August 9 Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 9th August 2010

Discussions on the new Maritime Authority Act submitted by the President to the National Legislature are continuing.
The Legislature is proposing some amendments that are still being discussed. The President is confident that very soon the Executive and Legislature will reach an agreement on the contentious issues, including that of financial autonomy and the involvement of the Bureau in security enforcement. Those issues are still being ironed out. The President will provide more details once the Act is sent to her for signature.

• As work is about to begin to restore the Ducor Intercontinental hotel to its past glory, the President is again urging those who still illegally occupy the premises to take advantage of relocation offer made by the Government. The US $30-million dollar investment will not only create jobs but will also serve as a tourist attraction and add to the infrastructure development of the country. Ducor Palace was once the most modern hotel in sub-Saharan African until the war, so therefore is part of our national patrimony and must preserved.

• More than one-hundred women representing the various sectors of Liberian society met over the weekend at a retreat to discuss issues of common interest to women.  The retreat was hosted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the theme, “Women and Leadership, Our Time to lead.”
Its objective: to reflect on how the women’s movement is faring, four years into the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  The retreat, the first of three expected to be held, provided, among other issues, the space for women to reflect and give feedback on the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Africa’s first elected female Head of State. The Women discussed common women’s vision and strategy for transforming governance in Liberia, and reviewed the Government’s efforts in increasing women’s participation in Government. The interactive Forum also provided women the opportunity to reflect on the gains women have made since 2006, providing a platform for them to collectively identify challenges and discuss the way forward.

President Johnson Sirleaf spoke at the retreat, urging women to aspire for leadership roles at all levels – district, county and community levels.  The President said women must demonstrate their potential at the entry level of national leadership if they are to make an impact in competitive leadership positions.

At the end of the exercise, a comprehensive report, covering the deliberations would be prepared and presented to determine the way forward.

I thank you.