What Africa Do We Want?

first_imgH. E. Amb. Harrison Olwatonyin Solaja,Head of the African Union Liaison Office in Liberia;H.E. Amb. Babatunde Olanrenwaju Adjisomo,Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission;The Doyen & Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps;Hon. Commany B. Wesseh, Senator of Rivergee County;Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and other officials of Government present;Members of the Fourth Estate;Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:Today as we celebrate yet another Africa Day, we have a new opportunity to reflect on the context of the protracted African Liberation struggle and the men and women who shared sweat, blood and tears in laying the foundations and conceiving the strategies that made decolonization and the unification of Africa possible. We also have a new opportunity to pay homage to the memories of our forebears the likes of Osagefo Kwame Nkrumah, Emperor Haile Salassie, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sekou Toure, William V.S. Tubman, among others who ignited the engines of Pan-Africanism through their organization of conferences including the Saniquellie Conference of 1959 in Liberia and the Addis Conference of 1963, in Ethiopia where the OAU now the AU was founded. But more importantly, we have a new opportunity to now look at our Continent more than half a century after liberation and ask ourselves what Africa do we want?Do we want an Africa that is more integrated, peaceful and secure; an Africa where development is people driven and the potentials of its women and children can be unleashed? Do we want to see an Africa of capable, inclusive and accountable states and institutions at all levels and in all spheres; an Africa where Regional Economic Communities serve as building blocks for continental unity; an Africa where citizens hold themselves and their governments and institutions accountable for results as is laid out in the Agenda 2063? Or do we want an Africa where war and political violence is the order of the day, where poverty and weak institutions and disunity reign? What Africa do we want!For us in Liberia, this year’s Africa Day has a special significance because the AU, acting through the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA ), successfully helped to liberate us from Ebola. We are victorious today because our continental body in pure African solidarity said that it would not stand and watch us fight alone; and so brothers and sisters with support from across the continent came to help us in our struggle against Ebola. Our ultimate delight and victory over Ebola comes from the comfort we find in knowing that Africa can stand up for Africa.Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,Africa is making some incontrovertible progress, albeit with challenges. I say so because unlike the1970s and 1980s when it was inconceivable for an incumbent African President to lose an election to an opposition contender, today incumbents are not only losing elections to oppositions but they are also humbly and graciously acknowledging their defeat and respectfully congratulating their political competitors. The just ended elections in Nigeria is a milestone case that does not only elevate the extraordinary leadership qualities of H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan but also deepens the democratic credentials of Africa.Africa is also making progress in political and social inclusiveness with respect to women empowerment. Instead of remaining deeply grounded in what many conceived as a male chauvinistic Africa, where for example, only men and boys had the right to speak during family meetings, women are now making progress and are not taking on greater leadership roles on the Continent. And for the first time in the history of our continental body, the African Union now has its first woman President. Liberia became a pace-setter for women empowerment when in 2005 we elected Africa’s first democratically elected female President in the person of the Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. And for the first time in the history of our continental body, the African Union Commission now has its first woman Chairperson in the person of H. E. Dr. Nkozasana Dlamini Zuma. The emphasis on women empowerment is further evidenced by this year’s AU Summit theme:”Year of Women Empowerment and Development toward Africa’s Agenda 2063″. Women are also doing very well in business and contribute very significantly to the growth and development of their countries. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,I must hasten to add that despite the fact that the continent is making progress in addressing its many challenges, some developments and issues give us cause for concern including the xenophobic or afro-phobic attacks by Africans against fellow Africans in South Africa that occurred a few weeks ago; the disintegration of Libya and newly independent South Sudan, the Boko Haram and the Al Shabab onslaughts in Nigeria and Kenya respectively; the political rumpus in Burundi caused by President Nkurunziza dogged determination to stand for a third term; the troubling trend of African migrants dying by the hundreds in the Mediterranean sea in their quest to reach Europe for a greener pastures. What is even more troubling is that as the death toll increases the attempts to cross the Mediterranean for Europe increase as well. But the migrant situation in the Mediterranean speaks volumes about the state of peace and security, and sustainable employment opportunities in some parts of our continent. That is why the entire Africa must go to work to address the embarrassing migrant situation in the Mediterranean.But to address the migrant situation like many other challenges that bedevil the continent, we must go deep down to the root causes of the actual problems. Apart from poverty and diseases, many people on the continent still live in fear of armed conflict; and because of unemployment, many young people on the continent remain vulnerable to unwholesome and deviant enticements. Many more people on the continent still think that their voices are not considered in the decision making processes in their countries.Therefore, as we aspire to transform the continent through the AU’s Agenda 2063, we must ensure peace and security, provide youth employment, protect and promote the rights of our women. We must also build strong institutions that will not only be respecters of men but respecters of laws; we must ensure development and technological advancement. We must do all of the above and much more if we must protect the legacy of freedom from colonization that our forebears left us.As I recede to my seat, I express my thanks and appreciation to you, Amb. Solaja, for making me your Guest of Honor at this year’s Africa Day celebration in Liberia. On behalf of President Sirleaf and the Government and people of Liberia, I extend warmest felicitations to Chairperson Zuma as well as all Africans from Cape to Cairo and from Dakar to Nairobi. Long live the AU! Long Live the Continent and People of Africa!!!Thank You.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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PacMay 2 not in the cards, says Gibbons

first_imgAsian stocks follow Wall Street higher after US-China deal ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off on Targaryens may premiere in 2022 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ 15-year-old American Coco Gauff gets US Open wild-card entry TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists With the rise of e-commerce, is it also the end for our beloved CD-R King? LATEST STORIEScenter_img The only jabs Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be throwing at each other would be in the confines of social media.Despite the renewed clamor for a sequel sparked by the two rivals’ back-and-forth on their social feeds last month, the probability of a second mega-fight is bleak, international matchmaker Sean Gibbons told the PSA Forum on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT “There is no fight. There is no possibility at the moment because Floyd had said numerous times he’s retired and he’s enjoying his retirement,” Gibbons said.Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, thinks Mayweather wants no part of Pacquiao, who is coming off a scintillating win over a much younger and previously unbeaten Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight crown.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“I don’t blame him for not wanting to fight someone like the senator because he got lucky one time and I don’t think he’s going to get lucky two times,” he said.Mayweather hasn’t shied away from delivering social media punches. He recently shared an article proclaiming him as the greatest fighter of all time, ahead of the second-ranked Pacquiao. Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? DENR suspends entrance fee collection to Bohol’s man-made forest Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Argument ends in shooting

first_imgWHITTIER – A man was airlifted to a hospital following a shooting in Uptown Whittier on Friday, officials said. The attack occurred about 5:40 p.m. on Pickering Avenue at Penn Street, said Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis. The victim, estimated to be in his early- to mid-20s, was walking southbound on Pickering Avenue with his girlfriend and sister when a dark-color sport utility vehicle occupied by two men in their 20s pulled up next to him, Ellis said. The victim became involved in an argument with the front passenger of the SUV, who jumped out of the vehicle and fired numerous shots from a handgun, said Ellis. The victim was struck in the arm and suffered a grazing wound to his chest, he said. He ran to a nearby West Penn Market, 12604 Penn St., to escape his attacker and seek help, Ellis said. The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, though as a precaution the wounded man was taken by helicopter to a local trauma center, said Ellis. It was not immediately clear what the suspect and victim argued about prior to the shooting, he added. Officers remained at the crime scene well into the evening collecting evidence, said Ellis. The shooting is still under investigation. – Brian Day160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Exclusive – Paul Gascoigne reveals which Man United star scared him!

first_imgtalkSPORT Towers welcomed a very special guest on Tuesday as Paul Gascoigne popped into the studio to chat with Danny Kelly and Micky Quinn.The legendary former England star reflected on his memorable career in the game, opened up on the ‘demons’ in his life and offered some heartfelt advice to Kenny Sansom.He also recalled a funny meeting with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, gave his thoughts on Newcastle’s decline, and named a Manchester United midfield great as his toughest opponent.Listen to the interview with Paul Gascoigne in full abovelast_img read more

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Richard Foster: Derby win could secure Ross County’s top six place

first_imgRichard Forster believes a Highland derby win on Saturday could see Ross County secure their place in the Scottish Premiership’s top six.The Dingwall side have only achieved the merit once in their history, when they finished fifth at the end of the 2012/13 campaign. County’s home fixture against Inverness Caley Thistle is one of their three remaining games before the split. A win would see them remain fourth in the table if St Johnstone don’t beat Hearts by a greater margin of goals.While the defender says draws against Dundee and Partick Thistle in April would help them seal their fate, he is confident three points this weekend could be enough. “At the same time, because of the run they’ve been on, if we can get on top early and score the confidence might go a little bit and hopefully we can win the game. “We’re almost there, probably one win and maybe a draw or two will see us over the line, I hope,” Foster said. “I think with the nature of all the other teams having to play each other possibly three, maybe four points will be enough.”With Caley Thistle sitting ninth in the table on 33 points, Foster expects his rivals to be prepared for a do-or-die meeting. “They’re on a bit of a tough run and sometimes that’s the worst time to play a team,” he continued. “They’ll be desperate to get back on the winning trail and they’ll probably see this as their last chance of getting into the top six. last_img read more

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Watch Cristiano Ronaldo score his 100th European goal

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo netted his 100th European goal as Real Madrid came from behind to beat 10 man Bayern Munich in Germany. The Portuguese forward became the first man to reach the 100 goal milestone in the Champions League, after appearing in 143 games.Arturo Vidal put the Germans 1-0 up in the first half before Ronaldo scored two second half goals to put Madrid in the driving seat after Javi Martinez was sent off for Munich on the hour mark. Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Monaco secured a vital away win in Dortmund in the rescheduled fixture. Mbappe netted inside 20 minutes before an own goal by Sven Bender made it 2-0 at half time. Dembele pulled one back for Dortmund before Mbappe scored his second to regain the two goal lead.Shingi Kagawa scored late on to make it 3-2, giving Dortmund some hope as they head to Monaco for the second leg. A Paulo Dybala double ensured Juventus took a massive step towards the semi-finals after a commanding win over Barcelona in Turin. Two goals in the first half by the Argentine gave the Italians a commanding lead before Chiellini’s first Champions League goal since 2009 made it 3-0.Juventus will have to remain focused as they head to the Nou Camp, after Barcelona’s stunning fightback against PSG in the last round.An Antoine Griezmann penalty was enough to see off Premier League champions Leicester and edge Atletico closer to a semi final place. In a game Atletico dominated, Koke hit the bar in the first four minutes as Leicester struggled to keep themselves in the contest.Leicester will welcome Atletico Madrid to the King Power in the second leg knowing an improved performance is needed to keep their Champions League hopes alive.last_img read more

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Craig Levein given two match ban for criticising referee

first_imgCraig Levein has been banned from the touchline for two games for breaching Scottish FA rules in criticising referee Bobby Madden for his performance during Hearts’ defeat to Rangers last month.The manager will miss one game immediately, with the second match of the ban suspended until the end of 2019.Levein was called to account for post-match comments when he blasted the match official’s “abysmal” showing in the Jam Tarts’ 2-1 defeat, insisting it felt like his team were up against 12 men at Tynecastle.Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was offside when netting the winner, while the Colombian’s physical approach throughout the game infuriated Levein. The Hearts boss also directed criticism at Scottish FA referees chief John Fleming, claiming that advice he was given had proven to be useless. The ex-Scotland manager has now been charged by the compliance officer for his post-match comments.He has been cited under Scottish FA rule 72, which states that managers cannot criticise the performance of the match official or imply incompetence or bias.“I read a quote from Neil Lennon a few weeks ago when they went to Celtic Park and he said that ‘we were playing against 12 men’. That’s how I feel today,” he said post-match.“How Morelos stays on the park and gets through that without a booking I’ll never know. Some of the decisions today were abysmal. “Austin (MacPhee) phoned (Scottish Football Association head of referees) John Fleming a while ago after we had three goals against us that were offside because the linesman made mistakes.“John Fleming suggested that we held the line on the 18-yard line to make it easier for his officials. So we did that today and they still f*****g got it wrong!“Actually, it’s 13 we are playing against. And the good thing is that Neil Lennon didn’t get any punishment – that’s good to know. It’s really good news that there won’t be any punishment.”Levein was asked if he had attempted to discuss his concerns with Madden and said he didn’t think it would have been productive.“What’s the point, unless he’s got a time machine and go back to fix his mistakes?” he asked.“Morelos had loads of fouls where he doesn’t even watch the ball. He just jumps into the centre-backs. There was one where he has smashed Christophe and Bobby said to one of our players: ‘It’s alright, that’s just Morelos – he’s a bit silly sometimes’. Well maybe I’ll tell our players to be silly because you don’t get booked for it!“It was an abysmal performance.”last_img read more

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Fall Back With Time Change Sunday at 2a

first_imgIt’s always nice to have extra hour of sleep on the weekend, and we’re about to get one as we fall back into Daylight Saving Time.Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 6. The time change officially takes place at 2 a.m., but you don’t have to spring out of bed and move the big hand on your clock back an hour. The change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices.If you’re still using an analog alarm clock, you’ll probably want to move it back before you go to sleep on Saturday or when you wake up the next morning.The end of DST is also a good time to change the batteries and make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.When the time falls back an hour means the sun will begin to set before dinner. Sunset this Sunday will be at 4:46 p.m.This all started when Ben Franklin suggested 232 years ago that towns should employ the use of church bells or cannon blasts, if necessary, to wake citizens at sunrise so they could take full advantage of sunlight.last_img read more

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