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Lucinda Rouse

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About Lucinda
Lucinda Rouse is a multimedia journalist with a focus on audio and podcasting. She is now based in London and hosts the Third Sector Podcast, a weekly show covering the charity and not-for-profit sector. She previously spent over six years in West Africa, where she reported from Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mauritania and Guinea and cultivated a special interest in climate, wildlife and biodiversity issues.
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Fact Checking

Liberia suspends fuel importers' licenses over gasoline shortages

06 Oct 2023  |  nationalpost
Liberian authorities suspended the licenses of fuel importers to conduct performance reviews after some companies drew excessively from state reserves, causing gasoline shortages. The shortages led to long queues, increased prices, and public discontent. The government has since resolved the issue and assured sufficient fuel supply. President George Weah's office confirmed the suspension to verify importers' operational fitness. Total, the largest importer, was not affected. The deputy managing director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company was dismissed for negligence and fraud.

Money dries up in Liberia

07 Jun 2023  |  The New Humanitarian
The article discusses the economic and political turmoil in Liberia, 15 months into President George Weah's term, highlighting the public's discontent with rising prices and perceived government corruption. It reflects on Liberia's civil war history, the unimplemented recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, particularly the establishment of a war crimes court, and the ongoing culture of impunity. The piece contrasts Liberia's situation with neighboring Sierra Leone, which also faces challenges despite setting up a war crimes court after its civil war. The article emphasizes the failure to fully implement reforms for sustaining peace and justice in both countries, attributing it to a lack of political will and insufficient funding. It also touches on the 'Palava Hut' reconciliation process in Liberia, which stalled due to financial constraints, and the perceived superficiality of Sierra Leone's transitional justice efforts.

Global Events: From Papal Visits to Pandemic Responses

05 Apr 2023  |  BBC
The article covers a range of global events. Pope Francis visited Iraq, marking the first papal visit to the country, with the aim of supporting the Christian minority and fostering inter-religious dialogue, including a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. In Mozambique, the government faces challenges with an Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado province, with ongoing attacks and military actions since 2017. Singapore is conducting a mass vaccination campaign, focusing on aviation and maritime workers, using a terminal at the main airport for the rollout. In Liberia, sea cucumber farming is lucrative but raises concerns about endangering species. Lastly, the Pacific island of Kiribati, free of COVID-19 cases, has sailors stranded abroad due to sealed borders, including a group in Germany.

Sea-cucumber divers off Liberia risk danger to feed a hunger in China

05 Apr 2023  |  www.bbc.com
The article by Lucinda Rouse explores the burgeoning trade of sea cucumbers between West Africa and China, focusing on the activities in Liberia. Abdoulaye Mansaray, a Sierra Leonean, has capitalized on this trade by employing local divers to harvest sea cucumbers, which are highly valued in China as a delicacy and for medicinal purposes. Despite the economic benefits, the trade poses risks to both the divers, who face health hazards, and the marine ecosystem, which could be destabilized by overfishing. The Liberian government, through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), is cautious and is developing a sustainable management plan with the help of academic researchers. The article also touches on the socio-economic impact on local communities and the potential for job creation if the trade is managed sustainably.

AfCFTA and the Challenge of Infrastructure in Liberia

05 Apr 2023  |  The Africa Report.com
The article discusses the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to boost intra-continental trade and is expected to contribute an additional $450bn to African economies by 2035. Liberian President George Weah has expressed support for the AfCFTA and plans to push for its ratification. However, the article highlights significant challenges to the success of the initiative, particularly in Liberia, due to poor transport infrastructure. The report follows the journey of cocoa beans from rural Nimba County to Monrovia, illustrating the difficulties faced by traders like George Howard due to inadequate roads, especially during the rainy season. The article suggests that these issues contribute to Liberia's cocoa industry lagging behind neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, the world's largest cocoa producer.

U.S. Tightens Tech Exports to China, Digital Divide Grows, and AI Tutoring in Ghana

01 Apr 2023  |  BBC
The article discusses the Biden administration's new policy to restrict exports of AI and semiconductor technologies to China, which could impact the Chinese tech industry significantly. Gregory Allen from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies comments on the potential effects. The article also explores the growing digital divide, highlighting the lack of affordable and reliable internet in Africa and the Americas, with insights from Elena Babarskaite at Surfshark. Additionally, it features a story about an AI-powered chatbot tutor named Rori, developed by Rising Academies, which is helping students in Ghana with their education and has the potential to reach many more children in West Africa.

Healing Liberia's War Scars Through Sociotherapy

01 Apr 2023  |  The New Humanitarian
The article discusses the long-term psychological impacts of Liberia's second civil war on its population, highlighting the lack of mental health professionals in the country. It focuses on a Swedish-funded sociotherapy program that facilitates group sessions for survivors to discuss their experiences and heal together. The program, run by ZOA and the YMCA, aims to improve social cohesion and has been used in other post-conflict scenarios, such as after the Rwandan genocide. Personal stories from participants like Augustine Fayiah and Henry Weah illustrate the program's positive effects on individuals and communities. The article also touches on the broader issues of poverty, lack of trust, and the need for reconciliation and justice in Liberia, including the debate over establishing a war crimes court.

Liberia suspends fuel importers' licenses, including Total, after reserve overdrawing

06 Mar 2023  |  Reuters
Liberia has suspended the licenses of all fuel importers, including the major French company Total, to conduct performance reviews after discrepancies in fuel reserves were discovered. The government found out in January that it only had about a quarter of the 4.4 million gallons of gasoline it expected, due to importers overdrawing from communal tanks. This led to severe gasoline shortages, causing widespread disruption and increased prices for transportation and goods. The shortages have been addressed, and there is now sufficient fuel for several months. President George Weah has ordered the suspension to ensure the importers are fit to operate, and those who exceeded their quotas have 90 days to settle their debts. Additionally, the deputy managing director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company was fired for negligence and fraudulent activities.

Children’s charity confirms new chief executive

15 Feb 2023  |  www.thirdsector.co.uk
Cheryl Tissot has been confirmed as the permanent chief executive of Rays of Sunshine, a charity supporting seriously ill children and young people in hospitals. Tissot, who has been serving in the role on an interim basis since November, expressed her excitement and honor in leading the organization. She has a background in the voluntary sector and has previously worked for companies like Microsoft, Invesco Asset Management, and Gilead Sciences. Stephen Allan, chair of Rays of Sunshine, praised Tissot's dedication and leadership. The charity, which organizes hospital activity days and grants wishes to children with serious illnesses, has reached over 80,000 children and their families since its inception in 2003.

Long queues form at petrol stations in Liberia

30 Jan 2023  |  Reuters
Liberia is facing a severe gasoline shortage due to an accounting error that left the country with only 1.1 million gallons of fuel, significantly less than the 4.4 million gallons the government believed it had. The crisis has resulted in long queues at petrol stations in Monrovia, with citizens struggling to fulfill their daily needs, such as taking children to school. The shortage is affecting the economy, which is already experiencing high inflation and a depreciating currency. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Wilson Tarpeh, attributed the discrepancy to a mismatch between importers' inventory figures and actual fuel in storage tanks managed by the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company. The situation has been exacerbated by a disruption in the shipping schedule due to silt build-up at the city's port. Emergency fuel shipments are expected, but in the meantime, the crisis is impacting everyone, including small business owners like fish-sellers who are facing increased transport costs.

Greenpeace reveals how many supporters cancelled direct debits in past month

08 Dec 2022  |  www.thirdsector.co.uk
Greenpeace has disclosed that 2,352 supporters have cancelled their regular contributions in the past month due to the worsening economic situation in the UK. The organization is appealing for 1,649 new monthly donors to fill the funding gap. This rare transparency aims to encourage new donations, despite the challenging financial climate. Charity Excellence reports a significant funding gap, exacerbating the crisis in the charity sector.

Watch StoryTrails: The People's Map Swindon online

21 Sep 2022  |  player.bfi.org.uk
The article discusses 'The People's Map', a feature of StoryTrails, which is the UK's largest immersive storytelling experience. It highlights how the map uses audio storytelling, archive footage, and 3D scanning technology to create a psychogeographic representation of Swindon, blending the past and present. StoryTrails, which toured 15 UK towns and cities in the summer of 2022, was designed to reconnect people with their communities through local stories and demonstrate the potential of immersive technologies for local storytelling. The project involved over 400 stories and nearly 7000 scans to create 15 unique animated maps. It was commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.

‘Tangled in red tape’: Cross-party consensus in inshore debate

22 Jun 2022  |  Fishing News
Lucinda Rouse reports on a Westminster Hall debate about the challenges facing Britain's inshore fishing fleet. MPs from various parties discussed issues such as rising costs, burdensome regulations, and the impact on local communities. Anthony Mangnall, Conservative MP, highlighted problems like soaring fuel prices and the under-15m MCA code. Defra minister Victoria Prentis acknowledged the issues, particularly the impact of fuel costs, and suggested using the UK Seafood Fund to retrofit vessels. MPs also discussed the need for local fish sales in UK supermarkets, the negative effects of wind farms on fishing grounds, and the costly bureaucracy post-Brexit. The debate ended with concerns about the future of inshore skippers but no clear resolution to reduce regulatory burdens.

What do Russians think of the war in Ukraine?

31 Jan 2022  |  BBC
The article explores the current state of public opinion in Russia regarding the war in Ukraine, particularly in the context of the Russian government's crackdown on dissent. It highlights the challenges in gauging true public sentiment since the government has criminalised dissent and has been arresting protestors. The piece likely discusses the methods used by the state to suppress opposition, the risks faced by those who choose to speak out, and possibly the ways in which some Russians continue to express their views despite the repressive environment. The article aims to provide insight into the complexities of Russian public opinion under an authoritarian regime during a time of conflict.

What do Russians think of the war in Ukraine?

11 Nov 2021  |  BBC
The article explores the current state of public opinion in Russia regarding the war in Ukraine, particularly in the context of the Russian government's crackdown on dissent. It highlights the challenges in gauging true public sentiment since the government has criminalized dissent and has been arresting protestors. The piece likely discusses the methods used by the state to suppress opposition, the impact of state propaganda on public opinion, and the risks faced by those who choose to speak out against the war. It may also touch upon the broader implications of such a repressive environment for civil liberties and the future of public discourse in Russia.

Hispano-Senegalese Trawlers Accused of Plundering Valuable Shrimp Populations in Liberia

27 Oct 2021  |  infobae
A fishing watchdog has accused the Senegalese and Spanish company SOPERKA S.A., a subsidiary of Grupo Pereira, of exploiting a legal loophole in an experimental license to plunder valuable shrimp populations in Liberia, potentially costing the country millions in revenue. The Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements (CFFA) claims that SOPERKA's trawlers are avoiding taxes and not meeting research fishing requirements. Local fishing associations oppose the bilateral agreement between Senegal and Liberia, fearing overfishing. Liberia's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority aims to establish a national fishing company to replace foreign vessels.

Health workers in developing countries. Podcast for ARD (German language), 18 August 2021

Liberia's Cocoa Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for Growth

16 Aug 2021  |  African Business
The article discusses the challenges and opportunities in the Liberian cocoa industry. Monleh Enterprises, led by CEO Rachel Mulbah, is highlighted as the country's largest cocoa trader, focusing on quality over quantity. Liberia's cocoa is traditionally viewed as low quality, resulting in price penalties and a lack of incentive for farmers to improve. However, the article notes a growing market for premium cocoa, with buyers willing to pay more for high-quality, sustainably produced beans. The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) and GROW are assisting Liberian traders to enter the European market. The Liberia Cocoa Corporation (LCC) is also adapting to cater to this new market. The article emphasizes Liberia's potential due to its unique cocoa varieties, organic farming practices, and biodiversity. Challenges such as poor infrastructure and access to finance are acknowledged, but there is optimism for the future of the industry.

Liberia’s ‘antsbear’ hunters, the base of the pangolin scale supply chain

05 Jul 2021  |  China Dialogue
The article discusses the illegal pangolin scale trade in Rivercess county, Liberia, where local hunters and families collect and sell pangolin scales to aggregators. A pastor named Jeremiah works as an agent, selling scales to buyers who claim they will be taken to Ivory Coast and then to Europe and America. Pangolins are hunted for their meat, which is considered a delicacy, and the scales are a byproduct. Despite a ban by CITES, the trade is thriving due to high demand in Asia for traditional medicine. The IUCN has classified some pangolin species as vulnerable or endangered. The trade has been temporarily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but evidence suggests that it will resume. Liberian law enforcement has been ineffective due to a lack of resources and corruption. The article also touches on the broader issues of poverty and lack of alternative livelihoods in rural Liberia.

Warnings of a new COVID-19 wave amid vaccine shortages in Africa

01 Jul 2021  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the alarming rise in COVID-19 infections across Africa, with a particular focus on Liberia. Despite the global decline in cases due to vaccination efforts, Africa is experiencing a surge, with a 300 percent increase in Liberia alone. The continent faces a shortage of vaccines, with only 1 percent of the population fully vaccinated. The Delta variant, first identified in India, is contributing to the rise in cases and has been detected in 16 African countries. The WHO's Africa director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, and other health officials are calling for increased vaccine supplies. The article also highlights the issue of the European Medicines Agency not approving Covishield, affecting travel for those vaccinated with it. African Union special envoy Strive Masiyiwa criticizes Europe for not delivering vaccines to Africa.

What do Russians think of the war in Ukraine?

24 Jun 2021  |  BBC
The article explores the current state of public opinion in Russia regarding the war in Ukraine, particularly in the context of the Russian government's crackdown on dissent. It highlights the challenges in gauging true public sentiment since the government has criminalised dissent and has been arresting protestors. The piece likely discusses the various methods through which opinions are expressed covertly, the role of state media in shaping public perception, and the risks faced by those who oppose the war. It may also touch upon the broader implications of this suppression of free speech for Russian society and the international community's understanding of Russian public opinion.

A deep dive on the international sea cucumber trade. Interview in The Economist's "The Intelligence" podcast, 22 April 2021 (from 14'25)

Complacency and mistrust in government mean Liberians are turning their backs on Covid jabs

21 Apr 2021  |  The Telegraph
Liberia has reported low COVID-19 cases and deaths, leading to a lack of urgency in vaccine rollout. The arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines through the Covax initiative saw delays in administration due to concerns over blood clot reports in Europe. Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah acknowledged the delay was to await investigation results. A survey by Afrobarometer indicated high vaccine hesitancy in Liberia, linked to distrust in the government's ability to ensure vaccine safety. President George Weah's absence at the vaccine launch and reluctance to get vaccinated have fueled skepticism. Despite this, a recent polio vaccine campaign was successful. Public Health Initiative suggests leveraging religious leaders' influence to improve vaccine uptake. With low testing rates and no surge in respiratory cases, some Liberians question the need for the vaccine.

How covid-19 walloped sea-cucumber catchers

17 Apr 2021  |  The Economist
The article discusses the sea cucumber trade in Liberia, where Sierra Leonean divers search for the creatures to sell in China. Sea cucumbers, considered a delicacy and used in traditional medicine in China, can be quite valuable. The divers used to harvest them in Sierra Leone, but due to depleted stocks, they have moved to Liberia. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted their business, with lockdowns stranding them and halting exports. This has led to financial hardships, forcing some to sell their belongings and even consume their unsold stock. The divers continue to search for better prospects along the Liberian coast, but face challenges such as small-sized catches and regulatory issues with local authorities.

‘Not a noisy gun’: The women peacebuilders of Liberia

22 Mar 2021  |  Al Jazeera
The article profiles Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee and her mentor Etweda ‘Sugars’ Cooper, highlighting their roles in ending Liberia’s civil war. Gbowee's office is described as a hub of activity, reflecting her authority and affection from colleagues. The article recounts the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace campaign, which played a pivotal role in ending the war. It also touches on the early days of Gbowee and Sugars' partnership, their backgrounds, and the challenges they faced from societal divisions. The piece further discusses the post-war era, including Gbowee's Nobel Peace Prize win and her subsequent fallout with co-laureate and former President Sirleaf. Gbowee's current work in peacebuilding and her foundation's efforts are also mentioned, as well as her search for a successor and views on the new generation of activists. The article concludes with Gbowee's intention to spend more time with Sugars, seeking wisdom from her mentor.

The African countries battling and bracing for an Ebola outbreak

19 Feb 2021  |  The Telegraph
West and Central African countries are on alert due to Ebola outbreaks in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Guinea declared an epidemic with three confirmed, four probable, and one suspected case, resulting in five deaths. The outbreak in DRC's North Kivu province has been identified as a resurgence of a previous outbreak, with two deaths reported. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised neighboring countries to be vigilant to prevent cross-border spread, especially since the region experienced a severe outbreak from 2013 to 2016.

Health agencies join forces in bid to establish scale of Guinea’s Ebola outbreak

17 Feb 2021  |  telegraph.co.uk
Health experts are assessing the extent of an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, with at least five deaths since late January. The National Agency for Health Security reports three confirmed and four probable cases in Gouécké and Conakry. Guinea declared an epidemic, and international agencies, including WHO, FAO, Médecins Sans Frontières, ALIMA, and IFRC, are aiding the response. A nurse from Gouécké is believed to be patient zero. UNICEF and IFRC are focusing on community engagement and preventive measures. The WHO emphasizes the importance of community cooperation for successful vaccination efforts. The UN has allocated $15 million to assist Guinea and the DRC, while the US has expressed its commitment to help stop the outbreaks.

Health agencies join forces in bid to establish scale of Guinea’s Ebola outbreak

17 Feb 2021  |  www.telegraph.co.uk
Health experts are assessing the extent of an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, with at least five deaths since late January. The National Agency for Health Security reports three confirmed and four probable cases in Gouécké and Conakry. Guinea declared an epidemic, and international agencies, including WHO, FAO, Médecins Sans Frontières, ALIMA, and IFRC, are aiding the response. A nurse from Gouécké is believed to be patient zero. UNICEF and IFRC are focusing on community engagement and preventive measures. The WHO emphasizes the importance of community cooperation for successful vaccination efforts. The UN has allocated $15 million to assist Guinea and the DRC, while the US has expressed its commitment to help stop the outbreaks.

Guinea to Receive Ebola Vaccines Amid Resurgence of the Virus

16 Feb 2021  |  The Telegraph
Guinea is facing the first resurgence of Ebola since the deadly outbreak ended in 2016. Vaccines are expected to arrive within three days, targeting contacts of Ebola patients in isolation areas. President Alpha Condé has implemented measures to prevent the spread, including bans on markets and religious ceremonies in affected areas. Neighboring countries are on alert, with Liberia deploying health teams and Cote d’Ivoire enhancing surveillance. Guinea and Sierra Leone have agreed to reopen borders. The National Agency for Health Security reports five deaths and several cases of Ebola. Médecins Sans Frontières cautions against over-reliance on vaccines and emphasizes the importance of traditional response mechanisms.

Liberian women still wait for promised action on rape. Article for The New Humanitarian, 14 December 2020

Midterm vote seen as equally important for the opposition and indicates whether it can provide an alternative in 2023 presidential election.

07 Dec 2020  |  Al Jazeera
Liberia is set to conduct key midterm elections where half of the Senate's seats and a constitutional referendum will be contested. The elections are seen as a test of support for President George Weah and his party, the CDC, as well as for the opposition, unified under the CPP. The most critical seat is in Montserrado County, where CPP's Abraham Darius Dillon, a critic of Weah's administration, is contesting against CDC's Thomas Fallah. Dillon is known for his transparency efforts, while Fallah has been accused of vote-buying. The CDC has shown strong campaigning efforts, but there is also a desire among some voters for a strong opposition presence in the Senate. The constitutional referendum includes proposals such as legalizing dual citizenship and shortening presidential terms, but there is concern over the lack of public understanding of the changes. The elections are crucial for gauging the political landscape ahead of the 2023 presidential election, with calls for peaceful voting amidst recent acts of political violence.

Arrival of Chinese ‘supertrawlers’ raises concern in Liberia

29 Jul 2020  |  China Dialogue Ocean
The article discusses the concerns raised in Liberia due to the arrival of six Chinese-flagged supertrawlers owned by Shenzhen Hao Hang Pelagic Fishery and Shenzhen Binhai Mingzhu Industrial. These vessels pose a threat to local fisheries and the livelihoods of artisanal fishermen. The Liberian authorities have not yet licensed the new vessels as they await permits from China. The UN FAO's Port States Measures Agreement prohibits licensing without such authorization. Liberia has been recognized for sustainable fisheries management, but the government is looking to attract foreign investment, which may include increasing the number of trawlers. The Environmental Justice Foundation is working to support community management and reduce illegal fishing. There is a lack of data on fish populations, and concerns are raised about the potential overfishing and its impact on local communities.

Liberia's Unseen Biodiversity and the Plight of the Western Chimpanzee

15 Jul 2020  |  China Dialogue
The article discusses the underreported biodiversity in Liberia, focusing on the endangered Western chimpanzee and the threats to its habitat from commercial logging and oil palm plantations. The author describes their experience filming a documentary in Sapo National Park and the challenges faced by conservation efforts in Liberia, including resource constraints and the tension between environmental preservation and human development. The article highlights the local Sapo tribe's reverence for chimpanzees and the difficult choices communities face when approached by palm oil companies. The production credits list the individuals involved in the creation of the documentary.

Liberia takes classes to the airwaves during COVID-19 pandemic

16 Apr 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Liberia has launched a radio schooling initiative to continue education during the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak. The program, which began shortly after schools closed on March 16, broadcasts prerecorded lessons across 32 radio stations, covering various subjects and health tips. The initiative aims to maintain student engagement, protect vulnerable children, especially girls, and ensure continuity in education. Rising Academies and the Ministry of Education play key roles in this effort, with plans to enhance interaction through text messages and distribute physical learning materials.

Liberia takes classes to the airwaves during COVID-19 pandemic

16 Apr 2020  |  Al Jazeera
As schools close due to the coronavirus pandemic, affecting over a billion children globally, education systems are implementing remote learning solutions. Liberia, drawing on its experience from the Ebola outbreak, has launched a radio schooling initiative to continue education for students. The Ministry of Education and private providers like Rising Academies are broadcasting prerecorded lessons on various subjects. The initiative also includes health tips and aims to protect vulnerable children, especially girls, from risks like sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies. The program encourages parental involvement and plans to enhance interaction through text messages and phone-ins, as well as distributing physical learning materials. Liberia's approach to distance learning is tailored to its context, where internet connectivity is limited, making radio the most accessible medium for education continuity.

Liberia braces for coronavirus with defunct health system

03 Apr 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Liberia is struggling to manage the COVID-19 pandemic with a defunct health system, reminiscent of the challenges faced during the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic. The government has implemented measures such as market closures and social distancing, but faces significant challenges including limited testing capacity and a lack of resources. Public trust in the health system is low, exacerbated by poor communication and inadequate healthcare services. Experts emphasize the need for community engagement and preventive measures to control the virus's spread.

Healthcare woes limit effect of Ebola learnings during 2014-16 epidemic as Liberia gears up to fight COVID-19 outbreak

03 Apr 2020  |  Al Jazeera
Liberia is struggling to apply the lessons learned from the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic to the current COVID-19 outbreak. Despite early preventive measures like airport screenings and hand-washing facilities, challenges persist due to limited healthcare infrastructure. The country's first COVID-19 case was a government official who avoided quarantine after returning from Switzerland. Efforts to contain the virus include a national health emergency declaration, social distancing, and active case finding. However, testing capabilities are constrained with only one laboratory for COVID-19 testing and a shortage of supplies. Trust in the healthcare system is low, with people often turning to the church for help before seeking medical care. The government is focusing on prevention, but there is a need for better community engagement and communication to effectively combat the spread of the virus.

Critics say Liberia’s economy has worsened because of Weah government’s incompetence and failure to address corruption.

28 Jan 2020  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the economic and political situation in Liberia under President George Weah's leadership. Two years into his term, Weah, a former football star, has faced criticism for worsening economic conditions and failing to effectively tackle corruption. Despite inheriting an economy affected by low commodity prices and the Ebola crisis, Weah's administration has only fulfilled seven of 92 campaign promises, according to a report by Naymote Partners for Democratic Development. High inflation, delayed salary payments, and protests have marked his tenure. A scandal involving the central bank and missing banknotes has also tainted the government's reputation. Weah has acknowledged the challenges and secured IMF support while promising to fight corruption and boost the economy. Some Liberians remain hopeful, urging for more investment and job creation.

A forest of obstacles for Liberia’s palm oil industry

UK judge dismisses charges against Charles Taylor’s ex-wife

06 Dec 2019  |  Al Jazeera
Agnes Reeves Taylor, the ex-wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, had her torture charges dismissed by a British judge due to insufficient evidence that her then-husband's forces were exercising governmental authority where the alleged crimes occurred. Despite allegations of her involvement in acts of torture during Liberia's civil war, the technicality led to the charges being dropped. The case, which had been supported by information from Civitas Maxima and the Global Justice and Research Project, has sparked debate over the need for a war crimes court in Liberia. The country has yet to try any war criminals on its soil, despite international efforts and a growing push within Liberia for the establishment of such a court. The situation is further complicated by the current economic challenges and accusations of mismanagement faced by President George Weah's administration.


25 Nov 2019  |  The New Humanitarian
The article discusses the economic impact of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) withdrawal on the country's economy. UNMIL was deployed in 2003 and maintained a presence for 15 years, contributing significantly to the local economy through its personnel and expenditures. However, after the mission's closure and the final troops left in June 2018, Liberia's economy began to decline, with growth forecasts slashed, inflation soaring, and employment prospects diminishing. The departure of UNMIL exposed structural issues in Liberia's economy, such as poor access to credit, lack of infrastructure, and a concession model that limits local value addition. The article highlights the struggles of local businesses and former UNMIL employees who have been unable to find new employment. Experts suggest that while UNMIL's departure played a role, other factors such as the Ebola outbreak and falling commodity prices also contributed to the economic downturn. The situation raises questions about the long-term stability and economic strengthening of fragile states post-peacekeeping interventions.

Liberia at a Critical Juncture Following Mass Protest

21 Jun 2019  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the growing economic hardship in Liberia, which has led to anti-government protests in Monrovia. Citizens are experiencing rising inflation and are dissatisfied with President George Weah's handling of the economy. A significant protest organized by the Council of Patriots, consisting of opposition and civil society activists, demanded government accountability and reforms. They are particularly concerned about Weah's undisclosed assets and rapid property acquisitions. Despite some support for Weah, the general sentiment is one of frustration and a call for action. The government has proposed a national roundtable for dialogue, but protesters are skeptical and demand immediate action. The International Monetary Fund is in talks with Liberia for a program to promote governance and transparency, but until tangible improvements are felt by the citizens, protests are expected to persist.

Liberian Leader Tested by Mass Anti-Government Protest

07 Jun 2019  |  www.voanews.com
Thousands of protesters gathered in Monrovia, marking Liberia's largest anti-government demonstration since George Weah became president. Protesters, including Phetah Mondeh and Noel Gibson, expressed frustration over corruption, inflation, and economic hardship. Allegations of mismanagement of $100 million in banknotes have further fueled discontent. The demonstration is seen as a significant test for Weah's administration as criticism mounts.

Welsh midwives travel to Liberia to help train hospital staff

26 May 2019  |  Mail Online
Sam Falloon, an NHS midwife from Caerphilly, and Claire Fitzsimons from Homerton University Hospital in East London, traveled to Liberia to provide midwifery training to local midwives. Their trip was funded by a donation from the Welsh Government as a wedding gift for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The training was organized by the Welsh charity Life for African Mothers. Liberia faces high infant and maternal mortality rates, and the midwives encountered a lack of resources, including basic medical supplies and equipment. The article highlights the challenges faced by Liberian midwives and the resilience they show in the face of these difficulties. The NHS midwives gained a new perspective on the privileges of healthcare in the UK compared to the conditions in Liberia.

“You have to face justice so I can get peace”: Calls for war court in Liberia

14 Feb 2019  |  African Arguments
The article discusses the aftermath of the Liberian civil wars, highlighting the lack of prosecutions for war crimes despite the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which called for such actions. Victims like Victoria Duo and her son Richard continue to suffer without reparations or justice. The article examines the political landscape under President George Weah, who has shown reluctance to establish a war crimes court, possibly due to political alliances and concerns about destabilizing the country's fragile peace. Despite calls from civil society groups and international bodies like the UN Human Rights Committee, the government has not taken steps towards accountability, leaving victims and advocates to continue their plea for justice and reparations.

“Nowhere to go” on the front lines of climate change. Words and photo from Liberia for IRIN, 13 December 2018

Fisheries watchdog accuses company of plundering Liberian shrimps

27 Oct 2018  |  Reuters
A fisheries watchdog, the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements (CFFA), has accused SOPERKA S.A., a subsidiary of Spanish Grupo Pereira, of exploiting an experimental license in Liberia for commercial gain. The license, intended for research, has allegedly been used by SOPERKA to harvest valuable shrimps and avoid taxes, potentially costing Liberia millions in profits. The bilateral agreement allowing Senegalese vessels in Liberian waters has been criticized by local fishing associations due to overfishing concerns. The CFFA claims that SOPERKA is not meeting research requirements, such as having Liberian observers on board. The Liberian government official acknowledged some issues but aims to establish a national fishing company. The article includes a correction regarding a previously mentioned loophole.

Remedies and roadblocks as Senegal battles climate change. Article and photos for IRIN, 25 October 2018

Early warnings, late response to Senegal's food crisis. Article and photo for IRIN, 18 October 2018

How climate change is plunging Senegal's herders into poverty. Article and photos for IRIN, 10 October 2018

Monday 3 September, The Globalist 1786 - Radio

03 Sep 2018  |  Monocle
The article discusses the return of British parliamentarians to work and the significant upcoming months as the UK approaches Brexit. It also touches upon the political situation in Dakar, where the mayor has been jailed, and reflects on the implications for democracy in a West African nation that was previously regarded as a model of democratic governance.

High-profile terror trial speaks to an emerging threat in Senegal. Written article and photo for IRIN, 1 August 2018

High-profile terror trial speaks to an emerging threat in Senegal

01 Aug 2018  |  thenewhumanitarian.org
Senegal, previously spared from major attacks by Islamist extremists, faced a wake-up call with the conclusion of a trial involving 29 citizens accused of planning to establish a terrorist cell in the Casamance region. The trial ended with mixed results for the prosecution, including a key defendant receiving a one-month suspended sentence and 15 acquittals. Thirteen received prison sentences for terrorism financing and criminal conspiracy. The trial highlighted the growing threat of extremism in Senegal, with evidence of foreign influence in religious education and the presence of more conservative Islamic ideologies. Experts warn of the vulnerability of Senegal's educational system and the need for a comprehensive strategy to combat violent extremism.

In Senegal, a major terrorism trial signals an emerging threat

01 Aug 2018  |  thenewhumanitarian.org
Senegal, unlike other West African countries, has not yet been targeted by a major Islamist extremist attack. However, the unprecedented trial of dozens of alleged terrorists in Dakar signals a growing and emerging threat. The trial ended with mixed results, with the main suspect, Alioune Ndao, receiving a suspended one-month sentence for illegal possession of firearms, and 15 defendants acquitted due to lack of evidence. Thirteen received 5 to 20-year sentences for crimes ranging from financing terrorism to criminal conspiracy. The trial highlighted Senegal's vulnerability due to its international ties and contributions to UN peacekeeping missions. The influence of conservative Islamic ideologies, such as Salafism and Wahhabism, is growing in Senegal, funded by foreign states. The government's counter-extremism efforts have been praised, but some experts argue for more preventive measures, involving religious leaders, civil society, and the educational sector.

Liberia looks for ways to make rubber prices bounce

24 Jan 2018  |  RFI
George Weah, the former football star, has recently been inaugurated as the president of Liberia. As he begins his term, there is anticipation regarding his economic plans for the country. The focus is on the rubber industry, which is a significant part of Liberia's economy. However, the industry is currently facing challenges due to a decline in global rubber prices. This has adversely affected local farmers. Correspondent Lucinda Rouse reports on a new rubber processing method that might offer a solution to the struggling rubber sector. The article also mentions the opportunity to subscribe to a daily newsletter for essential international news and to keep updated by downloading the RFI app.

Back to George Weah's hometown

22 Jan 2018  |  RFI
The article discusses the life of George Weah, who is recognized as the most successful African footballer in history and is set to be inaugurated as the president of Liberia on January 22. The focus of the report is on Weah's modest upbringing in a slum in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Correspondent Lucinda Rouse visited Weah's hometown and interacted with individuals who knew him before he gained fame. The piece provides insight into Weah's early life and his journey from a humble background to becoming the nation's president.

Businesses driving innovation in Liberia’s agricultural sector

22 Jan 2018  |  RFI
George Weah has recently begun his tenure as President of Liberia, facing the challenges of high unemployment and poverty. Agriculture is seen as a vital industry for job creation and economic improvement in Liberia. The article highlights the importance of innovation in agriculture and mentions two entrepreneurs who are introducing new methods to modernize the sector. Cocoa farming, a major source of income in Nimba County, is used as an example of the agricultural focus in the country.

Away from the adoring crowds, an elusive George Weah is leading Liberia into the unknown

21 Jan 2018  |  The Telegraph
The article describes an event in Monrovia, Liberia, where George Weah, the president-elect and former World Footballer of the Year, played a final football game with his team, the Weah All Stars, before his inauguration. The match was against the Armed Forces of Liberia and was attended by an exclusive audience of diplomats and press. The event was more subdued compared to the energetic campaign trail. A young Liberian named Benjamin Karr expressed his high expectations of Weah, believing that he will bring much-needed improvements in healthcare, education, and infrastructure to benefit the youth and the country.

International report Jewel Howard Taylor: From first lady to vice president of Liberia

19 Jan 2018  |  RFI
Liberia is set to experience a change in government as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prepares to hand over power to George Weah on January 22. Despite the transition, the presence of influential women in Liberian politics remains, with Jewel Howard Taylor stepping in as the vice president-elect. Journalist Lucinda Rouse reported on Taylor, attending an appreciation event in her honor in Monrovia's New Kru Town. The report includes details of an electoral poster featuring George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor, with a photo taken outside their campaign headquarters in Monrovia on December 29, 2017.

Away from the adoring crowds, an elusive George Weah is leading Liberia into the unknown

19 Jan 2018  |  Yahoo Entertainment
George Weah, former World Footballer of the Year and president-elect of Liberia, is set to be inaugurated amidst high public optimism and significant challenges. Despite his popularity, Weah has been elusive with the media, raising concerns about his leadership abilities and the strategies he will employ to address Liberia's economic woes. His coalition government includes the Congress for Democratic Change, National Patriotic Party, and Liberia People Democratic Party, each with its own controversial history. The public remains hopeful for improvements in healthcare, education, and job creation under Weah's presidency.

Jewel Howard-Taylor on war, Weah and her agenda

12 Dec 2017  |  www.aljazeera.com
Jewel Howard-Taylor, ex-wife of Charles Taylor, discusses her vice-presidential candidacy alongside George Weah in Liberia's presidential election. She defends her political career and distances herself from her ex-husband's controversial legacy. Howard-Taylor emphasizes her commitment to rebuilding Liberia and praises Weah's leadership qualities despite his lack of political experience. She acknowledges President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's efforts in stabilizing the country and expresses her determination to continue working for Liberia's progress.

Jewel Howard-Taylor on her ex-husband Charles Taylor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, George Weah and her agenda for Liberia

12 Dec 2017  |  Al Jazeera
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Jewel Howard-Taylor, the vice-presidential candidate for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in Liberia and ex-wife of former President Charles Taylor, discusses her political ambitions and the upcoming presidential election. She defends her past and asserts her independence from her ex-husband's legacy. Howard-Taylor highlights her humanitarian work and her tenure as a senator, emphasizing her commitment to Liberia's development. She also addresses concerns about George Weah's political inexperience, praising his leadership and commitment to the country. Additionally, she acknowledges the efforts of outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in maintaining peace and stability in Liberia, while expressing her own desire to contribute to the nation's progress.

After a ‘failed’ vote, what is happening in Liberia?

04 Dec 2017  |  www.aljazeera.com
Liberia faces uncertainty after the Supreme Court halted the presidential run-off vote pending an investigation into alleged fraud and irregularities in the first round. The National Elections Commission's investigation found no significant impact on the results, but the Liberty Party and Unity Party have appealed. The delay affects businesses and raises concerns about potential unrest reminiscent of the civil war. Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf aims to hand over power peacefully, but a transitional government may be required if the electoral process is not completed by January 15. Political leaders emphasize their commitment to peace.

Fears of uncertainty and a weak economy as Supreme Court hearings begin after claims of alleged fraud in first round.

04 Dec 2017  |  Al Jazeera
Liberia faces political and economic uncertainty as the Supreme Court hears an appeal against the National Elections Commission's (NEC) investigation into alleged fraud during the first round of the presidential election. The Supreme Court's decision to halt the run-off vote has raised concerns about a potential constitutional crisis. The first round in October was expected to lead to a peaceful transition of power, but the delay has affected businesses and investor confidence. The Liberty Party, supported by the Unity Party and two other parties, is calling for a re-run of the first round and the recusal of electoral commissioners. Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has refuted allegations of election interference and emphasized her desire to hand over power democratically. Despite the tension, Liberians and political leaders are united in their desire to maintain peace.

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