USAID Chief of Party, Enchia (left), and Amb. Elder (right) at the launch of the projectThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the “Digital Liberia and e-Government Project in Liberia,” an information communication technology (ICT) program.The project was launched on March 22 at a resort in Monrovia, and was witnessed by an array of government officials including Post and Telecommunication Minister Fredrick Norkeh, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Health Minister Bernice Dahn and USAID representatives.USAID Chief of Party for Digital Liberia, Victoria Cooper-Enchia, said the project aimed at improving government’s performance and bringing it closer to citizens by assisting it to develop Internet and computer technology.“Our objective is to progress Liberia towards creating a sound national ICT platform for now and for future generations. This will help the country to tell its story and engage with the world. It will enhance health, education, agriculture and economic growth and private sector development,” Enchia said.Unlike other countries where technology has advanced and most public transactions are done through the Internet, Liberia still lags behind with financial transactions in public places handled by individuals, which enhances corruption.According to USAID, the project will improve the GoL’s connectivity and institutional capacity that is necessary to provide effective services, progressing Liberia towards the creation of a sound national ICT platform now, and for future generations.US Ambassador Christine Elder said the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project will build on the momentum started before the outbreak of Ebola in 2014.“It will strengthen Liberia’s ICT capacity and improve connectivity to better prepare the country to prevent, detect and respond to future crises,” Amb. Elder said.She said that the project lends support to several government institutions to improve decision making and management.The support, according to Elder, will identify priority sustainable government digital initiatives and help them to take advantage of technologies to digitize institutional systems and processes.Although the project is implemented in Monrovia for now, Amb. Elder disclosed that USAID recognizes the need for nationwide connectivity and has initiated support in other areas that complement the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project.Dr. Norkeh said the project is a step forward in the enhancement of communications across government and service delivery to the Liberian people.He said the project will help reduce the cost and time of communications across government that normally takes considerable amount of production time, payments of salaries, LEC bills, tax payments and payment of school fees using ICT.Online education and research in important fields of study such as medicine, disease control, and security are also among benefits of ICT that Minister Norkeh named.He said having existed many years as a nation, it is time that Liberians wake up to learn from other countries like Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda where effective use of ICT is improving the lives of the citizenry through the accelerated provision of essential services for livelihood.“The full realization of these efforts requires a considerable commitment from government, our development partners such as USAID and private investors,” Dr. Norkeh said.He said the project seeks to link institutions through digital communications and improve Liberia’s connectivity with the world, and build capacity to utilize the ICT and Internet technologies to improve performances of government officials for the effective, efficient and transparent delivery of services.Minister Samukai, who proxied for Vice President Joseph Boakai, recalled that rudimentary communication services have been in Liberia for a long time, and that the launch of the project is quite a rewarding venture.He urged drivers of the project “not to allow it sit on the desk,” but to make the needed impact in two to three years.Dr. Clarence Moniba, Head of President’s Delivery Unit, acknowledged the role government has played in creating a safe environment for the enhancement of development and noted that the launch of the ICT project is one such benefits of good governance.He, too, lauded USAID for initiating the project and said government is in full support.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
THE coalition Government is set to spend up to €200,000 in a legal action against Pearse Doherty – which he has already won, donegaldaily.com can reveal.The Fine Gael/Labour administration is continuing with a case taken by the Fianna Fail government when the Donegal South West TD took a High Court action to force last year’s by-election which Doherty won by a landslide.Mr Doherty has welcomed the commitment by Fine Gael Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to introduce legislation to guarantee that all by-elections would be held within six months. Deputy Doherty whose successful court challenge last year forced the previous Fianna Fáil Government to hold the long-awaited bye-election in Donegal South West called on the Government, in light of these new commitments to call off the “farcical” Supreme Court appeal on that case.Speaking from Leinster House Deputy Doherty said: “I welcome Minister Phil Hogan’s commitment to introduce legislation guaranteeing that all bye-elections are held within six months of the vacancy arising and I agree with his statements regarding “the farcical situation where political parties are forced to take High Court challenges to ensure bye-elections are held”.“That fact that I had to haul the then Fianna Fáil Government kicking and screaming to the courts in order to give the people a chance to exercise their right to vote was indeed farcical, but what is equally farcical is the fact that this new Fine Gael Government is further wasting taxpayers’ money by appealing this decision to the Supreme Court.“I would ask the Minister and the Government, in light of these new commitments to do the right thing and withdraw this appeal. It is a waste of money that in these times we simply can not afford.” Now we can reveal the Supreme Court case will cost taxpayers at least €200,000 at a time when the country is broke.A civil service source admitted: “The government can’t talk about saving money one minute and then wasting it like this the next.”REVEALED: GOVERNMENT STILL SPENDING FORTUNE IN CASE AGAINST PEARSE DOHERTY was last modified: May 5th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of starting the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position for the third year in a row on Sunday have been dashed by a gearbox change that triggered an automatic five place grid penalty.The drop means the Mercedes driver, second in the championship behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, cannot equal Michael Schumacher’s pole position record of 68 at his home British Grand Prix next week.The triple world champion, who is currently on 66 poles and won in Austria last year, will have to wait until Hungary at the end of the month at the earliest.He had been favourite to take the top slot at the scenic Red Bull Ring after dominating Friday’s two free practice sessions with Vettel second fastest.Qualifying is on Saturday after a final practice and Hamilton will be hoping that he is fastest to minimise the drop and that Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas is second to deny Vettel the top slot.A Mercedes team spokesman said the gearbox problem resulted from the previous race in Azerbaijan, where Hamilton started on pole but finished fifth after having to pit to fix a loose headrest.Formula One regulations stipulate that gearboxes must last six races unless a driver fails to finish for whatever reason.The Formula One technical delegate said in a statement he had been informed by Mercedes last Tuesday that the gearbox was damaged and needed changing, a detail the team had kept secret.Hamilton, who had told reporters earlier that pole was the goal, is 14 points behind Vettel after eight of 20 races. Both drivers have won three races.advertisementThe pair clashed in Baku when Vettel drove into the back of the Mercedes while they were behind the safety car and then banged wheels angrily after pulling alongside.Vettel, who finished fourth in Baku, apologised for the incident of “road rage” — and for claiming that Hamilton ‘brake-tested’ him — after a hearing in Paris on Monday.Mercedes ruled out that contact as the cause of the gearbox problems.