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first_imgGesler E. Murray, Minister of Mines and EnergyBy David A. Yates and Alvin WorziThe Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) in collaboration with other institutions are expected to commence a three-day international exhibition conference on mining, gas and oil sector of the country.The conference, which is expected to take place from Thursday, November 28 thru 30, 2019, is aimed at bringing together several government officials, investors, international industry experts, as well as mining, energy, petroleum and related technology providers and financiers to discuss challenges, highlight investment opportunities, as well as celebrate the successes of the country’s energy sector.The conference will be held under the theme, “Exploring Opportunities and Investing in Africa’s Mining, Energy and Petroleum Industries.”Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. Murray told journalists at a press conference in Monrovia on Thursday, November 14, that the country is blessed with an impressive variety of mineral resources and has traditionally relied on mining, chiefly iron ore, gold, and diamonds, as a major source of income.Minister Murray, who quoted a report released by the World Bank’s chief for Africa, said it was stated that the mining sector in Liberia grew by 7%, as compared to the non-mining sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing, which declined by 3.5%.He said the recent growth in the mining sector signals a potential to contribute significantly to employment, income generation, and infrastructure development.Notwithstanding the foregoing, Murray said that the development of these mineral resources has significant environmental impacts that often go unnoticed.“This is why the Ministry of Mines and Energy works in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other environmental-related institutions to ensure that operating companies uphold high environmental standards and best practices,” he added.He said that the mining and export of iron ore have been the mainstream of the Liberian economy for more than half a century now. The mining and export of gold and diamonds, he added, have also contributed importantly to the country’s revenue stream, noting that some other known mineral deposits that require further assessment to determine their economic viability are manganese, bauxite, kyanite, barite, and phosphate.Minister Murray added, “Our energy sector also offers enormous opportunities relating mainly to hydro and solar potentials. This is why our vision focuses on the country becoming a hub for renewable energy with the capacity to export excess generation.”This vision, he said, is based on the fact that Liberia falls within a solar-rich region, lying between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn above the equator.“Overall, Liberia-based load projection of its entire energy mix is estimated at 4,000 MW. Our legal, fiscal, and regulatory framework already gives investors the clarity and transparency they need. And in the spirit of a win-win partnership, Liberia is committed to providing investors with the incentives and other benefits they need to grow successful businesses,” he added.Minister Murray said that energy access in Liberia represents a significant challenge, as the country has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world.According to research, in 2016, an estimated 88% of the population –over four million people– did not have access to electricity, with a significant disparity in rates of access between urban (16% access) and rural (3% access) areas. The Government has set a target of increasing electrification rates to 70% in Monrovia and 35% of rural areas by 2025, and universal electricity access nationwide by 2030.But Murray said that the country’s energy sector has huge demand for transmission and distribution of electricity to the growing population. This creates a market for any investor to meet these demands.To support and enhance private sector participation, the government passed the 2015 Electricity Law, which serves as a legal framework basis for unbending the sector, thus creating the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, responsible for the issuance of a license to operators and investors in electricity.The government believes these challenges present clear investment opportunities for the private sector. One solution to stabilize the hydro dam at 88 megawatts throughout the year is to build a reservoir at the confluence of the Vai and St. Paul River, over which Mount Coffee sits.The reservoir and cascading dams along the St. Paul River can generate as much as 500 to 800 megawatts of power.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgZakir Naik, the controversial India-born Islamic preacher currently holed up in Malaysia, has been associated with extremists exploiting charities in Britain by the Henry Jackson Society in its latest report published on Feb.26.The report, titled Wolves in sheep’s clothing: how Islamist extremists exploit the UK charitable sector, by the London-based think tank says that Islamist extremists operating in the United Kingdom have established a number of charities through which they receive several benefits. “Credibility, access to the public and vulnerable beneficiaries, secure platforms to spread their radical views and, perhaps most alarmingly, tax exemption and taxpayers’ money,” the report cites as some of the benefits.It added that charities must not harbor those who would subvert democracy.It has raised questions about Naik continuing to be the Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI), a UK-registered charity, despite being banned in Britain since 2010. “In the financial year ending 2016, their income was £951,356. In addition to its charitable status, IRFI is also registered in England as a private limited company,” the report said.It added that although there is no proof of Naik’s direct involvement in terrorism, there are concerns about the radicalization potential of his lectures.“According Peace TV, Naik is the ideologue and driving force behind Peace TV Network and launched Peace TV English in 2006. Peace TV is owned by IRF, and its English language website is clear that donations to the channel are to be made via the charity,” the report explained.It added that as per the annual accounts of Peace TV Network submitted for the financial year ending January 2016, the primary purpose of the charity is securing donations for the continuation of Peace TV. In 2015-2016, the charity made payments of £994,848 to Peace TV.The report said that it focused on abuse by those Islamist extremists whose views are not illegal but remain problematic as charities can be abused for criminal purposes by those involved in terrorist activities. “On occasion, the line between the two forms of abuse are blurred, with some charities connected to terrorism also showing signs of extremism, as is seen in the case of some humanitarian aid charities and those with other activities abroad,” the report stated.In December 2017, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a fresh request before the Interpol for issuing a red corner notice against Naik, who is currently living in Malaysia. Interpol cancelled the red corner notice that it issued against Naik earlier this month, his aide was reported to have said on Dec. 16.NIA’s previous plea was rejected by the Interpol on the grounds that no charge sheet was filed against Naik when the request was submitted.During the hearing of the petition filed by the citizens in Malaysia in January 2017, the petitioners told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Naik is a threat to Malaysia. They said that his permanent residence status, granted by the Malaysian government, should immediately be cancelled or revoked, reported India Today.The petition was filed by 17 citizens, and included Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy, academic Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah lawmaker Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, lawyers Siti Kassim and Asiah Abd Jalil, and Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.“Zakir Naik is a person who is threat to the security of federation. The fact that Naik is allowed to be permanent resident in Malaysia will disrupt harmony of country,” stated the petition, India Today reported. Related ItemsTerrorismUnited Kingdomzakir naiklast_img read more

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first_imgThe centenary of the abolition of bonded labor by the British Empire in South Africa was observed by the 1860 Heritage Centre, a museum and archive of the indentured laborers, in Durban this week.Indians were brought to Durban in 1860 as indentured laborers to work in sugarcane fields. They were promised wealth for working on farmland for five years, but the promises were not fulfilled. At an event held in the city to observe the occasion, difficulties faced by the fifth and sixth generation Indians in South Africa were discussed, even as the government is going pro Black African and tensions between Indians, other people of color and Black Africans are mounting.“The fact that they were brought out here under false pretenses is what hurts the most. They thought they would go back after five years with lots of wealth and that didn’t happen,” Sylvia Garib, whose great grandmother came to what was then known as Natal in 1860, said.The 1860 Heritage Centre was handed over to Indians in 2014 and it opened its gates to the common public in May 2017. In November 2016, the center celebrated the 156 years of arrival of Indians in South Africa in Durban.Meanwhile, tensions between the Indian diaspora and the Black African community has been growing. The KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (KZN ANC) wants to stop Indians and other colored people from getting state contracts of more than R50 million.“The contribution of South African Indians in the struggle against apartheid is not widely known in contemporary South Africa today particularly among the youth,” psychologist and author Devi Moodley Rajab said, according to a PTI report.Professor Brij Maharaj, an academician at the University of KwaZulu- Natal, said that Indians have had to face calls to return to their country even though they have been citizens since 160 years, the news agency added.“In South Africa, Indians constitute a vulnerable ethnic minority, and have been sandwiched between the economically dominant whites and the African majority,” Maharaj said. “Historically, there have been tensions between Indians and Africans because the former enjoyed a relatively privileged position compared to the majority, primarily because of community survival strategies, and their religious and cultural heritage,” he said.Calls have been made to give more preference to Black Africans as part of the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies, which includes Indian, colored, and Chinese citizens who were in South Africa before 1994. The policies are meant to offset the damage done by Apartheid over decades.Indians have often been accused of treating Africans disrespectfully. Economic Freedom Fighters commander-in- chief Julius Malema said in July this year that Indians in Natal should respect Africans. “They are ill-treating them worse than Afrikaners will do. We don’t want that to continue here in Natal. This is not anti-Indian statement, it is the truth,” he was quoted as saying by Mail & Guardian.Meanwhile, in the run-up to changes expected to happen in the government in December, when ANC’s Jacob Zuma is expected to step down from his party position due to numerous corruption scandals, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is witnessing incidents of violence. The province, which happens to be the ANC’s heartland, has faced the major brunt of violence because whoever controls the area is likely to be the chief of the party. Related Itemsapartheid Indiansindentured laborJacob zumasouth africa Indiansouth african politics indianslast_img read more

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