Although there are reports of decline in cases of Ebola and more survivors emerging from Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), the Liberian Business Association (LIBA) president, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, has attributed the spread of the virus to the lack of trust in the Government of Liberia on the part of its citizens.Mr. Kemayah in a keynote speech delivered on his behalf by a proxy on October 25, emphasized that because of the wave of corruption in Liberia that has eroded public trust in officials of government, many Liberians denied the presence of Ebola by saying, “The Government wants to eat money, that’s the reason they say Ebola was in Liberia.”It can be recalled that when Ebola outbreak was announced in Guinea in March and subsequently reported in Liberia, many in the general public, including people of Lofa where the outbreak first occurred, denied the existence of Ebola in Liberia and attributed the news to an alleged ploy on the part of government to receive money from donors.According to Mr. Kemayah, on the basis of such perception people have about the government because of rampant corruption, Liberians refused to accept information about the reality of Ebola and take precautionary measures.These perceptions and statements, Mr. Kemayah said, “suggest that we have serious credibility issues that need to be addressed from the social, political, and economic standpoints. In January 2006, when the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led Government was inaugurated, the Liberian people had complete confidence and trust in the leadership ability of… her Administration.”He contended that when President Sirleaf took over in 2006 and promised that “papa will come” with a black plastic to impress the home; Liberians had complete confidence in her administration.But after a few years, especially beginning her second term, the confidence has apparently withered away because they are not seeing anything being done as promised earlier.“The increasing level of hardship and downward trend in the standard of living amongst the masses in Liberia, long before the Ebola virus outbreak, are among many reasons why the trust/confidence in the national leadership has been eroded,” Kemayah stressed.Mr. Kemayah in the loaded speech also questionably stressed, “Can the citizens trust their national leaders again when, for example, the papa na come pronouncement is far from tangible realization? Can they trust their President again? Can they trust their Senators again? Can they trust their Representatives again? Can they even trust their religious leaders again? To answer these, one must first agree that the fabrics of these institutions have broken down from an analytical point of view.”The LIBA boss indicated that when statements by people concerning failure of the government to meet its promise are analyzed, one deduces serious problem with the national government in misapplying fund.“If one analyzes the views by the ordinary people on the streets, you could deduce that there is an issue of concern. If we say people are not eating money from this Ebola fight, why is it that giving proper account of the initial United States Five Million Dollars (US$5,000,000.00) to fight Ebola has been an issue?”He said while there are reports of decline, community dwellers need to still be conscious of its prevalence because it can break out at any time when people avoid precautionary measures.Mr. Kemayah’s statement was delivered in proxy by Rev. Garlison George, head pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church, of which Kemayah is a member. The occasion at which Rev. George spoke marked the launch of the Paynesville Town Hall Community Anti-Ebola awareness campaign, where a total of 100 hand-washing buckets were presented on behalf of the Kemayah family.LIBA, which has a presence in the City of Paynesville with its national headquarters located on AB Tolbert Road, also participated in the program represented by its vice president, David K. Sembeh. In remarks, Sembeh urged the business community to strengthen its contribution to the fight against Ebola. Mr. Kemayah is currently in Uganda defending his thesis at the Catholic owned Martyrs University, where he is expected to graduate with the Masters of Arts Degree in Development Studies on November 13.Members of the community represented by Darlington Kpayili commended Mr. Kemayah and his family for the gesture and acknowledged his role played in the lives of many in the community.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…Govt urged to liberate Guyanese of “digital constipation”Guyanese entrepreneurs will soon have the opportunity to access financing as a Guyana-born businessman and telecommunications expert, Mike Singh on Saturday launched a US$100 million venture capital fund at the 2018 Digital Wealth Creation Summit.Telkom Caribe Group Chairman and CEO Mike SinghSingh, who was one of the featured speakers at the event held at the Marriott, which saw the attendance of hundreds of persons, said that many brilliant ideas died because very often borrowers did not have the collateral to access loans.While declaring that sometimes banks “kill entrepreneurship”, Singh, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telkom Caribe Group, a telecommunications company based in Miami, Florida, announced the setting up of this fund to the applause of a receptive audience of mostly young people.Singh, whose business has offices in Abu Dhabi and South Africa, was critical of Government’s efforts to promote and capitalise on the use of modern digital technology. He shared with the audience how surprised and shocked he was that almost the entire hinterland region was without Internet.The Indigenous people of Guyana account for 12 per cent of the total population, and they should demand from Government that they too are connected, he said. “If I were them, I would have hold whoever is in power and say that ‘don’t fix the net, we not voting for you’. They are Guyanese too and they are being left behind,” he told a cheering audience on Saturday.Speaking of his experience of working and travelling to different countries around the world, Singh said even Afghanistan in the midst of war had Internet service, but the Kaieteur National Park had “literally no Internet there”.A section of the gathering at the Digital Wealth Creation Summit held over the weekendThe businessman and philanthropist said for the coastal region, the bandwidth was also poor and stated that it must be improved in order for Guyana to reap the full benefits of digital wealth. “What we need is fibre. We don’t need 50 megawatts, we need one gigabyte,” he asserted.Singh continued, “Because you cannot fuel innovation and wealth creation in the country in the Internet age unless you have bandwidth. Bandwidth helps to fuel intellectual capital growth and innovation. Your competition is not here in Guyana, but some man from India, or Shanghai.”While declaring that many jobs would be replaced with technology in the near future, Singh said before Guyana could begin to create Internet wealth and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, “we need to solve the bandwidth quagmire and liberate the people of this country from the digital constipation they are forced to live with”.Intellectual capitalAnother important topic Singh touched on was the need to safeguard intellectual capital of locals. The businessman is of the strong opinion that the laws in relation to this are sadly inadequate. He has advised that policy decision makers have more discussions around this with the aim of trying to set a stage for this to take effect in Guyana. This area, he claimed, has the potential to create massive wealth.Singh also raised concerns over the country’s reluctance to embrace fully the new Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet, is already being used in many countries, especially those in the developed world.The Summit, which was hosted for the second year, was aimed especially for entrepreneurs (whether veteran or aspiring); service professionals; students; or anyone who has a burning dream and desire to do what they love and to relentlessly pursue their dreams.Some of the speakers and presenters included: Dr Rosh Khan, the brain behind the event who is the CEO of the Masterclass Institute and SocialRankMedia as well as the local franchise holder/lead consultant of FranklinCovey; Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes; Gabriel Abed, the founder of Bitt.com, a Barbados-based blockchain startup; Ramesh Persaud, the CEO of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED); Valrie Grant, founder and Managing Director of GeotechVision, and Samantha Sheoprasad –a 2017 recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award.