

According to the women’s petition, the Deputy Commissioner for International Ship Registration’s principal responsibility is to sign off on various registrations and certificates.

“As long as the position exists and is affiliated to the Liberian Consulate in New York, its fundamental responsibility is to oversee vessel registration and undertake all related state functions for and on behalf of the Liberian government,” the women explained.

All certifications and registration documents for vessels are received and signed off on by the Deputy Commissioner, who also ensures that mortgage forms are completed in line with Liberian laws and relevant international laws and treaties.

“Given the above-mentioned role, we believe Madam Edwina Collins is the ideal candidate for the job and request that she be kindly re-considered.” Furthermore, the following are some of the reasons why we feel Madam Collins should be confirmed by the Senate so that she can begin working as soon as possible, as H.E. President George Weah intended when he nominated her for the position: “the conflict

They claimed that Madam Edwina Collins had the necessary qualifications because she had attended college in the first place. They also stated that her ascension to power will inspire other young, ambitious women to strive hard for a decent education since they believed it was the most effective way to succeed.

Second, they stated that Madam Collins is well-prepared and has the necessary morals to do successfully in her position. If she were to be denied in such a humiliating manner, it would put an end to her goals as well as cause trauma and other health issues for her and other young ladies who want to attend college.

Giving Ms. Collins the chance, the women in their organization concluded, would inspire other women and make it easier for them to participate in major national projects and issues, even if they were ashamed. This will support UN Resolution 1325, which calls for 40 percent of women to participate in politics.

They noted in the fourth count that confirming her will go a long way toward dispelling the belief that people are assigned positions/jobs based on their interests rather than their qualifications.

Collins was described as clever, sophisticated, eloquent, responsible, courteous, and of impeccable character in the fifth count.

In their sixth count, the Liberian Women for Mass Action stated that her educational background demonstrates that she is the right person and a Liberian woman who will serve as a role model for young women to follow her good examples and build the image of young people from an early age through this generational change for a better Liberia.

The petitioners concluded by requesting that the Honorable Senate allow Ms. Edwina K. Collins the opportunity to demonstrate her abilities as a gender advocate and a pacesetter capable of propelling other young people forward academically.

Essiana Weah wins Miss Earth Liberia Crown

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By. Emmanuel Wise Jipoh

Miss Essiana W. Weah, goddess of the Sun, was crowned the new Miss Earth Liberia on Saturday June 18 at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex. She replaces Miss Odella Kanu Flomo, who held the title in 2021.

The 25-year-old supermodel, a student at Williams VS Tubman University from Southeastern-Liberia, Harper, Maryland County, will compete in the Miss Earth International pageant 2022 later this year in Manila, Philippines.

Miss. Weah defeated at least ten other finalists on the night, including Miss. Promise W. Toe-god of Time, who finished as first runner-up, Miss. Leona Perfect Duweh-god of Heritage, second runner-up, and Miss. Reneta B. Crayton-god of fire and Gabrielyn G. Farngalo-god of rainbow, who rounded out the top five contestants as she clinched the title of Miss Earth Liberia. Other finalists that took part in the colorful event included Ms. Malai A.G. Senwah-goddess of Flower, Miss. Gabrielyn B. Kamara-goddess of Tears, Miss. Stephanie K. Wreh-goddess of Light, Miss. Elizabeth S. Morlu-goddess of Star, and Miss. Gabrielyn B. Kamara-goddess of Tears.

As Her Royal Majesty Ms. Essiana W. Weah-Goddess of the Sun, she will have the opportunity to succeed 26-year-old model and Belizean Novelist Destiny Evelyn Wagner, current titleholder and 2021 winner of the Miss Earth International competition, as she gains her first international exposure.

Madam Wokie, CEO of La Queen Entertainment and National Director of the Miss Earth Liberia pageant, stated, “We are proud and delighted to announce that Miss. Essiana W. Weah emerged as the Miss Earth Liberia 2022 and, most importantly, she will have the privilege of representing Liberia at the Miss Earth International Pageant.”

Miss Liberia 2017 addressed to the attendees about the event with excitement and passion. She then praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for continuing to assist with the event. “The Miss Earth Liberia contest is all about the environment and oriented towards training the minds of young women to combat climate change at the grassroots level,” she stated. Miss Earth Liberia contest organizer La Queen Entertainment added in a statement.

Randall Dobayou, deputy director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for his part, has confirmed the EPA’s continued support for the Miss Earth Liberia Pageant. Mr. Dobayou stated that the EPA will continue to collaborate with La Queen Entertainment because their pageantry approach is oriented on promoting the environment and preaching the message of climate change.

He stated that the EPA is committed to ensuring that the winner of the Miss Earth Liberia Pageantry becomes an Ambassador of Climate Change for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and suddenly represents the country outside. Something he said will assist expose and educate young Liberian models about the issue of climate change and the need to solve it.

“As is customary, the EPA remains a devoted collaborator with La Queen Entertainment in order to promote the ideas of climate change. This will allow our young ladies to travel and become more aware of climate change,” he says.

As promised, it was a great occasion, with all of the participants camped out for a week at the Royal Grand Hotel in Sinkor, Liberia, owned by Nollywood star Eddie Samuel Obong Watson Jr., who served as the anchor.

The topic of this year’s pageant was “Liberia’s greener eco warriors,” and roughly 30 lovely ladies competed in the preliminary rounds, with 10 charming goddess finalists contending for the prestigious crown.

In terms of awards, La Queen Entertainment, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will award the winner a brand-new sedan automobile, a cash prize of US $1,000, and various endorsement contracts. The first runner-up would win US $700, while the second runner-up would receive US $500.00 and a one-year management contract with La Queen Entertainment.

Liberia’s Miss Earth Pageant

Miss Earth Liberia is the official title of Liberia’s delegate to the Miss Earth contest. The pageant is primarily concerned with promoting environmental causes, and winners are picked based on both their personal appearance and their comprehension and knowledge of environmental issues. La Queen Entertainment is organizing this event.

Who is La Queen Entertainment?

La Queen Entertainment was created in 2018 as a non-political, non-religious, non-ethnic, and non-factional business for talent discovery. They are the principal organizers of the Miss Earth Liberia contest, which is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On four counts, the organization has successfully hosted the Miss Earth Liberia beauty pageant, with Bong County goddesses Miss. Georgia Leela Bemah and Miss Robell Hovers sweeping the first two editions, while Nimba County proud Miss. Odella Kanu Flomo was unexpectedly named the winner for the 2021 event.

LACC indicts eight gov’t officials for corruption

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Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, the Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), has issued multiple investigation reports to the public. In these reports, he has demanded that several government officials be prosecuted for corruption.

During a press conference over the weekend, Cllr. Martin stated that in the course of their work, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, and the Planned Parenthood Association had broken the law.

LACC said, Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper is accused of awarding contracts to her brother Zubin Cooper and using agricultural commodities for her own personal gain. According to the in-depth findings presented by the country’s Chief of Anti-Corruption Investigations, the Agriculture Minister also gave contracts to Farbrar, a firm in which she has beneficial ownership and to which she gave contracts. Minister Cooper has since dismissed all allegations corruption and denied any wrong doing.  

Cllr Martin also informed the Liberian people that at the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), the Director General Francis Wreh, as well as his deputies Wilmot Smith and Lawrence George, violated several laws in the process of purchasing second-hand generators and tablets for the upcoming census.

In the instance of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the LACC has accused the Deputy Managing Director, Moseray Momoh, of illegally disposing of public assets and transferring the profits to his own use. As a result, Momoh has been charged with Economic Sabotage by the LACC.

The Executive Chairperson of the LACC stated that the officials from the four agencies will be prosecuted on allegations of abuse of office, theft of property, conflict of interest, and economic sabotage respectively. It is expected that the Ministry of Justice will in the coming days proceed to court to prosecute the accused officials.

The head of Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission has stated that his organization will maintain its efforts to combat instances of corruption throughout the country.

Great Liberian Woman has Fallen

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  • Madam Roseline Toweh is dead
The Late Made Roseline Toweh

By. Dearest k. Sammie

On Saturday morning, Liberians awoke to the tragic news of the loss of Madam Roseline Kwitta Toweh. When she arrived at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Congo Town, she was pronounced dead. Born on 10 February 1960,

she passed away at age 62.

The news of her death shocked many, including the Minister of Gender, Mrs. Williametta Piso Tarr, who stated in the Women of Liberia chatroom that WONGOSOL’s Executive Director (ED), Mrs. Esther S. David Yango, broke the news of the passing of a strong Liberian woman, Madam Roseline Toweh, this morning. Time is truly ephemeral and this planet is not our home, yes. At this time, all I can say is Rest in Eternal Power, Ma Rose! “May you be free of hardship, difficulty, and strife in the world, Ma Rose. ” May the all-powerful God welcome you into his bosom, declared Minister Piso Tarr.

Juli Endee, Liberia’s Culture Ambassador, reacted in a similarly stunned manner: My Mama Rose, I am Broken! Existence! Oh!! Moreover, no one is assured of tomorrow. Be respectful of others. Death’s inevitability is a bleak reality. But it is the love of those closest to us that keeps us vigilant. I believe that one should do their part and leave the rest to God.

Ambassador Endee also encouraged women to obtain regular medical examinations, adding that Madam Roseline had served well. “Women! Always remember to examine your health condition. Mama Roseline Toweh: You have served women and the Republic of Liberia admirably, and our God is trustworthy. In the name of Jesus, He will see us through, and your legacy will endure.

The Culture Ambassador extended her sympathies to the family, particularly Diamond Toweh and Paul Toweh, Jr. “The women of Liberia have lost a woman of virtue.” Madam Roseline Toweh, she said. Let the elegance speak! Ambassador Endee stated.

Madam Roseline Kwitta Toweh has three children, including Diamond Toweh, Paul Towah, and Israel Jackson Toweh.

Madame Roseline Toweh will be remembered for her selflessness and excellent life. She headed the Liberian Women Mass Action for Peace and recently read the position statement of the Women’s Mass Action for Peace, which urged the government and other relevant parties to take all necessary steps to preserve the peace.

Her contributions to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) are unparalleled. She joined the YWCA in her teens and advanced to the post of Secretary General, which she held for 18 years, before becoming the organization’s national coordinator.

The Young Women’s Christian Association is a worldwide organization that aims to empower young women. Madam Toweh’s legacy consists of her role as a role model and mentor to young women, as well as her capacity to collaborate with all women for peace.

According to reports, Madame Roseline Towah died of a heart attack on June 18, 2022. She complained of a cold and asked to be taken to the hospital, according to a family member. According to the source, she died en route to the hospital at approximately 0300 hours. Her remains have been deposited at Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home in Sinkor pending funeral arrangement.  

‘Edwina Collins is a student of Maritime Management’

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 – Nairobi Aviation College writes Womenvoices

Ms. Edwina Collins at the hearing of Senate confirmation

By. Dearest K. Sammie

After verifying the legitimacy of the Nairobi Aviation College a week ago, the Womenvoices Newspaper (WV) wrote to inquire about Ms. Edwina Collins. She is the candidate that President Weah selected for the position of Deputy Commissioner for Vessel Registration and Safety at the Liberia Maritime Authority, but was rejected based on apparent disinformation. The Womenvoices Newspaper (WV) wanted to know if Ms. Collins was currently a student at the institution studying Maritime Management.

The paper wrote: “Womenvoices Newspaper sends greetings and inquires about Ms. Edwina Collins from Liberia, whom President Weah recently nominated as deputy commissioner to the Maritime Authority but was denied by the Liberian Senate on the grounds that she does not have maritime education training as she claimed to be attending Nairobi Aviation College”.

“Furthermore, it is asserted that Nairobi Aviation College is not legitimate,” the letter continues, for it is not recognized by the Commission on University Education. Nevertheless, according to our research, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority recognizes your institution as a Technical and Vocational College”.

The letter indicated that Womenvoices Newspaper is a Liberian daily that promotes women’s rights and gender equity. “We intend to publish an article to protect her rights if you can provide us with information about her status at your college and proof of the legitimacy of Nairobi Aviation College.”

Copy of Womenvoices Letter to Nairobi Aviation College

In response the Nairobi Aviation College confirmed that Ms. Edwina Collins is a student pursuing diploma in Maritime Management.

The College said Ms. Edwina Collins is student in the institution with the admission #: NAC/5/362/2021.

“The above named is a student in this institution pursuing Diploma in Maritime Management, an ICM (UK) examined course,” the letter said and emphasized that she is yet to complete her course.

Just as this paper independently established, the letter said, “Nairobi Aviation College is a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College under certificate No. TVC/0120/2018.  We are authorized to carry out training by TVET body”. The letter further urged the public Ms. Collins in whatever way they can. “Any assistance accorded to her will be highly appreciated”.

Observers believe that the Liberian senate’s decision to reject President Weah’s nominee, Ms. Edwina Collins, for the position of deputy commissioner for vessel registration and safety at the Liberia Maritime Authority, was based on public disinformation.

Many activists on social media misinformed the public by using outdated statistics. They argue that the Nairobi Aviation College, which Ms. Edwina Collins claims to attend, is fake and illegal. According to them, Nairobi Aviation College is not recognized by Kenya’s Commission of University Education

Contrary to their claim, it has been established that the Commission of University Education lacks the authority to certify technical colleges such as Nairobi Aviation College. Technical colleges in Kenya are accredited by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority.

The false impression appears to have fueled negative public sentiment against the nominee, leading many Liberians, including members of the Liberian Senate, to believe that Ms. Collins was lying and lacked the educational qualifications she claimed, resulting in her rejection by the Liberian Senate plenary.

As was observed during the hearing, certain members of the Senate Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Public Enterprises were overly critical to verify whether Ms. Collins is studying Maritime Management at Nairobi Aviation College as she indicated on her resume during the hearing. Sen. Jonathan Sogbie of River Gee County is seen in a video clip circulating on social media questioning the nominee about her claim to have studied Maritime Management at the Nairobi Aviation College.

“Your CV indicates that you are a student at Nairobi Aviation College’s Maritime Management component. Is that correct?” Unfortunately, I’m on the Nairobi Aviation College’s website. Except for the fact that I am on a different page, there is no mention of maritime management, so if you could give me your website address to check that, I would appreciate it. “Trust me,” he said.

Madam Collins responded that she is a Maritime Management student at Nairobi Aviation College and that she will send the Senator the website address via email, since she did not have assess to internet in her current position.

Ms. Edwina Collins joined at Nairobi Aviation College in May 2021 and has only one external examination to be administered by a UK based institute to complete her studies at the college, according to our findings. She is now a perspective graduate pursuing a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies at Nairobi’s Kenyatta University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Liberia and a number of post-graduate certificates, including a certificate in sexual and gender-based violence among women and girls, youth empowerment, a certificate in network engineering from Blue Crest University College, a certificate in computer database management, and advanced word processing, a skill that she said could be very useful in creating, coordinating, and managing the shipping region.

Ms. Edwina Collins also worked as an assistant procurement and logistic officer in 2017-2018 before rising to become the procurement and logistic officer for a USAID project: Cultivating New Frontiers in Africa, Liberia Agriculture Development Activity, and also served as administrative assistant at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Monrovia in 2016.

The goal of the Maritime Management course, according to the school, is to provide prospective Maritime Management learners with a body of knowledge that will increase and broaden their employment opportunities within the maritime industry globally; provide them with a clear understanding of all economic, legal, technical, and managerial parameters that apply in the shipping industry; and enable them to integrate their knowledge gained on the course in analyzing and proposing solutions to problems.

The Senate’s decision to reject Ms. Edwina Collins was based on misinformation and prejudice

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We strongly believe that the Liberian Senate was fed with misinformation by some political activists on social media for obvious reasons. They chose to intentionally or ignorantly misinform the public by providing wrong information. All of their cited information was wrong and misleading. They may have done so on purpose, but our disappointment comes from the fact that the Honorable Liberian Senate was deceived.

They initiated and sustained an argument that the Nairobi Aviation College, which Ms. Edwina Collins claims to attend, is a fake college operating unlawfully in Kenya. It was not offering courses in maritime management and is not recognized by the Kenyan Commission of University Education.

Thankfully, we have got the hard facts refuting all of their claims against the young Liberian lady. We obtained a letter dated June 16, 2022, from Nairobi Aviation College confirming that Ms. Collins is a student enrolled at the institution pursuing a diploma in Maritime Management.

We also established that Nairobi Aviation College is licensed as a legal institution by Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority.

 Its School of Clearing and Forwarding offers Maritime Management Diplomas in 12 months. One of the branches of Nairobi Aviation College that Ms. Collins attends as a licensed Technical and Vocational College in Kenya is assigned the registration # TVETA/PRIVATE/TVC/0120/2018 by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority. The Nairobi Aviation College is listed as N0. 1443 on a spread sheet of recognized technical colleges, and the other three branches are listed after it.

The school says that the goal of the Maritime Management course is to give students a body of knowledge that will increase and broaden their employment opportunities in the global maritime industry; to give them a clear understanding of all economic, legal, technical, and managerial parameters that apply to the shipping industry; and to teach them how to use their knowledge from the course to analyze and solve problems.

 Our investigation uncovered that the Commission of University Education is not the relevant authority to certify technical institutes like Nairobi Aviation College. The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority is in charge of accrediting technical schools in Kenya.

We’re confident that their misleading impression ultimately developed into a prejudice that made people dislike the nominee, leading many Liberians, including members of the Liberian Senate, to believe Ms. Collins was lying and didn’t have the education she claimed. Because of this bias, the Liberian Senate chose not to vote for her.

 Apparently, it was because of the false alarm that certain members of the Senate Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Public Enterprises were so eager and adamant during the hearing to verify whether Ms. Collins was studying maritime management at Nairobi Aviation College, as she indicated on her resume. In a video clip that is going around social media, Sen. Jonathan Sogbie of River Gee County can be seen questioning the nominee about her claim that she went to the Nairobi Aviation College to study Maritime Management.

“Your CV states that you are a Maritime Management student at Nairobi Aviation College.” Is that accurate? ” Unfortunately, I’m on the website of Nairobi Aviation College. Except for the fact that I am on a different page, there is no mention of marine management, so if you could provide me with your website link, I would appreciate it if you could double-check that. “Believe me,” he said.

Madam Collins stated that she is a Nairobi Aviation College Maritime Management student who would send the Senator the website link via email.

 According to our data, Ms. Edwina Collins started at Nairobi Aviation College in May 2021 and has only one external examination left to complete her education. She is now a Kenyatta University graduate student earning a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Liberia as well as a number of post-graduate certificates, including a certificate in sexual and gender-based violence among women and girls; youth empowerment; a certificate in network engineering from Blue Crest University College; a certificate in computer database management; and advanced word processing, a skill she said could be very useful in developing, coordinating, and managing the shipping region.

 In 2017–2018, Ms. Edwina Collins worked as an assistant procurement and logistic officer before rising to become the procurement and logistic officer for a USAID project, Cultivating New Frontiers in Africa, Liberia Agriculture Development Activity, and in 2016, she worked as an administrative assistant at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Monrovia.

 Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay, the committee’s chairman, received a letter from Ms. Edwina informing him that she was sending material in response to senators’ concerns about the Nairobi Aviation College’s website address during the hearing.

“Mr. Chairman, during my confirmation hearing, one of your colleagues inquired about the genuineness of the Nairobi Aviation College’s offer of courses in Maritime Management on the official website of the Nairobi Aviation College,” the letter said in part. “In answer to the distinguished Senator’s query, I am pleased to give the following facts for the record,” the letter read.

 Ms. Collins gave the senate the URL of the college’s website as well as an email address to which they could send any queries about the school. At least one committee member most certainly attempted to verify the college’s legitimacy.

 Despite the fact that Ms. Collins is ready and eager to serve her country, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime told the Liberian Senate’s Plenary on Thursday, June 9, 2022, that Madam Edwina Collins’ nomination as Deputy Maritime Commissioner Designate should be rejected because she lacks the necessary qualifications and experience.

We are certain that the Senate’s rejection of Ms. Edwina Collins’ candidacy for deputy commissioner of the Maritime Authority was tainted by prejudice, political conspiracies, and disinformation. 

Now that the facts surrounding her qualifications and the legitimacy of the Nairobi Aviation College have been clarified, we would like to encourage H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, to re-nominate Ms. Edwina Collins for the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Maritime Authority for Vessel Registration and Safety, while we call on the Honorable Liberian Senate to do the honorable thing by confirming the President’s nominee.

We strongly believe Ms. Edwina Collins was prejudiced against and, when given a second chance, she could make a comeback.

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