Finance, Afriland Bank, Ink MOU

first_imgThe Ministry of Finance has taken a major step in an effort to decentralize its treasury functions across the country, particularly in rural Liberia.The Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding(MOU) with a local bank to operate cash centers in two counties.Finance Minister Amara Mohammed Konneh last week disclosed that he had signed the MOU in Monrovia, authorizing the Afriland First Bank to operate the cash centers in River Gee and Grand Kru Counties.According to Minister Konneh, the MOU is part of an overall effort of the government of Liberia—through the Finance Ministry—to expand fiscal operations at the county level, by taking services to grass-root communities, in order to encourage growth and development across the country.The Finance Minister also noted that the MOU exemplifies government’s plan to decentralize some of its treasury functions in the counties, in a bid to improve their capacity for fiscal decentralization as planned.Currently, out of 15 counties, only nine are served by either commercial banks or the Central Bank of Liberia. As a result, the Ministry of Finance charters United Nations (UN) flights on a monthly basis to deliver salaries to government staff working in those areas.To solve this problem, the Finance Ministry has started to construct cash centers in some of the counties. The first step in this direction was taken by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Gbarpolu County. in July last year.The primary objective of the cash center is to enable civil servants conveniently and timely access their salaries, a Finance Ministry statement said. However, the cash centers need to be operated by a professional team; therefore, the offer to the commercial banks to partner with the government in operating the centers for mutual benefits is crucial, as paying civil servants in these areas of employment increase their purchasing power.It was in this light that the Finance Ministry sought the partnership of commercial banks for the provision of cash services and other related banking services in Grand Kru and River Gee Counties. Afriland First Bank, a legally registered banking institution in the country, expressed interest in the cash center activity.Afriland First Bank is a hybrid (deposit-taking and agriculture) banking institution. It is expected that the MOU inked between the Finance Ministry and the Bank will help to empower the local people through the provision of loans and other financial services. The government of Liberia will, this paper has learnt, use the Bank for revenue deposit and will partner with it to foster timely payment of civil servant salaries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Branding South Africa with one message

first_imgThe purpose of the conference is to ensure that South Africa communicates with one voice both domestically and internationally leading up to and beyond 2010.“We are already looking beyond 2010 to where we want to position South Africa in the next decade,” says Yvonne Johnston, the CEO of the IMC. “A major event such as the soccer World Cup attracts global attention but it has to be supported by strategies and structures to ensure a lasting legacy.”“Our objective is to establish Brand South Africa as one of the most prominent and desirable global brands,” says Johnston.Germany 2006 has shown that making the best of the opportunities offered by such an enormous event entails more than hosting soccer games successfully. The host country must brand itself at the same time, as was done so well by the Germans.Therefore one of the key-note speakers at the conference will be the man who did just that for Germany, Mike de Vries. He is the CEO of the branding company FC Deutschland GmbH.Another speaker is internationally renowned Raul Parelba from Spain, who will focus on the branding and marketing opportunities provided by a major event. He is Director Partner of Trout & Partners, the global positioning specialists.The speakers and their topics include:Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad, who will look at opportunities for the continent brought about by the World Cup.The CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Themba Maseko, who will spell out the government’s commitment to and expectations for 2010.Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, who will highlight marketing opportunities for local corporates.Thaninga Shope-Linney, NEPAD’s general manager for communications and outreach, who will add to Minister Pahad’s continental perspective on the 2010 World Cup.Wolfgang Grulke, CEO of FutureWorld will look at Africa and South Africa in the 21st century. Yvonne Johnston, CEO of the IMC, will also be speaking at the Conference – spelling out Brand South Africa’s future strategy in her address. She has very high expectations of the Conference, describing it as “a tremendous opportunity for the world view South Africa even more positively and Alive with Possibility than it does now.”This conference is being hosted in collaboration with the 2010 National Communications Task Team.last_img read more

Pirates lift Telkom Knockout Cup

first_imgSAinfo reporter After missing out on the title in six previous journeys to the final, Orlando Pirates finally lifted the Telkom Knockout Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night after a 3-1 win over Bidvest Wits. The victory continued a superb run of silverware winning form; “the Buccaneers” are also the current MTN 8, Nedbank Cup and Absa Premier League champions. It is an unprecedented achievement. “Congratulations for our players. We have a wonderful squad with high quality. “Thank you also for our fans, who filled the stadium tonight. The Clever Boys’ lead did not last long, however, as Klate put Pirates in front seven minutes later. After breaking inside from wide on the right, he struck a sharp left-footed shot past Murambadoro to set the Pirates-dominated crowd roaring. Wits’ striker Sifiso Vilakazi enjoyed his side’s best chance of the first half in the 43rd minute, but his header passed wide of the goal. Pirates’ coach Julio Leal, not surprisingly, was delighted with his charges and praise rolled off his tongue after the match when he spoke to Football365.co.za. “It’s important to get this historic cup for the first time in our history, especially against top class opposition like Wits. 12 December 2011 Roaring startPirates got off to a roaring start when they took the lead after only three minutes through Thulasizwe Mbuyane, which the midfielder celebrated with relish. LevelThe Students pulled level 20 minutes into the second half when captain Sifiso Myeni beat Moneeb Josephs with a shot through the Pirates’ goalkeeper’s legs after getting onto the end of a pass from the right.center_img Ndumiso Mabena could have doubled the Buccaneers’ advantage less than 10 minutes later, but, after he had rounded Wits’ goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro, he failed to hit the target. Despite that astonishing record, it was far from a certainty that Pirates would add the Telkom Knockout Cup to their trophy cabinet. Not only was history against them, but Wits had handily defeated them 3-1 recently. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Just before the break, Klate tested the goalie again with a good effort, but the Zimbabwean international was up to the task and pulled off a good save to his right. Then, with less than 10 minutes to play, Pirates’ substitute Tlou Segolela made sure his wide would win when, after a super run, he set up Isaac Chansa for a third goal. Chansa finished with composure to make the final score 3-1. RainingIt was raining in Durban, which made conditions underfoot heavy, something that clearly irritated Wits’ coach Roger De Sa, who was less than complimentary about the pitch after the game. Wide of the markIn the 34th minute, Benni McCarthy robbed S’boniso Gumede of the ball and raced through to force a one-on-one with Murambadoro. His curling shot was, however, wide of the mark. “Two trophies this season, together with the three last season, shows this team is good and the management is good.” Daine Klate set it up by beating Lehlogonolo Maselelsa before laying on an inviting ball for Mbuyane, who was able to almost walk the ball into the net.last_img read more

Search & Display Over 10 Million Historical Government Records, Thanks to the National Archives

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Government#NYT#web The National Archives says it plans to add additional functionality in the coming year, including the ability to zoom into images and pan through the archives’ holdings. The National Archives and Records Administration launches an Online Public Access prototype today, making available to the public millions of digitized government records. The effort is part of the National Archives’ plan to provide better online services and better access to historical government documents.The Online Public Access prototype provides access to and information about the National Archives’ records. It is a centralized mean to search and display information from multiple National Archives resources. “People have asked us for a Google-like search,” says the National Archives’ Pam Wright, “which I think this really provides.” Currently, the prototype contains all the data from the Archival Research Catalog and several series from the Access to Archival Databases – around 10.9 million electronic records. In addition, the new search engine provides access to 1 million records from the Electronic Records Archives, which aren’t available elsewhere online.It isn’t simply the breadth of the collection that makes this a great tool; it’s the presentation of the information. The digital copy of the item is large and central, and all the pertinent catalog information is also easy to read. audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Unfolding Community Resilience

first_imgUnfoldingMaking energy-efficient buildings — even net-zero energy ones — will not maintain our communities in the face of a radically different adverse conditions. Going forward, we must think and practice beyond the building by using whole-systems thinking to build resilient communities.“Unfolding,” a core idea of architect Christopher Alexander’s thinking, will serve as a useful guide to this discussion.(1)Unfolding occurs when one walks the land to discern what the land wants built. This process meanders and is nonlinear. It takes time. We can see ourselves as being in the same unfolding process with the shift from sustainability to resilience. We must observe and sit with the earth and the concept of resilience so we can determine what to do next.Sustainability has served as the NESEA mantra for many decades. I believe it is time to envision a new, more holistic mission. Sustainability is about limiting adverse impacts of people on the the planet through reduction of our natural resource use. By contrast, as C.S. Hollings said, “Resilience is a way of conceptualizing the ability to change and adapt. The best resilient systems don’t just bend and snap back. They get stronger because of stress. They learn.”We think most often about resilience in terms of our response to natural disasters. Andrew Zolli describes resilience as the product of the response of various professions. For the emergency responder, the focus is getting people safe and critical systems back up. The psychologist helps people deal with trauma. Businesses install redundant systems so the doors stay open for customers.Although their specific responses differ, these three professions — emergency responder, psychologist, and business person — employ a common approach. They adapt, aim to foster continuity, and learn from adversity. Resilience does not mean a community returns to its original state. Both people and systems must anticipate what to change so the community might better withstand future shocks. This blog was originally posted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association as part of this year’s BuildingEnergy conference in Boston. Robert Leaver has over 38 years of experience as a convener and facilitator. He will speak at sessions on March 4 and again on March 5.“May we live in interesting times,” goes the ancient Chinese saying, conveying both a blessing and a warning. In the face of extreme weather conditions — unusual and repetitive water, heat, and wind events — and severe depletions of natural resources, the landscape that NESEA practitioners face differs greatly from that of our predecessors. In these interesting times we think we know what to do — make tighter buildings — but in reality we must begin to address much larger issues in the resilience of the communities around our buildings.At the BuildingEnergy conferences in 2013 and 2014, I served as a co-chair for the Resilient Cities track. This article was inspired by those rich conversations, which made it clear that sustainability thinking and practice will not be enough to make our communities thrive.We must move beyond sustainability and embrace resiliency. Resilient buildingsWe face a central question when it comes to the resiliency of our building stock: rebuild on or retreat from land hit by a natural disaster? Going forward, we must learn from building performance in natural disasters, then use that intelligence to determine where to build. We should not automatically rebuild what was there before, because the risks of the past are not the risks of the future. Instead of rebuilding, we ought to analyze the conditions to establish criteria for retreating or rebuilding. RELATED ARTICLES Designing Homes and Communities That Can Survive a DisasterResilient CommunitiesIt Takes a Village to Be Resilient Designing Houses and Communities To Be Smarter and More ResilientResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsMaking the Case for Resilient DesignGreen Building Priority #9 – Create Resilient HousesMaking Houses Resilient to Power OutagesLocal Food and ResilienceResilience as a Driver of ChangeDesigning for the Future Resiliency means not just rebuilding, but learning from disaster to create a better future. One disaster prepares a community for others. As the community leaders of Newtown, Connecticut, said: “Without the experience of the previous hurricane and snowstorm, the town would not have come through, with resilience, the shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school.” What the town learned from severe weather, it was able to apply to an entirely different sort of tragedy. It was, in a word, resilient. Resilient communitiesResearch demonstrates that communities with tighter ties among people — regardless of age, sex, race, or class — survive threats of extreme weather, heat, or flooding better than those with loose ties.We must create people and neighborhoods that can survive and even thrive after a disaster. Yes, the buildings must be resilient, but so must the people living in and around them. As designers, we must keep asking: Where are the areas of public community refuge?Developing community resilience requires a network of local businesses that agree to stay open when disaster hits to provide for basic needs like food. We must develop an information infrastructure to disseminate this information.Think about your neighborhood. In the face of a disaster, does the social fabric come together or tear apart? What is the community connectivity rating or altruism index? (This can be measured by the presence of community gathering places such as farmers’ markets, spiritual places, and bars.) The presence of known community resources tempers hostile resource wars in the face of scarcity.Neighborhoods need known public places of community refuge that have the basic resources for survival, places where people know they can go in a disaster. Distribute lists of mobile phone numbers of people in your neighborhood. What is the walking score to reach the basic amenities of your place? If there is no gas for your car or transportation, where are the amenities you need that you can walk to?After a disaster, members of a community are the brains for directing and organizing recovery and learning. The recovery effort has to be collaborative and consensus-based or we all suffer. Communities can identify the natural neighborhood conveners and organize them in advance. Build community resilience peer-to-peer, one person at a time.In Connecticut, for example, volunteer Community Emergency Response Teams go house to house after a disaster to check on people’s well-being. Their work supports first responders and frees them for work requiring higher levels of training. In Boston, the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition holds an emergency preparedness pie-eating party to inform community members about available resources. Resilient infrastructure and systemsA resilient community must have flexible infrastructure, both for information and services. Smart phones, for example, can be used in emergency communication mode by disabling data downloads and camera use. This emergency approach maximizes the life of the phone and provides access over a longer period of time.When designing, we can think about what utilities and resources are underground, and try to get them moved above ground. In an emergency situation with limited fuel and electricity, getting to underground utilities becomes very difficult. We should consider all hazards such as wind, heat, and flooding in both buildings and communities. How does a building operate? How does its landscaping interact with the forces of nature? We should look at the vulnerability of assets in the face of multiple hazards. Resilient soul of the worldSoul is a slippery notion. It is murky, squishy, and even, at times, dark. One might say soul is what is underneath our culture: the underground, muddy, the underbelly. But soul holds up the culture; it keeps us unfolding in community. With soul comes intimacy and reflection.Our experience of soul might occur as we walk on the street and stop in our tracks, arrested by the face of an elder or the patina of an old building. Soul does its work when it slows us down to experience another face or look at a parking meter. It is the continuous layering of memories, of our collective stories as well as our tales of rogues and community leaders.Memories are honored in what was built at different times, for different purposes, and with different architectural styles. A building does not have to be classical or traditional to reveal soul. Soul is what is unknown, either longing to be revealed or to remain unknown, or what is unfinished, what is to come next in a place.To experience soul, we must let go of our rational minds and drop into it. We can’t fully know the soul of a place through our head. To glimpse the richness of soul in a place, we must feel it. The soulful way is slowly attending to the particulars of a place: —that lamp post, this curb, that storefront—all arresting us in profound imagination.The door into soul is not the mind, but aesthetics. Here we are, at the root of aesthetics, breathing in through our senses, noting an arresting image or experiencing the presence of another person on the street. The heart is opened, the body tingles—that is the aesthetic response. Beauty is present.Soul reveals beauty, which is what must be present in a neighborhood for us to bond with the place and each other. Resilience requires these tight bonds. And without a deep sense of soul, community resilience is a fleeting potential. Four moves toward resilienceWe can explore our move toward resilience in four areas: community, buildings, infrastructure, and the “soul of the world.”Already part of our practice, the areas of buildings and infrastructure will come easily to NESEA members. Fostering community and soul, although harder goals to grasp, are vital for improving the human condition. These two areas are discussed in depth below, as they are the least familiar to most of us and arguably the most important to understand. CodaAs practitioners and thinkers we have much to learn about resilience of communities, buildings, the infrastructure, and the soul of the world. It will be a whole system in action. We are in for bigger and bigger shocks. Right now we need less science and a bit more art until the science beyond building science is better known. And even as we evolve the science, art and aesthetics must be present shaping our places.last_img read more