Ellen Johnson Sirleaf message

Statement by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia – On the Eve of Liberia’s Presidential and Legislative Elections

October 9, 2017

My Fellow Liberians,

Tomorrow, 10 October, 2017, you will go to the polls to elect a new President, and 73 members of our national legislature.

It is an historic day for our nation, and for the consolidation of Liberia’s young democracy.

For the first time in three generations, we will be transferring Presidential authority, democratically, and peacefully, from one elected leader to another.

Let us take a moment to reflect on how far we have come, as a nation, and as a people, from a society destroyed by conflict and war, to one of the most vibrant democracies in the West Africa region.

Just take a look around you at the spirit of the political campaign. The talk is heated. But debate is healthy.

People of Liberia, I congratulate you!

As you go to the polling booths tomorrow, as your President, I ask but a few things of you.

First, go to the polls peacefully, respecting every Liberian’s right to vote with dignity and pride. Embrace your neighbor, regardless of their political choice.

Second, remember that you are an empowered people, the future of the country is in your hands. No one is entitled to your vote –not because of party, ethnicity, religion or tribal affiliation.

Your loyalty is to your family, your children, and your children’s children, and their children. Vote for the person and persons you believe will make Liberia a better place.

Finally, my dear Liberians, we all must respect the outcome of the election as declared by the National Electoral Commission. The NEC has established a system that is accountable, transparent and based upon the highest standards available.

Joining the NEC to support a free and fair election will be the top international institutions, including ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union, the National Democratic Institute and all of our international missions.

The world will be watching. Let’s make them proud!

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Liberia: Africa’s Richest Man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Pays Courtesy Call on President Sirleaf; Proposed Cement and Coal-Burning Power Plants among Topics Discussed

Alhaji Aliko Dangote briefs President Sirleaf  on his cement plant investment in Liberia.DSC_2305
Africa’s richest man, billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote, paid a courtesy call, Thursday, on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry Office, where he briefed her on the progress of his investment in Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the two discussed ongoing arrangements for a cement plant which the billionaire’s company, Dangote Cement Liberia Ltd., intends to commence building in Liberia shortly, as well as plans for a coal-based power plant that would greatly reduce the cost of, and access to, electricity in the country.

Mr. Dangote, a Nigerian, is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 43rd richest person in the world, and the richest man in Africa.

Concerning the cement processing plant, Mr. Dangote informed the President that seven acres of land have been identified at the Freeport of Monrovia for its construction and a jetty. After a three-year delay, it was time to move ahead with the project, he said. He assured the President that the limestone needed for the cement – which Liberia does not produce – would be brought in, and crushed and ground for the manufacture of cement locally.

As for electricity, Mr. Dangote said that his proposed coal-burning power plant would produce some 20 megawatts of power, but his operations would require only 1.2 megawatts. The excess could be sold to the government at no more than12 cents per kilowatt hour. “Tell us what you need, and we will produce it,” he said of the power-generation capacity of the plant, which he said could be operational in 15 months. Approximately 30 acres of land are needed for such a facility, which includes huge boilers and cooling plants, along with access to a source of sweet water – where the water table is high.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT ALLAFRICA

Seccom Director Sam Blango to serve on the State of New Jersey NAACP

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Seccom Director Sam Blango has been selected to serve on the State of New Jersey NAACP  Economic Development Committee.

The Committee on Economic Development shall implement local efforts and support national programs to preserve and expand economic empowerment among African-Americans and other communities of color by:

  1. researching and establishing relationships with private and public entities; supporting the work of the National Office in monitoring the progress and
  2. activity of private and public efforts entities designated by national programs; and
  3. implementing local efforts to promote the growth of business ownership;
  4. increasing employment and job creation; and
  5. encouraging business development and home ownership.

South Africa: President Zuma Arrives in Addis Ababa to Attend the 22nd AU Summit

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, scheduled to take place on 30 and 31st January 2014.

The theme of the Summit is “2014 – Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, Marking the 10th Anniversary of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme”.

The Summit agenda includes issues of food security, the status of peace and security in Africa, Africa’s relations with the International Criminal Court, the implementation of NEPAD projects, the African Common Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Among the highlights of the visit, President Zuma will present South Africa’s APRM report for the period October 2010 – January 2013, in pursuit of the objectives enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT allAFRICA.COM

 

 

Former Exit Port for a Wave of Cubans Hopes to Attract Global Shipping

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MARIEL, Cuba — The images of desperate refugees crammed onto boats have defined this bay outside Havana for decades. About 125,000 Cubans left from here in 1980 after Fidel Castro, facing growing discontent, announced that anyone who wanted to leave should just go to Mariel and get out.

But on Monday, Raúl Castro, Cuba’s president, stood alongside the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, to unveil a new Mariel: a state-of-the-art port that both leaders said would lead to a new era of commercial integration, connecting Cuba and the world.

The terminal is “a transcendent project for the national economy,” Mr. Castro said, standing by towering container lifts adorned with Cuban flags. He added that the port and the adjacent development zone, where foreign companies will enjoy tax breaks and other advantages, “are a concrete example of the optimism and confidence with which we Cubans see a socialist and prosperous future.”

Read the entire article at THE NEW YORK TIMES