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…

Liberian President Faces Tough Second Term

By NN fellow and FrontPage Africa editor Wade Williams MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be sworn in for her second term this Monday but the 73-year-old Nobel laureate begins her six-year term under a heavy cloud. An acrimonious election campaign against the main opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), was…

Clarence Jackson NN Fellow, Editor-in-Chief, Radio Gbarnga

Clarence Jackson is Editor-In-Chief at Radio Gbarnga and Regional Coordinator of the Press Union of Liberia for Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties. He has been a journalist for more than fifteen years.  Clarence is a prolific journalist whose reporting focuses Politics and Governance. He has also worked as correspondent from Central Liberia for several institutions…

Water and Sanitation Problems Plague Monrovians

It is often said in Liberia: “to spoil it is easy but to build it is hard.” So is the case with water and sanitation here. The 14-year civil war destroyed much of the water supply and sanitation facilities. People escaping brutal battles in the heart of the country relocated to Monrovia—overcrowding the city’s slums…

Liberia’s Teen Moms Have it Hard

Having children early may seem like an adventure for many teenage girls, but most soon discover that this choice leads to lasting consequences. The high rate of teenage pregnancy increases the economic burden of Liberia by creating generation upon generation of very poor families.  The majority of teen moms live at home with their parents,…

NN in the New York Times

Photo by NN photography coach Glenna Gordon MONROVIA, Liberia — Election officials announced on Thursday that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s only female president, had been re-elected by an overwhelming margin this week in a runoff vote that was marred by an opposition boycott. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, speaking to reporters on Thursday, said she would pursue…

Despite rain, Liberians turn out in huge numbers to vote

In West Point, a shantytown community on the edge of the Atlantic, dozens of people endured long lines and the pouring rain to vote in this country’s second presidential elections since the end of 14 years of civil war. Frances Roberts, 53, arrived at the polling station at 4 a.m., four hours before voting commenced….

A Picture Is NOT Worth a Thousand Liberian Lives

I squirmed when I saw the photo online of a female protester in her crisp white T-shirt, with ruby red liquid dripping down her neck and face. There were other photos in a series. One man lay on the naked carpet of a room, surrounded by the living, his thin vertical body lifeless. Another man…

Liberians Can’t Afford Staple Rice

If a Liberian hasn’t eaten rice at least once during the day, then he will tell you that he really hasn’t eaten.  But our staple food is becoming more expensive, as global food costs are skyrocketing.  This is angering many Liberians, who say they’re going hungry as a result, and putting a strain on the…

Teen Pregnancy is a Growing Problem for Liberia

Teen pregnancy is on the rise in Liberia and fast becoming a national crisis with far-reaching effects.   With one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world,  many young girls in Liberia are exposed to sex by age 9, and about 3 out of 10 Liberian girls get pregnant before the age of…

Obstacles cleared for Liberia’s runoff poll

Liberia is looking anxiously toward the country’s Nov. 8 runoff election between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and challenger Winston Tubman. Tubman had threatened to boycott the poll, charging that the director of the National Election Commission had rigged the first-round results in favor of Johnson Sirleaf. A boycott would have created the possibility of instability in…

Women at Particular Risk in Liberia’s New Drug Trade

Drug trafficking and drug use is on the rise in Liberia according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The problem is fueled by the influx of drugs into the region by South American drug cartels who see this as an easy route to get their products to Europe….

Workers Protest Broken Promises by Foreign Palm Oil Company

More than two years ago the government of Liberia signed an agreement with Malaysian oil palm giant Sime Darby. As part of the $800 million dollar deal, Sime Darby pledged to build workers housing and hospitals and send their children to school. In a collaboration between New Narratives and Sky FM, Tetee Gebro visited the…

The Morning After Is Only the Beginning

I knew I had to be home on October 11. Although it would mean blowing my modest student budget for a few months, I bought the cheapest ticket I could find from London to Monrovia. And despite well-intentioned warnings from those whom I love most, I came back to cast a ballot for the first…

Nearly Half of Liberia’s Children are Malnutritioned

In Liberia, one out of every four children suffers from acute malnutrition, according to health organization Equip Liberia.  And as many as five children die of hunger every day in towns and villages across the country.  In collaboration with New Narratives and Truth FM, Rose Kaiwuh has this report on our country’s nutritional crisis….

Is former warlord Prince Johnson fit to rule?

Surrounded by bodyguards, Prince Yormie Johnson swaggers with confidence toward a meeting hut in the center of his large Monrovia compound, decorated with brass figurines and farm animals. The Liberian senator and former warlord is among the 16 candidates vying for the presidency in the Oct. 11 general elections. Johnson, 52, already behaves like a…