The World Bank: A Friend in Need and in Deed

first_imgWorld Bank Group (WBG) President Jim Yong Kim paid an emergency visit with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, to reassure her, the Liberian government and people of the Bank’s determination to help redress the drastic economic downturn which the deadly Ebola virus has caused the nation.President Kim stressed that in addition to the US$200 million  and other resources which the Bank had already provided in the anti-Ebola battle, it will continue to support Liberia until the virus is decisively  defeated.  But, he declared, “We don’t need to wait to get to zero to start working on the economic recovery.”Then President Kim told President Sirleaf pointedly the purpose of his emergency visit: “Our second area of support is agricultural production.  Agriculture is a key pillar of the Liberian economy and we are concerned that agricultural production has dropped as a result of the epidemic.”In the spirit of a true and trusted friend, President Kim added: We will help Liberian farmers recover from this crisis.  We must make sure that the Ebola outbreak is not followed by a food insecurity crisis.”What more can one ask of a friend who comes to see and help another while he or she is sick, but looks beyond the sickness to help the patient become firmly reestablished in the post-recovery period?In addition to helping Liberia improve its agricultural production, President Kim told President Sirleaf that the WGB was poised to assist in improving selected infrastructure “that are critical for economic competitiveness.”  This includes access to electricity and road and bridge construction that connects   farmers to markets.We sincerely thank President Kim for coming personally, not through a mission, to deliver this magnificent message of hope.  Liberia can thank its lucky stars that this first independent African Republic was present when the Bretton Woods institutions—the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others—were created following the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.  President Sirleaf recalled that the Bank has been engaged with Liberia since the early 1960s and has played a pivotal role in the country’s post-war reconstruction.Now that we have been reassured of the commitment and support of the world’s preeminent financial institution in our post-Ebola recovery, what, may we ask, can Liberia and Liberians do for themselves?For this newspaper has constantly cautioned in its editorials that all the external help we are given will amount to nothing if we do not help ourselves.What do we mean?  We think it is not an accident that World Bank President Kim first touched on AGRICULTURE in the several development initiatives he outlined to help Liberia rebuild her Ebola- devastated economy.Let us quickly be reminded that Liberian agriculture declined long before Ebola.  This newspaper which has,  since its founding in 1981 and until now, carried a weekly  Agriculture column, has for sometime now been calling attention to Liberia’s  agricultural decline.  We recently carried an alarming report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which stated that there was serious food insecurity in Liberia.  Most particularly, FAO said that even the nation’s leading breadbasket, Lofa  County, was suffering from food insecurity!We made an editorial comment on that, too, but never heard a word from Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth.  She treated the FAO report with the benign neglect with which she has treated the entire agricultural sector in Liberia.   When she met a Daily Observer editorial team several years ago, she described as “untrue” a complaint relayed to her from the people of Todee that they had not seen an agricultural  extension agent in 15 years.  Yet, where are the extension agents.  All we see is pickups—given by some donor(s) carrying agricultural slogans.  We don’t even grow coffee anymore; and our cocoa production is down, down, down.  So are other tree crops, such as citrus—grape fruit, lime, oranges and tangerine.Even the rubber farmers are complaining.  The government, through the Central Bank, has pumped into commercial banks US$5 million to help farmers deal with the downturn in the world rubber price, to keep their farms open.  Does Agriculture Minister know that most of the farmers still do not have access to those funds.  Does she even care?We think that if President Sirleaf truly appreciates the agricultural help which  President Kim is offering to boost Liberian agriculture, she should find a new Agriculture Minister who can DO something in this vital, crucial, critical, indeed ALL-IMPORTANT sector of our economy.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Delinquent City Hall begs for rates and taxes payment to pay NIS debt

first_imgMayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine is appealing to residents in the capital city to pay their rates and taxes so that City Hall, which has been delinquent in its payments to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), can pay off its debt.Georgetown Mayor, Ubraj NarineIt was recently reported that City Hall owes NIS some $218 million. The Mayor said that the treasurer and finance Committee are exploring options to have this issue resolved.“They are looking at how we can be able to honour those obligations,” he said while adding, “We are appealing to the public to pay their taxes so we can get our NIS and so clear. Everything is about money and to be honest, City Hall is really cash-strapped where we can’t afford it.On this note, the Mayor admitted that the situation becomes so severe at times that the Council is unable to pay staffers some months. According to the Insurance Act, it is a criminal offence if entities fail to pay their contributions by the due date. Those who refuse to pay can be prosecuted.Last August, City Hall workers took to the streets in front of City Hall as they protested the non-payment of NIS contributions among others. It was reported that City Hall deducts the NIS contributions, PAYE, and credit union dues from the earnings of workers but do not pay the relevant agencies.It was explained that on many occasions workers have visited the NIS and were unable to get any money for spectacles or sick leave since the Council has been delinquent in its payments.Following the protest, the then Town Clerk, Royston King met with the workers’ union and a payment plan was agreed to, to address these concerns.NIS deficitWith agencies like City Hall failing to pay up their contributions, NIS recorded a whopping $748 million deficit during the first half of this year.This was evident in the Finance Ministry’s Half Year report which explained that the insurance scheme recorded an overall deficit of $748.4 million for the year, compared to the $715.6 million it recorded in the same half-year period for 2018. Revenue collection so far for 2019 was $11.9 billion, 9.7 per cent more than the same period for 2018.“This improved position resulted from higher wage bands, on account of an increase in wages and salaries, as well as improved collection of outstanding contributions from delinquent employers,” the report says.last_img read more

US$20M+ upgrade of Internet services underway – GTT

first_imgAfter topping the list of complaints before the Public Utility Commission (PUC) last year, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) is shelling out millions in a bid to improve Internet services in outlying areas.While addressing media operatives at a press conference on Tuesday, GTT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd said the company has so far expended US$20 million on its Fibre to the Home (FTTH) project. According to Nedd, that US$20 million capital expenditure price tag is steadily rising.“This is really an investment in the future of the country… what I see is customers want faster Internet,” Nedd said. “They want reliable Internet. They don’t care ifGTT is pursuing their fibre-optic rollout programmeyou deliver that Internet in a paper bag or a fibre-optic cable. So (its) based on the geography of the particular area. (But) as we continue to deploy, we look for the best technology to give people the fastest possible speed.”“For a very linear, long stretch, 200 houses deep area, you might use a different technology to a densely populated area like central Georgetown. But specifically for the fibre to the home project, this is a very significant project. This is modern and future proof stuff. It’s not something available in every part of the US,” he further explained.He noted that there are several considerations when installing this technology, including population density. But hand in hand with the company’s continued expansion, Nedd revealed that Internet traffic has been on the rise and has grown by more than 13 per cent.Most visitors, the CEO said, go to Google, Netflix and Facebook. He explained that there are 6000 first time Internet customers and a waiting list of 4000 applicants. While this is a lot, Nedd noted that the company would be able to meet the needs of the country.According to the PUC in its 2017 annual report, a total of 296 complaints were received against GTT for last year. This figure is almost double the complaints received about Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) service. Coming in a distant third was the Guyana Water Inc (GWI), as 38 complaints were recorded. U mobile cellular incorporated (Digicel) customers registered a mere three complaints for the year.“The complaints received from GT&T followed the same trend as previous years with the majority of complaints received pertaining to technical issues. GTT has advised that the company is in the process of providing new technological installations to some of the areas which were previously served by the obsolete Fixed Wireless System (FWA),” the report noted.“Data service via Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being offered to the Essequibo Coast. Areas such as La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara that was once served by the obsolete FWA system benefited from Fibre to the Home (FTTH),” the report adds.The PUC expressed expectations that other areas would benefit during the year 2018 as GTT continued its FTTH rollout. It also noted that the company has been installing its new Blaze system using fibre as opposed to copper technologies.According to the report “the upgrade for existing DSL customers requires a new application for service, for which new Internet equipment, backup power supply and a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone will be provided. The telephone through the fibre-optic network thus becomes an Internet phone where the local telephone number will remain the same and the service will not be susceptible to some of the challenges inherent with copper.”last_img read more

Nine of English football’s biggest clubs to suffer relegation

first_img 9 9 9 Aston Villa’s European champions are ripped apart culminating in relegation – Five years after beating Bayern in the 1982 European Cup, it all went wrong for Villa and they were relegated. That victorious squad was ripped apart, with Gordon Cowans, Dennis Mortimer and Tony Morley among those to go and after a steady decline, the club went down, returning with Graham Taylor the following season having finished second behind Millwall in Division Two. 9 Leeds’ financial woes lead to Championship football – It has been a circus at Elland Road since Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 and the club could not be further from the side which reached the 2001 Champions League semi-final. Financial problems and comedy chairmen have ensured their return to the big time is some way off. Champions Man City mount terrible title defence – City were enjoying the 30s, as they followed up their 1934 FA Cup win with league glory in 1937. However, the following season they were relegated despite scoring more goals than any other team – 80 – and they only bounced back when football returned following the end of World War II. City were also sent down in 1983, having reached the FA Cup final two years earlier. 9 In the wake of Aston Villa’s relegation from the Premier League, fans have pointed to the club’s proud history.This is a team that won the European Cup, while it was one of the original teams when the Football League was formed in 1888.But no club can be called ‘too big to go down’, as there are numerous examples of big teams suffering relegation as you can see here.Click the arrow above, right, to see nine big clubs who have gone down in the past. Ipswich go down in 1986 – Four years after Bobby Robson left to take over as England manager in 1982 and five after Ipswich won the UEFA Cup, the club were down. They had also won the FA Cup in 1978 and only returned to the top flight when the Premier League was formed in the 1992/93 season. Man United endure lean period in the 70s – click the arrow above, right, for other big-name teams to suffer relegation – No club can be called ‘too big to go down’, but there are examples of big teams suffering relegation such as Man United. Six years before they said goodbye to the top flight at the end of the 1973/74 season, they were European champions, having won the 1967 First Division. They bounced back to the top tier at the first attempt and reached the 1976 FA Cup final where they lost to Southampton. From Premier League to Division One for Blackburn – It all went wrong for Blackburn in 1999 under Brian Kidd. Four years after winning the Premier League, Rovers were down after a 0-0 draw with Kidd’s former side Man United. Graeme Souness guided them back to the top tier in 2001 and their stay in the Premier League ended in 2012. 9 9 Tottenham’s decade of dominance ends with relegation – Spurs bounced back straight away following their relegation in 1977, but it was still tough to take for a team that won the League Cup either side of winning the first ever UEFA Cup final in 1972. Tottenham had also dominated cup competitions in the 1960s, with three FA Cups, a Cup Winners Cup in addition to a First Division title in 1961. 9 9 Cup specialists Forest drop down a division – Forest recorded successive European Cup wins in 1979 and 1980, back-to-back League Cup wins in 1989 and 1990, while they reached the FA Cup final in 1991. But they were relegated in 1993 at the end of the first ever Premier League season, though they were back in the big time under Frank Clark for the 1994/95 campaign, but ended the decade in Division One. Domestic and European big shots Wolves go down in 1976 – Wolves were runners up in the UEFA Cup in 1972, League Cup winners in 1974, while they dominated the league in the 1950s. But in 1976 they suffered relegation in a season which saw Liverpool edge QPR to the title by a point. Wolves bounced back as Division Two champions. last_img read more

Humboldt State football looking to stay perfect in 2017 this weekend against Western Oregon

first_imgArcata >> There have been trips to Monmouth that Rob Smith would probably like to forget. Just as there are ventures north, like the past two years, where Smith and the Jacks were victorious against one of their biggest rivals.They’re hoping for Tic-Tac-Toe, three wins in a row at McArthur Field.With a 2-0 start to the season and a new national ranking in its back pocket, the No. 22 Humboldt State football team heads north to one of the toughest venues in all of the Great Northwest Athletic …last_img

Former Raiders, 49ers linebacker Matt Millen hospitalized, playing a waiting game

first_imgFormer Raiders and 49ers linebacker Matt Millen is in a New Jersey hospital awaiting a heart transplant, NBC Sports’ Peter King has reported.Millen, who won two Super Bowls with the Raiders, one with the 49ers and another with Washington, announced in April that he suffers from amyloidosis, a rare disease — fewer than 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States — that can affect internal organs.The disease attacked Millen’s heart, which he said in April was working at 30 …last_img

Zuma answers Ngobi community’s call

first_img10 February 2012Mmatsheko Pine from the Ngobi area in Hammanskraal will be pleased to know that President Jacob Zuma has answered her call and help is on the way to fix the water problem in her area.In his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma made a commitment to send Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to the area, which is under the Moretele Local Municipality, where the community has been without water for the past two years.Pine took advantage of Zuma’s invitation to citizens to write to him ahead of his State of the Nation address and share the challenges they are facing in their communities.In a letter sent via e-mail, Pine told Zuma that her community members were mostly aged and sick and facing a water shortage. They rely on rain to harvest water.“There are water pipes and machines installed but the problem is said to be pressure to pump water. Could your office kindly assist with the powers that be,” Pine asked Zuma in her letter.In his address to Parliament, Zuma promised to send Molewa to investigate the matter with a view to finding an urgent solution.Zuma acknowledged that water expansion had been delayed in some parts of the country due to a lack of infrastructure.“Government continues to extend access to basic water supply, however, clearly, water access is still a challenge in some areas.”He assured South Africans that this was being attended to as five new water augmentation schemes were on schedule.These include the Olifants River Water Resource in Steelpoort in Limpopo; the Vaal River Eastern Sub-System in Secunda in Mpumalanga; the Komati Water Augmentation Scheme in Nkangala in Mpumalanga; the raising of Hazelmere dam in KwaZulu-Natal; and the Clan William Dam in Clan William in the Western Cape.In addition, nine out of 25 dams have been rehabilitated.Following announcements made during the United Nations COP17 climate change conference, Zuma also said an amount of R248-million would be invested over next two years to deal with the issue of acid mine dDrainage in the Witwatersrand.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Content Management: Reasons for Adopting An Email Archive Solution

first_imgEmail has become a primary tool for business communication, and management of the content found in emails has become increasingly important for businesses.Three reasons for adopting an email archiving solution:1.  Mailbox Management.  Very often the storage costs for keeping email on a server like Microsoft Exchange are very expensive.  Offloading email and attachments to an archiving system can save storage costs and often improve performance by shrinking the size of the data kept within the email store.2.  Compliance.  Email archiving solutions can assist in complying with regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, GLBA, FRCP, SEC and HIPAA.  Email messages often contain critical information that are considered to be both company documents and company assets. 3.  eDiscovery.  Archiving solutions are important for legal reasons.  The archiving system can help locate requested email documents and also provide realtime monitoring of email activity and enforcement of potential violations of email policies.A 2005 AIIM study found that these major drivers for adoption of email archive solutions:  – 58%  Increasing volumes of email in the organization  – 40%  Potential to provide email during litigation  – 39%  Damage or Loss experienced by the company  – 30%  Sarbanes Oxley  – 24%  Media coverage of Compliance failuresBy adopting an email archive solution, organizations can save considerably on storage costs.  Email archive solutions can identify email attachments that may be common across many email and can replace multiple copies with a single instance. Compression of email messages attachments is often done more effectively by the email archive compared to storage within the email server. The archiving solution typically provides search and administration functionality via a central dashboard application that helps simplify the task of email management.  And finally, email solutions help enforce archival and record management rules, ensuring that document retention policies are adhered to.last_img read more

My6Sense: A Smarter Feed Reader for the iPhone

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Product Reviews#Recommendation Engines#RSS & Feeds#web After you have spent only a few sessions with the app, my6sense will have already gotten a good sense of the items that are probably most relevant to you. Of course, the more you use it (we used the web app regularly since the beta launch last December), the better the recommendations get. In our experience, my6sense’s algorithms do a great job at figuring out a user’s interests. If you are a real news junkie, you will probably still sometimes want to switch to the regular timeline mode that organizes items chronologically. After all, the items you don’t usually think you would be interested in can sometimes really grab your attention (which is, to be honest, a problem that all recommendation systems have to grapple with).Import and ShareIt is worth noting that the app can also import your streams from Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, and Flickr. From within the app, you can also share the most interesting items you find on Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed. My6sense can import your feeds from Google Reader, iGoogle, MyYahoo, Newsgator, and NetVibes. Thanks to this, it’s quite easy to get started. Sadly, though, the app doesn’t sync with any of these services, so items you read on my6sense won’t show up as read in your Google Reader subscriptions. My6sense also offers a curated lists of feeds that new users can subscribe to. A Few Things to ImproveThere are a few nagging omissions in the app, though, that keep it from being really great. Most importantly, you can’t tell the app to only display items that were posted in the last 24 or 48 hours. In a way, this makes sense – after all, the app is trying to give you the most relevant items, including those that you might have overlooked. But often, we just want to see what the most interesting items posted today are, and as of now, my6sense can’t do that.Another problem with the app is that once you import your social network feeds from Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed, your timeline often gets overwhelmed by these items. At least for us, my6sense performed far better when we disabled these feeds.Currently, my6sense also doesn’t offer an offline mode, so you can’t use it to read feeds while on a plane or far from the nearest cell tower.Overall, we recommend you give my6sense a try. After all, the app is free, and importing your feeds from your current feed reader is easy enough – just give it a day or two to see if the recommendation system works for you.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting frederic lardinois Google Reader offers a nifty mobile interface, and apps like Byline (iTunes link) and NetNewsWire (iTunes link) are well-designed native apps that allow iPhone users to keep up with their feeds. But slogging through a few hundred subscriptions on the iPhone’s small screen can quickly turn into a frustrating experience. My6Sense, which launched the first beta of its web-based mobile feed reader last December, is now finally ready to release its native iPhone app. Thanks to the app’s ability to organize your feeds according to a personalized recommendation system that automatically learns from your preferences as you browse through your feeds, keeping up with hundreds of feeds on the iPhone is now easier than ever before.Note: the app should have been available in the App Store by now, but Apple, as usual, is rather tardy. My6sense expects the app to go live soon, but the exact time is up to Apple.The Good Stuff MachineWhile my6sense is a capable feed reader in its own right, it’s what my6sense’s founder Barak Hachamov likes to call the company’s “good stuff machine” that makes all the difference. While traditional feed readers just organize items chronologically, my6sense actually watches what you do while you read your feeds. The app, for example, looks at messages you read, links you click on, items you share and the position of these items in your stream, as well as items you skip. You can also actively mark a message as interesting by clicking the ‘I like’ button.last_img read more

An Interesting Approach to Managing and Leading Your Military Family Services Workgroups or Organizations

first_imgKaren Shirer is a member of the Military Families Learning Network Family Transitions Team and the Associate Dean with the University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Family Development. Karen is also the parent of two adult daughters, a grandmother, a spouse, and a cancer survivor. Book Review By Karen Shirer, PhDTribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving OrganizationLogan, D., King, J., & Fischer-Wright H. (2008). New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing Co.Military Family Service Providers (MFSP) meet the unique needs of service members, military spouses and their children in a world that is constantly changing. MFSP connect military families to critical services related to relocation, employment, behavioral health and many others. How do we ensure that the MFSPs and their organizations provide the most effective services?Recently, my supervisor assigned a book to read for those she supervises, with the goal of discussing at our annual administrative retreat. My role as an associate dean for an extension center at the University of Minnesota involves executive leadership and administration for a center of 131 staff, faculty and educators. On a day-to-day basis, this means oversight of fiscal and human resources positioned to provide non-formal education across the state of Minnesota. It is challenging work, but energizes me on a daily basis.The book, Tribal Leadership, changed how I think about establishing, developing and sun-setting workgroups in the center, as well as how I work to create the culture of the center. My bar is quite high on these kinds of books. I am not new to the leadership developmental literature having worked in higher education management and administrative positions since 1990, and participating in several intensive leadership programs. Nevertheless, this book gave me new insights about how to manage the organization and groups within them, and strategies for promoting their development toward effectiveness. Many MFSTs strive for this same goal and this book provides a roadmap for meeting it.Basics of Tribal LeadershipThe main thesis of the book focuses on the stages that groups and organizations of 20 to 150 people go through in the development of their culture, and that leaders can promote the development of a culture through moving groups through these stages. The stages look like this:• Stage #1’s theme is “life sucks.” Only about 2% of groups fall into this category and often include criminal gangs and people who exhibit hostility and despair. Hopefully, the organization has very few people who fall into stage one.• Stage #2’s theme is “my life sucks,” meaning that only one’s own life sucks and not life in general. Logan et al. write that the 25% of groups in this stage are passively antagonistic; they cross their arms in judgment yet never really get interested enough to spark any passion. Another way of describing this group is as apathetic and having a sense of victimhood.• Stage #3’s theme is “I’m great (and you’re not),” making up the largest percentage of groups – 49%. People hoard knowledge as a way to acquire power; for example, they keep their contacts secret or gossip. One positive of this group is that they generally work very hard. But they are the first to tell others that they work harder than anyone else and could possibly not take on more work.• Stage #4’s theme is “We’re great (and they’re not).” 22% of groups develop to this stage and possess a great of deal of tribal pride. The competitors or adversaries of this group are outside the organization whereas in stage #2 and #3, they are inside the organization. If the tribe is taken away from individuals, their sense of self incurs a loss of self-worth.• Stage #5’s theme is “Life is great,” and makes up 2% of organizational groups. Group members talk of innovation and making history, and this often is the stage in which innovation occurs. Once the group achieves these successes, they often revert back to Stage 4 to regroup for another try at history making.The books offers strategies and tactics for leaders to guide groups through these stages of development. Here are a few examples – the book has many more ideas:• To begin, encourage people at stage #1 to get acquainted with those at stage #2. If one does not respond, leaders need to move them out of the organization.• To move people to stage #2, mentor them to establish relationships with those at stage #3. Also, assign them short-term projects that don’t need nagging – the leader does not want to reinforce the “my life sucks” narrative of this stage.• To move people to stage #3, encourage them to form 3-person groups and to work on projects that are larger than they could tackle on their own. Coach them to focus on bigger goals and to learn that working alone won’t bring them success. Find role models that talk about “we” rather than “I”.• To work with groups at stage #4, recruit others to the group that share its values and encourage them to take advantage of opportunities that arise. Lead discussions with the group that focus on what is working well, what isn’t working well, and what can the group do about these issues.Some key take-away points from the book include:• We all work in tribes!• An organization is a tribe AND a network of tribes.• A key strategy for moving groups from one stage to another focuses on building relationships with positive mentors and roles models.• A leader cannot change the organizational culture without upgrading the tribal culture.If you are looking for an interesting approach to managing and leading your military-family-services workgroups or organizations, I strongly encourage reading and studying Tribal Leadership.last_img read more