No Oil but Chevron Leaves Its Mark on Liberia

As almost all of the oil companies are shutting down operations in Liberia, we look back at what one of the biggest companies Chevron, is leaving behind as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program in Liberia. This is a special radio production on Radio Gbarnga bringing to the spotlight the impact of Chevron’s  Corporate…

Uncertain Over Payment: Ex-NOCAL Staff Wary of Severance Pay

Monrovia – It has been more than six months since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered a restructure of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) in an effort to prevent bankruptcy. With that came the redundancy of more than 100 employees. The decision sparked a serious dispute between the workers and company over severance payments….

‘Dialogue, Not a Monologue’: Liberia, Africa Youths Yearning to be Heard

I watched in amazement as stately Cameroonian 30-something, Mamadou  Kwidjim Toure, founder of pan-African youth movement “Africa 2.0”, slipped former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo a note on the elevated stage. Overhead, two wide-screen projectors magnified this exchange to an audience of over 200 at the recent Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance weekend in Dakar, Senegal.  See…

Liberia’s Water Woes: Why Clean, Safe Water Is Still Out of Reach for Many Liberians

Monrovia: “Water! Water!” Eugene Seoh shouted from his three-story apartment building on Benson Street, a main avenue in the center of Monrovia. From across the road, water vendor Jerry Worlogar looked up and nodded.  Seoh hurried down the stairs.  He stood before Worlogar’s hand-drawn cart full of white five-gallon containers. “Thirty-five \[Liberian] dollars for one…

Charles Taylor’s Verdict Proves What Goes Up Must Come Down

 by New Narratives Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey I was in The Hague on April 26 when they convicted Charles Taylor. Appearing like a child being publicly scolded, he stood on seemingly wobbly legs, head bowed, when they pronounced him guilty on 11 counts of crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting rebels during Sierra Leone’s…

Denying Liberia’s Babies: Teen Fathers Speak

By Mae Azango “Some of these young boys are from broken homes. Sometimes it is peer pressure that causes many of the teen fathers to deny pregnancies.”  But there are also other factors. – Ali Sylla, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Restorative Dialogue in Monrovia. Nathan became a young dad…

Moving from Open Door to ‘Growth with Development’

During President William Tubman’s Open Door Policy, Liberia was averaging double-digit growth rates. Being open for business, however, did not mean growth was open to all. In the 1960s, it was claimed that we had ‘growth without development’—economic activities from large-scale foreign concessions in iron ore, rubber, palm oil, and timber did not improve the…

From Petty Traders to Entrepreneurs in War-Battered Economy

Clothing designer Geneva Garr supervises several men crouched over sewing machines surrounded by beautifully tailored dresses hanging for customers to see. Starting up with just one sewing machine on her porch, Garr, 37, now makes 72 outfits a week. Garr says she started the business in 2005 in Accra, Ghana and moved to Liberia in…

Seek Ye First the Economic Kingdom, Woman

First appeared in Liberia’s FrontPage Africa newspaper March 1 Africa’s first post-independence president, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, urged colonial Africa to “seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added onto you.” Nkrumah was alluding to the biblical verse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these…

High Number of Teenage Pregnancies Holds Liberia Back Say Experts

Baby Blessed wriggles and wails in discomfort in his young mother’s lap.  Winnie pulls out her breast to feed her sick child and quiet his cries.  She looks out at the swampy backyard behind her home as if she would rather be any place other than here. By Mae Azango. Originally published in FrontPage Africa…