All Articles Tagged "Liberia"
One of our favorite artists of today, Janelle Monae, is set to perform at the 18th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert. And as if that wasn’t good enough soulful songtress Jill Scott will be performing as well with several other international musicians. The concert will take place on December 11th in Oslo, Norway.
This concert is exceptionally special in that this year’s Peace Prize will be awarded to three African women: Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee of Libya and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.
The women will be recognized for their non-violent struggle in advocating for women’s rights and safety.
Women’s rights is standing front and center today as Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, Africa’s first democratically elected female President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the three women “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society,” the committee said.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
In 1997, Sirleaf (above on the left) earned the nickname “Iron Lady” despite her loss to Charles Taylor in the presidential election that year. Her participation placed her on the national radar and in 2005 she became the first democratically elected female leader in Africa.
Holding a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, Sirleaf was seen as a reformer and peacemaker when she took office in Liberia. After her election, she said she hoped young girls would see her as a role model and be inspired.
“I certainly hope more and more of them will be better off, women in Liberia, women in Africa, I hope even women in the world,” she said.
Acknowledging the male dominated society which she leads, buttons from her presidential campaign, for which elections will be held Tuesday, read “Ellen — She’s Our Man.”
(Christian Science Monitor) — In her six years in office, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has restored relations with the western world, rebuilt tattered infrastructure, erased the country’s external debt, and entered the race for the second term she long ago swore she’d never seek, but will likely win. Last night, with 120 days ticking before ballot boxes open in Liberia, the president set another ambitious target for her little country that could: She wants Liberia to wean itself off aid by the decade’s end. ”There’s no reason why we cannot build upon the successes of today to ensure that ten years from now, Liberia should no longer require foreign assistance,” she told a crowd of hundreds of Africa watchers in London. It’s hard to under-state the importance of that goal. An aid-recipient state since 1819 when James Monroe bankrolled its founding, Liberia has risen and fallen by the whims of donors, raking in 771 percent more aid than revenue in 2008.
(GlobalAtlanta) — A delegation of businesspeople, academics and pastors traveled to the western African nation Liberiain March to lay the groundwork for future collaborations between Atlanta and the country. ”There is a significant relationship between Georgia and Liberia that we want to continue to build on,” said Cynthia Nash, honorary consul general of Liberia in Georgia, noting that the ties began with freed African American slaves that emigrated to the country. Supported by a movement to return freed slaves to Africa, Liberia was founded and colonized 1821-22. Ms. Nash told GlobalAtlanta that her office is working to expand Georgia’s relationship with the country through technology transfers, research partnerships and tourism.
(The Root) — If you’ve seen the award-winning 2008 documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, then this will be a familiar story: How a group of Liberian women — Muslims and Christians, young and not so young, long grown weary from the terrors of war — conspired to wage peace in their country. How they staged sit-ins outside the Presidential Palace, stalked stalled peace talks in Ghana, and withheld sex until their husbands saw the light and pledged to wage peace, too. Then there is the not-so-familiar story: how these women — in particular, the foot soldiers of the peace movement — struggle to keep the momentum going seven years after the end of the nation’s most recent war, now that treaties have been signed, the dead have been buried and an “Iron Lady” has been elected president. How do you keep going in the aftermath, when jobs are scarce, the country remains bombed out and there are so many rape victims to tend to? How do you keep hope alive? Is there room for feminism in a country that’s struggling mightily to rebuild itself? And how do you engage the young ones, convince them that feminism has a place in their lives?
(The New York Times) — “The rebels came in one night at 2 a.m.; they started shooting and killing people,” said Michael Kallon, 55, a survivor of rebel raids in Liberia in 1986. “There were hordes of them, and I fled to Guinea.” After a stint working for the Pan-African Writers’ Association in Guinea in the late 1980s, Mr. Kallon, a member of the Kissi tribe originally from Sierra Leone, moved to New York in 1992, living briefly with his sister in Rego Park, Queens, before finding his own apartment in Harlem. He applied for political asylum in 1999 and received it in 2001. Last year he gained his American citizenship. But throughout the last decade, he has suffered from crippling back pain, which he said resulted from complications during surgery in 1998. Since then, he has struggled to make ends meet and was jobless until last year.
(New York Times) — “Tell them to stop leaning on the fence!” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and the first woman ever elected head of state on the continent of Africa, ordered the leader of her security team. We were driving along one of the scarce paved avenues in her nation’s capital, Monrovia. With her convoy rode United Nations gunmen, part of a peacekeeping force of 10,000 charged with preventing a conflagration in the aftermath of 14 years of horrific civil war. The fighting ended in 2003, but outside the windows of Sirleaf’s S.U.V., the skeletons of abandoned buildings and the cries, at once thrilled and desperate, of the onlookers along the president’s route were signs of the country’s position near last on any list of how well the world’s nations are functioning.
We know someone who’s having the worst week ever.
Looks like Madame Naomi Campbell is in hot water again. Actress Mia Farrow had witnessed Campbell receiving diamonds from former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, and testified about it in court. Now the court wants Campbell to speak up–and Taylor’s lawyers are crying foul. From Campbell’s cell-phone throwing days to her recent ABC camera-bashing, Campbell’s life seems to be a bonafide legal drama.
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(Atlanta Journal Constitution) – Delta Air Lines has received government approval for flights between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia, about a year and a half after first announcing its plans for the route. Delta plans to launch the service Sept. 4 as the only U.S. carrier to fly to Monrovia. The flight on 215-seat Boeing 767-300ER jets will take passengers from Hartsfield-JacksonInternational Airport to Monrovia with a stop in Accra, Ghana.