EU Ambassador Emphasizes Human Development

first_imgEuropean Union Delegation Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Tiina Intelmann, says while they understand the strategic infrastructural needs of Liberia, human development remains cardinal on their agenda.Ambassador Intelmann told a Peace Education seminar at the Liberia Media Center (LMC) that the European Union “tends to focus on long term assistance programs,” maintaining that “the most important investment we can make is investing in the human capital of your country.”In this regard, the EU in support of the Peace Education Seminar, involving students from the Kofi Annan School for Conflict Transformation, Cuttington University, AME University, and the United Methodist University, has given 221,774 Euros out of 277,218 Euros needed to facilitate the project.The March 31 seminar launched the Peace and Conflict Studies Curriculum, developed jointly by LMC and other institutions.The Peace and Conflict Studies Curriculum project is expected to bring together university and community college students from different cultural and regional backgrounds in a discussion about peace and cross cultural tolerance in Liberia.Its objectives are to strengthen research, documentation, advocacy and communication capacities of potential students in Liberian  universities and community colleges in five counties.  The counties are Montserrado, Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa and Nimba.  The Peace and Conflict Studies project is expected to strengthen the prevention of conflicts, build peace and ensure the participants’  placement in conflict prevention opportunities upon graduation.The Curruculum is also designed to strengthen existing student structures and network in entrenching peace building practices and sustaining the institutional support framework specifically in  the project objectivesThe Officer –in-Charge of the Liberia Media Center, Larmii Kpargoi, acknowledged the financial role of the EU in the project and suggested that the curriculum be taken at different academic levels.At the close of the day the Media Center presented digital peace libraries to each of the seven partner tertiary institutions, comprising an internet stick and a desktop computer, loaded with peace and conflict resolution materials.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Project managers, increased cabinet involvement among remedies – Harmon

first_img… for slow implementation of PSIPGovernment plans to deal with the slow pace of spending allocations for public sector investment programmes (PSIP) by tightening its top-down supervision of department and ministry spending, and seconding project managers to ministries.This is according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who revealed that while capital spending has been woefully slow, cabinet would now take an increased supervisory role. Addressing media operatives at a post- cabinet press conference, Minister Harmon also disclosed that the Finance Minister has provided an extended Cabinet — which includes ministers within the ministries and the permanent secretaries of the ministries — with a report of spending under the public sector investment programme for the first half of 2017.“The PSIP, with an allocation of $56.7 billion for 2017, is the main mechanism for Government spending. The report indicated that capital spending had been very slow in the initial months of 2017, but it improved significantly towards the end of the first half of the year,” Minister Harmon detailed.Harmon said Cabinet was informed about the reasons behind the slothful implementation of projects under the PSIP. He related that discussions centred on finding ways and means to assist budget agencies to improve their capital spending.Asked about the issues hindering implementation of the PSIP, Harmon said they included unfamiliarity with the procurement system by some of the permanent secretaries in the ministries.“Many of the issues we highlighted in the first quarter had to do with unfamiliarity with the procurement system by some of the permanent secretaries in the ministries,” Harmon explained.“Additionally, what they had to do was come to grips with the fact that VAT was actually being charged on some Government services; therefore, when the initial contracts were awarded, they did not include that, so that accounted for some amount of delay,” he explained.Claiming that the way contracts were awarded had previously been criticised, Harmon said procuring entities have now been doing a lot of “checking and double-checking”, which has caused delays.Project managersAccording to the Minister of State, the Government is also looking to have Project Management Officers in all the Ministries. He said that while Government has commenced this measure, not all the Ministries have had these project officers seconded to them.“Additionally, in the Ministries there was a recommendation that we employ Project Management Officers, who will be attached to each of these Ministries. And I believe that is having an effect already, because some of the Ministries already have these officers in there. And those that don’t have, the Finance Ministry (will) assist them,” Harmon explained.“We also believe that the better streamlining of the procurement process — from the time that a contract is awarded up to the time that the mobilisation is given to the contract and he starts work — what we are trying to do is to narrow that gap, so that things can happen at a faster pace.”Finance Minister Winston Jordan only recently admitted that Government is more than 30 per cent behind in its public sector investment.The Minister made this admission during the opening of the Ministry’s budget 2018 preparation and sensitization training workshop on Monday. According to the Minister, at the end of June 2017, less than 30 per cent of the money intended for expenditure on the public sector investment programme (PSIP) had been expended.In August 2015, months after entering office, the coalition Government presented its first budget. A second budget soon followed, in January, for the fiscal year 2016. And a third budget was presented in November 2016, before the start of fiscal year 2017. Government plans to unveil its fourth budget, for fiscal year 2018, in November of this year.But despite this, the continuously slow rate of Government spending, due to poor planning from budget agencies and execution from the relevant departments, remains a contributing factor to slow overall economic growth rate. It is a fact that even the Finance Minister has acknowledged.But this backlog comes against the backdrop of deficiencies in services provided by regional officials.last_img read more

‘Limited’ Local Content Policy released

first_img…to only deal with upstream oil & gas sector…database of labour market, suppliers among proposalsThe second draft of the Local Content Policy (LCP) has been completed by the Energy Department after months of work on the document, but the Policy itself admits that it does not deal with mid and downstream oil and gas initiatives but rather, the direct, upstream parts of the sector.Head of Department of Energy, Dr Mark BynoeLocal Content Policies are supposed to cater to not only the limited amount of local workers who can be hired on drill ships, but rather the development of businesses and opportunities for persons on the outskirts of the oil and gas action.According to page three of the document, however, “this current Policy framework is therefore limited in its scope to the upstream petroleum sector and currently is not intended to address directly or in their entirety the following policy areas”.“Mid and downstream petroleum sector opportunities, other policy issues related to the upstream petroleum sector— such as health, safety, security, environment, community impacts, tax and fiscal matters and other petroleum-related national issues, such as national development and planning”.It defends this approach by pointing to the scale of the emerging opportunities in the upstream oil sector and the urgency of developing a policy. As such, the Department noted that the Policy was just a preview to the Government’s overall policy for the sector and would be updated as time goes by.One of its most important proposals is for the Government, operators and contractors to work towards maintaining information on the local labour market, to ensure that the availability of qualified Guyanese can always be ascertained.Another proposal is for them to also work towards creating a database of up to date information on local suppliers and sub-contractors. This way, foreign companies can find suppliers with the capacity to support their oil sector operations.“This may include Government or operator provided industrial baseline studies, or similar information generated by government-sponsored or operator-sponsored business development organisations and supplier forums,” the Policy states.Last week, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) facilitated a discussion on this policy. There, past GCCI President Deodat Indar lamented the fact that foreign companies, particularly those from the Caribbean region, are coming to Guyana and “mopping up” all of the opportunities coming out from the budding oil and gas industry.Indar had noted that while this third draft is a “step up” from the previous two, there is still a number of issues with the document. One of which, he explained, has to do with the ‘test of locality’ and the definition of local companies.According to the former GCCI President, a local company cannot be one that is recently established, which is the case with many of what he referred to as ‘shop fronts’, that is, small companies being established with the ‘big guns’ behind them.Indar noted that before the LCP was in the pipeline, the GCCI had drafted a policy on its own which outlined the four ‘test of locality’ components to determine a local company.“A Guyanese company can’t be somebody just off the radar who go and register something at the High Court,” he noted.Indar went on to say that the residency requirement of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Income Tax Act is 183 days in Guyana. This, he noted, is archaic.“It only deals with individuals not institutions so what you have are laws in Guyana that are draconian, and the oil and gas activity and level development is 100 years up. How you gonna work like that? Those things have to change and deal with what you have in the country,” he stressed.To this end, the immediate GCCI past President posited that local content needs to be looked at in the context of now and not in the future.last_img read more

Senior project gift of dance

first_imgThe students dined on chicken, pizza, potato salad, rolls, and macaroni and cheese; later they were to have their pictures taken. Members of the court, headed by King Brian Coleman and Queen Adriana Ramirez, were adorned with crowns, tiaras and sashes. The students did not have to pay for anything. The school club Special Falcons raised money to cover the costs, Recentio said. (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We are just giving them a prom so they can do normal things like we get to do,” said Jessica Pierik, one of three seniors who planned the event. “They are just sweet little kids. I thought I could just help and make them happy.” The two other seniors who planned the dance are Robyn Taveras and Ryan Brannon. Teacher and senior project mentor Eva Recentio said Palmdale is the only school in the Antelope Valley Union High School District that has a winter ball for special-education students. It first started in 1995 as a Valentine’s Day dance, and then in 2003 was changed to a winter ball, Recentio said. “Our population is not able to go to a regular prom,” Recentio said. “We try to make it comparable to the winter prom of regular-ed students.” PALMDALE – They dressed in suits and fancy dresses Friday and sat in the gymnasium where formal tables held plastic champagne glasses filled with mint candies wrapped in white netting. It was a special winter ball for about 80 Palmdale High School special-education students. And it came complete with throbbing dance music, streamer and balloon decorations and a prom court. “It’s awesome because I see people dancing, I like the DJ, and I have a date. His name is Anthony,” said sophomore Claudia Reyes, who wore a borrowed burgundy gown with black chunky high-heeled shoes and black fishnet stockings. The Winter Ball is an annual event that has been organized by seniors as part of their senior project, a graduation requirement. last_img read more

Aubameyang hits out after Gabon make his father national coach

first_img0Shares0000Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang accused the Gabon federation of “amateurism” © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 22 – Gabon and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has slammed the country’s decision to name his father as national team coach without a deal being finalised.The Gabonese football federation (Fegafoot) announced on Wednesday that Pierre-Francois Aubameyang and Daniel Cousin, a former Gabon international, would be the new national coaching team. But former Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said his father was currently in bad health and had no intention of taking the job.“You wonder why I have problems with you? Why I don’t want to be in the squad any longer?” Aubameyang said in an Instagram post late Friday.“The president of the federation called my dad but didn’t even bother to ask about his state of health. He’s sick at the moment.”“(It was done) so you could rush and hold a press conference while my father had (said) that he would give his reply the following day: a negative one,” Aubameyang added.“When the federation stops showing such amateurism, the national team will be able to move forward.”Fegafoot admitted the premature announcement was “a situation which could have been avoided”.It said Pierre-Francois, who is in London for health reasons, had indicated he would give his decision on Thursday but it blamed Gabon’s sports ministry for ordering the federation to make an announcement the previous day.It added, however, that Aubameyang senior “had on several occasions expressed his desire to train the national team”.Gabon’s Sports Minister Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nze defended his ministry’s actions, telling AFP that “being called up as a player or as a coach should lead to someone wrapping themselves in the flag”.“At such times, the issue of procedures becomes a luxury that can be dispensed with,” he added.Gabon’s previous coach, Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, was sacked in mid-September after Gabon lost 1-0 to Zambia in a friendly. In less than two years in the job, he won just two matches, losing seven and drawing eight.0Shares0000(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Arsenal star set to haunt Manchester United again?

first_img Arsenal star Danny Welbeck scores against former club Manchester United 1 Arsenal star Danny Welbeck could be fit in time to face his former club Manchester United on Sunday, Arsene Wenger has confirmed.The England forward scored the winner on his return to Old Trafford in March to knock the Red Devils out of the FA Cup, but has been struggling with a knee injury which has kept him out of the Gunners’ recent games against Hull and Swansea.Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy remain on the sidelines, while Aaron Ramsey is a doubt for the trip north.“Welbeck is a little possibility,” Wenger told“Maybe Welbeck will be available but at the moment he looks short.“Ramsey is not in training yet but he should be better.”last_img


first_imgThe army has confirmed that a device left outside newly-elected county councillor John O’Donnell’s home was a live device.Independent John O’Donnell after being elected to Donegal County Council in May.The Army Bomb Disposal Team rendered safe the viable improvised explosive device outside his home in Downings.Cllr O’Donnell was made aware of the device last night by Gardai but the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team did not arrive until this morning. The device was made safe at 10.30am.An army spokesman confirmed “The Defence Forces deployed the Army Bomb Disposal Team in response to a request from An Garda Síochána after they were alerted to a suspect device in Carrigart, near Milford, Donegal.“A cordon and road closures were put in place for public safety and a number of nearby houses were evacuated. The team arrived on scene at 8.45 am.“The device was made safe at the scene, without the need for a controlled explosion and was taken away to a safe military location for further testing where it was later confirmed as a viable Imporvised Explosive Device (IED.) “All component parts and items of an evidential nature will be handed over to the Gardaí to assist them with their investigation into the incident.”Cllr O’Donnell has so far failed to make a comment on the incident.‘IT WAS A REAL BOMB’ – ARMY CONFIRM DEVICE LEFT OUTSIDE COUNCILLOR’S HOME WAS LIVE was last modified: August 15th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA teenager who appeared before Letterkenny District Court is to be allowed to go to a Halloween Ball after a Judge relaxed his curfew hours.Solicitor Patsy GallagherThe 16 year old, who cannot be named, appeared before the court on a public order charge. Gardai asked the court to order the man to observe a curfew between the hours of 8am and 8pm each day and to sign on at Letterkenny Garda Station twice a week.However Judge Paul Kelly agreed to give the youth an extra hour until 9pm each evening.The youth then asked if he could be allowed to extend the curfew until 10pm but this was refused.Through his solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher, the teen then asked of he would be allowed to go to a Halloween Ball this Friday night at the Golden Grill Nightclub in Letterkenny.Judge Kelly considered the request and was told the event finished at midnight.He agreed to allow the teenager to go to the party but told him the curfew was only extended until 12.30am for the night.Judge Kelly said he was sure there would be Gardai in the area that night keeping an eye on proceedings.Garda Inspector David Kelly said they were aware of the defendant’s address and could always send a car around to his house at 12.30am to ensure he was home.JUDGE RELAXES CURFEW TO ALLOW TEEN TO GO TO HALLOWEEN PARTY was last modified: October 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGardaiHalloween BallLetterkenny CourtPatsy Gallagheryouthlast_img read more

Dimitar Berbatov hits back at Old Trafford doubters

first_imgDimitar Berbatov has insisted he was unfairly labelled as a lazy player by pundits during his time with Manchester United.The Bulgarian striker, who left Old Trafford to join Fulham earlier this year, told The Sun he did all he could for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.“I left Manchester United with my head held very high,” he said.“I gave 100 per cent and no one could doubt my performances, especially when you compare how many minutes I actually played.“I was the Premier League’s top goalscorer in 2010-11 and never wanted to be on the bench.“Perhaps I needed to play more but I always accepted the manager’s orders. I never considered myself to be a star — only a forward working for the team.” 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

The QPR v Newcastle quiz

first_imgQPR face Newcastle at Loftus Road tonight. How much do you know about the history involving the two clubs? Test your knowledge by seeing how many of these five questions you can answer correctly. See also:Trialist features again in QPR U23 gamePolter and Luongo doubtful, but QPR trio availableQPR v Newcastle: five key battlesQPR v Newcastle – as it happenedFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img