Liberia: US Ambassador Visits FPA: Holds Tête-à-TêteWith Editor, Commends Staff
Monrovia – United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy on Thursday paid a visit to FrontPageAfrica where he discussed a number of topical issues with the newspaper’s editor, Rodney Sieh.
During the visit, the US envoy also toured the newspaper’s facilities and commended the staff for a job well done.
Ambassador McCarthy, one of the most vocal Ambassadors to take up assignments in Liberia in recent years, held closed-doors discussions with the FPA editor on some key issues and developments in Liberia and the Liberian media.
The Ambassador, it can be recalled, had in recent weeks called on the civil society including the Liberian media to work with the Government of Liberia to ensure President George Weah’s pledges he made during the Biden Summit for Democracy is achieved.
The maiden edition of the summit was held in December 2021, where President Weah joined U.S. President Joe Biden and scores of world leaders virtually where he made several commitments aimed at strengthening Liberia’s democracy.
President Weah has pledged to amend the Anti- Corruption Act to grant direct prosecutorial powers to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), propose legislation for the establishment of a dedicated criminal court for the prosecution and convictions of public officials, individuals, or institutions engaged in corrupt practices and financial offenses, continue efforts to end gender-based violence, engage with traditional leaders to end all forms of harmful traditional practices, and propose an anti-female genital mutilation bill.
The President had also committed to promoting fairness, transparency and accountability in election funding; prioritize the participation of more women in electoral process and positions in the government, make all legislative votes public and formalize customary land tenure.
While welcoming the President’s promises, Ambassador McCarthy said there are excellent examples of specific and meaningful actions that will grow democratic resilience here in Liberia.
Ambassador McCarthy has stressed that it will require the collective effort of the media and CSOs to inform the public about these commitments and reliably track their progress.
The US envoy’s visit to FPA comes in the aftermath of his recent critique of the mishandling of the electricity sector.
After touring the facilities of the Liberia Electricity Corporation at Bushrod Island last August, Ambassador McCarthy told a news conference, “I was both impressed and discouraged by what I saw and heard.” The LEC’s international management team has greatly improved LEC’s operational readiness and facilities. Even so, widespread power theft and unpaid power bills have placed LEC in a financial crisis from which it cannot recover without immediate intervention and support from the Liberian Government.”