25.8 C
Abuja
Sunday, May 31, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Liberia’s Weah tempers expectations, plans agriculture push

Liberian President-elect George Weah on Tuesday set modest goals for his six-year term, calling for Liberia to start exporting crops and repairing decrepit infrastructure, in his first interview since winning election last week.

Weah rode a wave of youth support to capture more than 60 percent of the vote in last Tuesday’s run-off, but he will need to manage expectations as he attempts to revive one of Africa’s worst-performing economies.

Later this month, he will replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944.

Seated outside his unfinished new house on a quiet dirt backstreet near the capital Monrovia, where a concrete sign announces, “Friends of Weah say welcome”, the 51-year-old ex-soccer star began to tentatively fill in some of the gaps in his vague campaign promises.

“I want for us to be self-sustained so we can export,” he said, appearing at ease in a dark blue dress shirt and gold watch. “The government has a responsibility to have agricultural programs so people are able to grow their own food.”

“Ghana exports, our neighboring countries export – we have the capacity to export,” he continued. “They export and we can do the same.”

Liberia spent years recovering from civil wars from 1989-2003 that killed hundreds of thousands of people and then was hit more recently by low prices for its chief exports, iron ore and rubber, and an Ebola outbreak from 2014-16.

Infrastructure a Priority

More than 60 percent of Liberians depend on agriculture for their livelihood and multinationals like Malaysia-based Sime Darby have invested heavily in palm oil plantations.

But the sector has languished due to low productivity, forcing Liberia to import more than 80 percent of its staple foods.

Weah has also made repairing Liberia’s hollowed-out infrastructure a priority. He grew up in Monrovia’s Clara Town slum and can look out on the derelict lots and gutted streets from the upstairs balcony where he spoke to Reuters.

“The roads for connectivity are vital. We have partners and we have revenue that we will make sure will come in to build our roads,” he said.

Weah, who starred for top European clubs such as AC Milan and Paris Saint Germain in the 1990s, has parlayed his rags-to-riches biography into political success but faces criticism that he lacks the experience and knowledge for the job.

He has in turn promised to surround himself with first-rate advisers and appealed to Liberians living overseas to return home.

“We will have economists who will put us on track. They will look at what is in the coffers and then work out how to move forward,” he said.

In the days since he became president-elect, security guards in sharp suits and ties have appeared outside the house and a new watch tower rises above 10-foot walls reinforced with barbed wire.

But Weah insisted that his new-found status would not go to his head.

“I don’t want my title to define my character,” he said as he walked the property, exchanging jokes with the staff. “I don’t think as a president I will change.”

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Burundi 1st lady Denise Nkurunziza airlifted to Kenya after contracting Covid-19

The outgoing Burundi President's wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, has been airlifted to Kenya, where she is being treated at Aga Khan University Hospital for...

Appeal courts revokes bail granted to ex-Lesotho PM’s wife

Lesotho’s Appeal Court on Friday revoked bail which had been granted to former prime minister Thomas Thabane’s wife, who is accused of murdering his...

Why every African woman 18+ should take folic acid daily

By Lydia OkolieIf you're capable of reproducing, I am talking to you—even if you're not planning to get pregnant. If you ever wish to...

Report says Nigerians paid $18.434m as ransom to kidnappers in 9 years

A new report by Nigeria leading geopolitical platform, SBM Intelligence, has shown that between year 2011 and April 2020, Nigerians have lost at least...

Don't Miss

Burundi 1st lady Denise Nkurunziza airlifted to Kenya after contracting Covid-19

The outgoing Burundi President's wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, has been airlifted to Kenya, where she is being treated at Aga Khan University Hospital for...

Appeal courts revokes bail granted to ex-Lesotho PM’s wife

Lesotho’s Appeal Court on Friday revoked bail which had been granted to former prime minister Thomas Thabane’s wife, who is accused of murdering his...

Why every African woman 18+ should take folic acid daily

By Lydia OkolieIf you're capable of reproducing, I am talking to you—even if you're not planning to get pregnant. If you ever wish to...

Report says Nigerians paid $18.434m as ransom to kidnappers in 9 years

A new report by Nigeria leading geopolitical platform, SBM Intelligence, has shown that between year 2011 and April 2020, Nigerians have lost at least...

Covid-19: Parents in rejects plan to re-open schools in Nigeria

Some parents in Lagos State, Nigeria have kicked against reopening of schools in view of the continued rise in the number of the novel...

Rwanda signs a new military deal with United States

Rwanda has signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States as part of broader efforts to strengthen military cooperation between the...

Namibia’s president admits breaching lockdown rule, pays fine

Namibia's president Hage Geingob on Thursday admitted to breaching coronavirus regulations last month by hosting a celebration to mark his party's 60th anniversary and...

Buhari submits a revised 2020 budget to the senate

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday submitted a revised 2020 budget of 10.51 trillion naira ($29.19 billion) to the senate for approval.The coronavirus pandemic...

Rwanda hands ex-mayor a life jail term for role in genocide

Rwanda's High Court on Thursday sentenced a former mayor to life in prison for his role in the country's 1994 genocide, which included leading...

ICC allows ex-Ivorian president Gbagbo to leave Belgium

The International Criminal Court on Thursday said former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions following his acquittal last year...
%d bloggers like this: