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first_imgBarely days after the World Health Organization (WHO) made the alarming prediction of 90,000 Liberian deaths from Ebola by mid-December contrary to credible reports on the ground indicating a slowing down of the virus, WHO yesterday made an incredible U-turn. WHO now agrees that the virus is waning in Liberia, supporting government officials’ position that progress in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease is being made.Commented journalist Alvin Worzi of the Daily Observer, “It shows we are making progress and what we need now are holding centers where those who are suspected of the virus can isolate themselves for the required period.”  Liberians are pleased that sustained efforts coupled with preventive measures have resulted in our progress in the fight against Ebola and must be continued, Worzi said.  In its editorial yesterday,  the Daily Observer examined the implications of the alarming and apocalyptic predictions of not only the WHO but also the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Yale Scientists, reported by the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, which also warned that by mid-December 171,000 will be infected and 90,000 not might, but will die.“It would then suggest that we were doing nothing here,” said 22-year-old university student, James Kollie, who spoke to the Daily Observer yesterday.Mr. William K. Guyan, 66, told the Daily Observer that with the change of position, WHO is confirming what Liberian officials have said that progress is being made, noting, “It means we must continue the fight to defeat the virus.”  Mr. Arthur Solomon, 38, a street vendor commented that “WHO’s reversal means that now they have correct information to agree with Liberian officials that their efforts are paying off.” “It’s also due to the effective global response, including tracing infected persons as well as those they might have come in contact with, that the WHO is able to calm the fears of Liberians by stating that infections are slowing down,” stated Richelieu Barclay, 42, of Monrovia.In a release yesterday, WHO’s Assistant Director General, Bruce Aylward, said he is confident the response to the virus is now gaining the upper hand, but warned against any suggestion that the crisis was over, the identical position of Liberian officials, including James Dorbor Jallah, head of Logistics at the Incident Management System. Aylward said the new number of cases globally was 13,703 and that the death toll, expected to be published yesterday, would probably exceed 5,000. The figure of 13,703 is a significant leap on the previous WHO situation report on Saturday, which showed cases rising above 10,000 for the first time to 10,141.  But Dr. Aylward said that this increase was due to data being updated with old cases, rather than new cases being reported. Saturday’s situation report put the death toll at 4,922.  Liberia’s Red Cross said its teams collected 117 bodies last week, down from a high of 315 in September. Treatment centers also have empty beds available for patients.The slowdown is real  Dr Aylward said: “It appears that the trend is real in Liberia and there may indeed be a slowing.”  “Do we feel confident that the response is now getting an upper hand on the virus? Yes, we are seeing a slowing rate of new cases, very definitely.”  Dr Aylward said there had been “a huge effort to inform the population about the disease, to change the behaviors that put them at risk”.  And he said there had been “a real step up in the work to put in place safe burials”.  But Dr Aylward said the data was still being examined and cautioned against thinking the crisis was over.  He said: “A slight decline in cases in a few days versus getting this thing closed out is a completely different ball game. It’s like saying your pet tiger is under control.”  The vast majority of cases and deaths from the disease have been in three countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.  On Wednesday, South Africa’s first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, donated $1m (£620,000) to Guinea to help the country fight Ebola.  The mining magnate said he hopes the donation will assist with clinical management, social mobilization and other key steps in controlling the deadly virus. His donation was announced as the US welcomed the international aid effort.  America’s UN envoy Samantha Power, who has been concluding her visit to the region, praised the efforts of Ebola-hit nations and foreign donors and urged them to continue to help. Her final stop was the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Accra, Ghana. She will now fly on to Brussels.A winnable war  Meanwhile, a source at the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare told the Daily Observer late last night that nationwide, there are 279 confirmed cases, and urged Liberians and all to be vigilant in taking measures because, “it is a winnable war, if we continue the fight.”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_imgThe post Ebola epoch presents an challenge for the three most affected countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to refocus their diplomacy and put their diplomats to work, as these countries especially Liberia seeks international partners as the country emerges from an idle and desperate economic situation which has been paralyzed due to the scourge. Liberia would not have received the worldwide benevolence it got if not for apt diplomatic initiatives and had serious negotiations not taken place sometimes long hours into the night, as perceptively as possible with grinding efforts, employing the tools of diplomacy for national advancement.That is why those tasked with economic and political activities at embassies must be sharp, cognizant of global prevailing dynamics and the dealings meant to shape policy and bring about the desired results; keep check of the financial and political movers and shakers, be well-schooled and knowledgeable of the subtleties of economic and commercial diplomacy which encourages greater cooperation and relations that protects investment and bilateral ties between two states or among multinational conglomerates.A diplomat, according to customary norms, should be acknowledgeable of other states, regions, and of the mechanisms and procedures of international intercourses which involves knowledge of the world network of diplomatic missions and consular posts, their functions, their practices and structures. As an added advantage, a diplomat should be verse in crisis management and damage control and, as far as possible as well must be rounded in his duties.The former Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Henry Kissinger, have written in detailed, that in the formulation of foreign policy, it is obvious that the economic and trade diplomacy are inseparable elements of conventional diplomacy, particularly in its professional management. Dr. Kissinger’s experiences and works are certainly recommended readings for foreign policy students.The Liberian experience cannot be discounted in these narratives. Astute diplomacy for example was needed and still continues to in the post Ebola and war Western African country. In relations to what has already been said; that after the Liberian civil war, as warlord turned president, Charles Taylor had balkanized and ran the country into the ground, and more so diplomatically, given his mischievous political and military adventurism especially in the sub region. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her foreign relations team acted quickly and were able to, since 2005, use the international order to rebrand Liberia’s image, both economically and tactfully to garner foreign and international goodwill and investments, hence pivoting the country on the international stage as Liberia transitioned from war to peace. In a true sagacity, President Sirleaf and her youthful Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, and his team should be lauded. Undoubtedly, economic, trade and commercial diplomacy should be paramount to Liberia’s project and that requires a strong background of diplomacy from a multidisciplinary perspective. Professional diplomacy is an appropriate instrument to perform this synthesis, to the extent that it can use its persuasive techniques in favor of businesses and investments and, simultaneously, prove to be politically and economically profitable to the state.However, it is clear that economic and commercial interests, particularly those related to investment, exports, protection and assistance could be essential aspects of the diplomatic activities of a considerable number of countries especially Liberia. Actually, economic and trade diplomacy involves joint and just efforts through cooperation between governments and the private and public business sectors with respect to external actions to achieving economic goals linked to the national interests.Another fascinated field of diplomacy especially for underdeveloped countries such as Liberia is economic, trade and commercial diplomacy. In contemporary diplomacy, the issues of economic interests, trade, protection of nationals, and security have all become much more difficult, with major challenges affecting the practices of diplomacy being influenced by major actors and powerful states, and sometimes at the continued loss of global, continental and regional groupings. Other factors such as bad political decisions in domestic politics, economic growth, and technological development, corruption among others have greatly affected African diplomacy in time past, even so now today!Vividly, I can remember the famous words of my professor during my studies in Paris, France when he stressed that diplomats should be fully aware of the new insightful changes in international relations and be able to partner major institutions and influential businesses [companies] in the host countries to enhance economic growth, trade and investment back home. A diplomat should also possess specialist qualities such as: political awareness, economic and trade knowledge, personal acceptability, education, intellectual curiosity and flexibility, and not just sit and wait to be tele-guided. A diplomat should level up fully to the new trends of diplomatic behaviors and challenges, taking into consideration the contemporary complexities of the international system, in which multiplicity of major actors operate, which stresses new approaches and solutions for a new demanding world order.In order for a Foreign Service officer including ambassadors to gain respect on the global stage also, there must be a taste and desire to seek new knowledge by reading and conducting research about the host country to which he is assigned; he must also be aware that contemporary diplomacy goes beyond mere curtails and red wine. Hence, diplomacy must not be seen as money making venture to enrich oneself and family against the greater good of society.Diplomacy has brought development to other nations for example as already enumerated and economic and trade values as seen in varied negotiations with bilateral and multilateral bodies, as the Liberian case illustrates, as well as increased economic and commercial activity. As part of the State’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and trade are now being given greater priority; these areas are now key factors in the development of contemporary international politics.It is also essential to ensure greater consistency in the identification of sustained national economic interests abroad and, through careful analysis, developed a model that can effectively ensure a safety pin to guide economic diplomacy in carrying out external economic relations by appointing people who are intellectually efficient and knowledgeable in the field of their calling, hence, diplomats should be appointed to assignments or missions where they can be operatively successful, as they serve the interest efficiently of their respective countries.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_imgBUSINESS PROFILE: HUGH DOWNEY, SHARP DESIGNDonegaldaily.com: What is your career and what do you do?Hugh Downey, MD, Sharp Design & PR, based in Letterkenny.  Sharp Design are an award winning communications company, with over 20 years of experience specialising in Brand, Web, E-Marketing, Digital Media, Marketing, PR, Creative Advertising, Printing & Large Format Exhibition printing. Offering creative marketing solutions for start up and existing businesses we deliver creative advertising campaigns that work. Sharp Design have the unique advantage of not only having complete control inhouse of all their services from inception to completion, but every brand or creative campaign that is created for their clients is uniquely created with a difference for the individual customer. Hugh & Grace Ann along with their talented creative team, offer themselves to anyone who believes a makeover can help them with their business, no matter what the product or service. Hugh & Grace Ann sit down with their clients & love helping them realise and reach their full potential. Their business is all about moving things forward, onto a new level to ensure their customers succeed. Donegaldaily.com: Tell us about your first job and how much were you paid?I worked in a furniture store in Waterford, I got 80.00 punts a week.Donegaldaily.com: What was your first success in business?Getting past year 1, year 2 & now here we are getting past 20 years later! Donegaldaily.com: Name the one local or international business person you look up to?It has to be Sir Gerry Robinson! The best business ambassador for our Donegal & Ireland.Donegaldaily.com: What has been your biggest mistake in business?Made a lot of small ones, but thankfully no big ones yet!Donegaldaily.com: What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever been given? Always be nice to your customers, suppliers & colleagues. It’s not hard to be nice!Donegaldaily.com: What advice would you give to someone starting out in business today? As my grandmother always advised me, there’s only two people in this world you should look after, the man above & the bank manager.Donegaldaily.com: What one item would you take with you to a desert island and why? My 2011 Wurth Calendar!Donegaldaily.com: What item can you not do without?My car & I- phone.Donegaldaily.com: What item would you prefer to do without?My i-phone.Donegaldaily.com: What do you do in your spare time (if you have any)?Enjoy family time & good French wine.Donegaldaily.com: When will you retire?After hearing the 2011 budget, probably never!Donegaldaily.com: What’s your tip to surviving the recession?Be happy!Donegaldaily.com: What one thing would you do if you were Finance Minister to help business?Give my lovely bank manager some money so he can give it to me!BUSINESS PROFILE: HUGH DOWNEY, SHARP DESIGN LETTERKENNY was last modified: December 10th, 2010 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)last_img read more

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