LIBA Urges Gov’t to Enforce Liberianization Law

first_imgMr. James M. Strother, president, Liberia Business Association (LIBA)-Lauds GOL for prioritizing Liberian businesses in its PADPThe Liberia Business Association (LIBA) has called for the robust and uncompromising implementation of the Liberianization law, an instrument that gives explicit rights for local entrepreneurs to have exclusive operational rights in certain businesses.Enshrined in Liberia’s Investment Act of 2010, the policy of setting specific businesses aside to be done by Liberians has never yielded the anticipated outcomes as local businesses continue to strive in the shadows of their foreign counterparts since the inception of the law.But with the official launch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) flagship development program, the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PADP), LIBA says there is no better time for local businesses to boom or become more vibrant than under a leadership that was propelled to power by the ordinary masses.At a press conference in Paynesville, LIBA president James M. Strother lauded the government for the launching of the development agenda and for specifically highlighting local businesses. He, however, proffered series of recommendations to the government, which according to him, would lead to the creation of more jobs through micro, small and medium-sized Liberian enterprises.The Investment Act of 2010 exclusively gives ownership right to Liberians in several business activities, including the supply of sand, block making, peddling, travel agencies, retail sale of rice and cement, ice making and sale of ice, tire repair shops, auto repair shops with investments of less than US$50,000 and shoe repair shops.Other businesses reserved for only Liberians in the Act include the retail sale of timber and planks, operation of gas stations, video clubs, operation of Taxis, importation or sale of second-hand or used clothing, distribution in Liberia of locally manufactured products and importation and sales of used cars (except authorized dealerships which may deal in certified used of their make).The law also provides for at least 25 percent of all Public Procurement Contracts entered into by all government institutions including State – owned enterprises to be allocated and provided to Liberian – owned MSMEs, at least five percent of which are allocated and provided to women – owned MSMEs.Speaking at the Association’s office in Paynesville, LIBA president called for a comprehensive enforcement of the Investment Act of 2010.“As prime partners to the developmental goals of government, we welcome the launch of the agenda. We affirm our commitment and fullest support for the implementation of the PAPD in the interest of the wholesome improvement of the people of Liberia,” he said.“We are particularly inspired by President Weah’s desire to restructure and revisit the programs around Liberian businesses in terms of having access to finance and human capacity development,” Mr. Strother said.Mr. Strother said that these are intended to enhance Liberia’s participation in the creation of wealth in the Liberian economy. “We at LIBA see this as government’s willingness to conform to the President’s explicit statement that Liberians should not be spectators in their own economy,” he said.Improving local businesses falls under Pillar II of the PAPD which, among others things, calls for transforming the business regulatory environment and climate: (doing business and cross-border trade improvement).Mr. Strother also called for the provision of dedicated and well-targeted stimulus plan to address emergency capital needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) owned and operated by Liberians.“LIBA will provide its expertise to ensure that the stimulus plan is well designed and implemented to minimize risks abuse and repayment,” Mr. Strother added. He urged strong enforcement of Section 4.1(c) of the small business empowerment law.However, adhering or enforcing the Liberianization law has been very difficult over the years, as the policy is frequently manipulated by some higher-ups in government who undermine the law with their personal interests. Also, foreign business people have somehow been engaged in some of these reserved businesses.An investigation conducted by the House Standing Committee on Commerce, Trade, and Industry a few years ago revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) made several changes to the Investment Act of 2010 in favor of foreign businesses.In its report entitled, “Stakeholders Engagement for A Better Legislative Oversight,” the Committee noted that during its consultation with stakeholders of the business sector, it found out that there is an addendum to the act which was passed into law on May 15, 2010, that gives right to foreigners to invest in businesses that were set aside only for Liberians.The controversial portion of the law denounced by the lawmakers points out that, “Foreign investors may invest in the following business activities provided that where such enterprises are owned exclusively by non-Liberians, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$500,000; and, where such a listed enterprise is owned by non-Liberian in partnership with Liberian and the aggregate shareholding of the Liberian is at least 25 percent, the total capital invested shall not be less than US$300,000.”Businesses concerned are the production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, commercial printing, advertising agencies, graphics, and commercial artists, cinemas, production of poultry and poultry products and the operation of water purification or bottling plant.The LIBA president hopes that all of these will be addressed by the new government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Video: Watch youngster Toral score a hat-trick for Brentford

first_imgJon Toral scores a hat-trick as Brentford crush Blackpool 4-0 at Griffin Park to stay on the cusp on the play-off places.See also:Toral keen to use Brentford experienceFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Warriors HQ Podcast: Draymond Green returns to Oracle Arena, Demarcus Cousins recovers in Santa Cruz

first_img“It’s now inevitable no one can beat the Warriors,” beat writer Mark Medina told Logan Murdock as they opened this week’s episode of WarriorsHQ after a breezy 116-108 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “If anyone was going to get their shots in, it was going to be earlier in the season.”Murdock countered with the observation that the Warriors’ victory against the Timberwolves was “one of their worse games” of the season and pointed to Coach Steve Kerr’s unhappiness with the team’s …last_img

McGregor equals Berg Canoe record

first_imgThere was a massed start for the 56-kilometre final stage from Zoutkloof to the West Coast fishing town of Velddrif, which meant that all McGregor had to do was to stay with the front bunch to secure the overall race victory. After a flawless day on a full river, he sprinted away from a six-boat bunch to cross the finishing line alone while celebrating his sixth title in style. Hank McGregor paddled his way into the canoeing record books by equalling Robbie Herreveld’s six victories in the Berg River Canoe Marathon on the weekend. McGregor secured the title in style, while the enthralling women’s race went the way of 19-year-old debutant Robyn Kime. 21 July 2009 “This is such a special race to take part in, let alone to win,” said McGregor. “The obstacles and the sheer distances of each stage make it the toughest race I have ever done. “At one stage we got stuck in a fence and had to break the wire to get free. We then ran out of water and had to carry our boats for 200 metres to get back into the river.” MENHank McGregor 13:22.54Lance King 13:25.58 Graeme Solomon 13:32.04 Pieter-Willem Basson 13:33.54 Heinrich Schloms 13:37.27 Pierre Andre Rabie 13:44.43Ernest van Riet 14:02.05Edgar Boehm Jnr 14:03.10 Andrew Birkett 14:10.53 Cornelius Human 14:14.05 Two paddlers made race history by becoming the first competitors to complete the Berg River Canoe Marathon history 40 times: Andre Collins and Giel van Deventer reached the milestone after enjoying a hitch-free final stage to Velddrif, where they both received heroes welcomes. Women’s raceThe women’s race had provided captivating action on each of the race’s first three days and heading into the final stage pre-race favourite Robyn Kime was on the back foot after a series of disasters on the critical first stage left her nearly five minute adrift of Lindi-May Harmsen. Pierre-Andre Rabie was the first under-21 paddler to cross the line, finishing in sixth place overall, while Joseph Williams took the juniors’ title in 51st place overall. Team competitionMcGregor and King paved the way for their Team Epic to claim the team prize comfortably, with fellow team mates Pieter-Willem Basson and Heinrich Schloms all finishing in the top-five, thus ensuring victory over Graeme Solomon’s Team Roamer Rand. When Harmsen made a critical error – her first of the race – by taking a channel that proved to be a long-way around a bend, it left the door open for Kime to scamper away to claim the women’s title by six minutes. She became only the fourth women in the history of the race to win it on debut. “For the start of the race, this sneak channel was banned,” said a clearly frustrated McGregor. “When I got to Oordraplek I double-checked with the race official, who told me that we had to stay in the main channel, which is what I did. I was very surprised to see the five-boat chasing bunch suddenly arrive on my tail a hundred metres behind me at the finish.” By the time that two women started side-by-side on the final stage, Harmsen’s lead had been whittled down to 52 seconds. center_img ‘It was a bit nerve-wracking”There were some anxious moments for the front bunch as they charged down the full river and across flooded vleis. “It was a bit nerve racking,” admitted McGregor. “Obviously I am disappointed,” said Harmsen. “For a while I could see Robyn (Kime) ahead of me after she got a lead when we went over some fences, but then all of a sudden she was gone. But full credit to her, she paddled like a steam train today.” ‘I dreamt of possibly winning it’“Ever since I was kid growing up in the Cape I wanted to do this race, and dreamt of possibly winning it.” Second place went to Lance King, which was his best ever paddling result. “I am over the moon,” he bubbled afterwards. “I have paid my dues on this race, taken more than my fair share of wrong channels, and had my share of admin. So to have it all come together like this feels very special.” WOMENRobyn Kime 15:26.07Lindi-May Harmsen 15:32.11 Jemma Hofmeyer 15:50.08Angie Gafney 16:15.34Lisa Scott 16:23.21 RESULTS McGregor’s finish was more dramatic than had been anticipated; he saw a 500-metre lead that he had worked hard to establish evaporate when the five men chasing him took a short-cut on the long final loop in the river before Velddrif. Collins was quick to congratulate Van Deventer when he made it to the finish and promised to share a “bottle of great 20-year-old” with him after the race. “This has got to be one of the best Bergs ever,” enthused Collins. “The weather and water has been magnificent – warm, blue skies and a full river. I had the pleasure paddling with Willem van Riet (who took part in the first ever Berg in 1962) on the third stage and we agreed that this has been one of the best.” McGregor also savoured the shared record with “King of the Berg” Robbie Herreveld. “It’s fantastic to share his record,” he reckoned. “Simply to be mentioned in the same sentence as Robbie is an honour and a privilege. Maybe he will make a comeback next year and we can race it together!” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Did the FBI Build Backdoors Into OpenBSD?

first_imgThe FBI is being accused of planting backdoors in the security-focused open source operating system OpenBSD. OpenBSD is used in commercial security products such as firewalls from Calyptix and .vantronix. Thus far, a code audit has not revealed any backdoors in OpenBSD but some bugs have been found.Earlier this week, OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt forwarded an e-mail from Gregory Perry, former CTO of the defunct security company NETSEC, to the OpenBSD mailing list. NETSEC paid developers to contribute to OpenBSD during the 90s. Perry claims that former NETSEC developer Jason Wright and his development team inserted backdoors into the OpenBSD Crypto Framework under the direction of the FBI – a claim Wright firmly denies. Perry claims to be coming forward now because his 10 year nondisclosure agreement with the FBI has expired.From Perry’s e-mail:If you will recall, a while back I was the CTO at NETSEC and arranged funding and donations for the OpenBSD Crypto Framework. At that same time I also did some consulting for the FBI, for their GSA Technical Support Center, which was a cryptologic reverse engineering project aimed at backdooring and implementing key escrow mechanisms for smart card and other hardware-based computing technologies.My NDA with the FBI has recently expired, and I wanted to make you aware of the fact that the FBI implemented a number of backdoors and side channel key leaking mechanisms into the OCF, for the express purpose of monitoring the site to site VPN encryption system implemented by EOUSA, the parent organization to the FBI. Jason Wright and several other developers were responsible for those backdoors, and you would be well advised to review any and all code commits by Wright as well as the other developers he worked with originating from NETSEC.From 2001 until 2003, it was funded by a grant from DARPA. Perry suggests that the reason OpenBSD lost its DARPA funding is that DARPA got wind of the FBI’s backdoors. At the time, de Raadt speculated that the funding was dropped due to antiwar statements he made in the press. Perry also alleges that Scott Lowe, VMWare-Cisco Solutions Principal at EMC, is on the FBI’s payroll and that Lowe’s advocacy for OpenBSD VMs in enterprise VMware vSphere deployments is motivated by his connection to the FBI. Lowe denies this and told IT World:Mr. Perry is mistaken. I am not, nor have I ever been, affiliated with or employed by the FBI or any other government agency. Likewise, I have not ever contributed a single line of code to OpenBSD; my advocacy is strictly due to appreciation of the project and nothing morede Raadt writes that he published Perry’s e-mail so that:(a)those who use the code can audit it for these problems,(b) those that are angry at the story can take other actions,(c) if it is not true, those who are being accused can defend themselves.Wright responded via the OpenBSD mailing list. An excerpt of his response:I will state clearly that I did not add backdoors to the OpenBSD operating system or the OpenBSD crypto framework (OCF). The code I touched during that work relates mostly to device drivers to support the framework. I don’t believe I ever touched isakmpd or photurisd (userland key management programs), and I rarely touched the ipsec internals (cryptodev and cryptosoft, yes). However, I welcome an audit of everything I committed to OpenBSD’s tree.CNET’s Declan McCullagh spotted the following tweet from former FBI agent E.J. Hilbert: Rob Beck, director of the OpenBSD Foundation, adds another level to the paranoid in this e-mail:Is it simply a way to spread FUD and discredit openbsd?Is it a personal gripe with the accused?Is it an attempt to manipulate what is used in the market?Is it outright liesIs it outright truth and genuine altruism?He also notes:Of course in these days of binary only blob drivers, I don’t think the government need resort to this sort of tactic these days. Those nice binary-only drivers everyone loves running for video and wireless will ensure that there are nice places in your favorite Open Source project that can be coopted quietly by government organizations and have access to your entire kernel. No need to be subtle.McCullagh’s CNET article includes a nice history of government snooping. I covered the subject for Disinfo a few years ago, including Julian Assange’s now defunct Rubberhose project. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… klint finley 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#enterprise IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

The Creative Web: Is SoundCloud the YouTube of Audio?

first_imgSoundCloud recently went over 3 million registered users. Given its growth and the fact that popular musicians are using it, is SoundCloud a threat to MySpace? I checked out Lykke Li’s MySpace page and the most recent entry is a link to a new song she just posted to SoundCloud (not available on MySpace). That song has 58 comments, as at time of writing. So yes, SoundCloud is a threat to MySpace. SoundCloud is hosting popular new music, tthere is social commentary happening around that music, and the site is becoming increasingly popular.What then of Fred Wilson’s hope that other audio creativity will blossom on SoundCloud? Wilson recorded a podcast on SoundCloud recently to explain. He noted that “the web is still too quiet, there’s not enough audio expression happening” – meaning podcasting, spoken word, even poetry. In that podcast, Wilson defined SoundCloud as an “online platform for audio expression and sharing on the Web and mobile devices.” “What YouTube is for video,” he said, “SoundCloud is for audio.” (at the end of 2008, Wilson called SoundCloud “Flickr for Musicians,” which indicates how the product has evolved since then: from a musician-focused service to a consumer-focused one that nevertheless still relies on musicians).Wilson elaborated further in a comment in his blog: “I believe that mobile phones as recording devices and tablets ascreation devices and “audio exhaust” from gaming are all game changersfor audio creation and sharing.”I’m skeptical that podcasting or spoken word audio will ever become a widespread activity on the Web. The problem is that listening to podcasts and spoken word audio requires focus – it just doesn’t fit into the fast-moving, multi-tasking media world we’re all living in. Audio will most likely never be shared and curated on a mass scale, like video is on YouTube.However, my guess is that SoundCloud won’t even need the audio aspect. It’s already got popular music acts like 50 Cent, R.E.M., Lykke Li, Foo Fighters and Deadmau5 using its service. And the platform is very impressive: the API being used by Hype Machine and others, widgets galore, over 100 apps hooked into it.Do you use SoundCloud? I’m curious to hear your thoughts too on the audio creation aspect of the product, do you think that will pan out? 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout There are no shortage of consumption apps on the Web, especially since the iPad (in many ways the ultimate Web consumption device) arrived on the scene. But what about content creation apps? In the Web 2.0 era, we saw the rise of blogging platforms, social networks, and media sharing services like Flickr and YouTube. Some people say that 2011 will be about content curation, via services like Twitter and Tumblr. But I think there’s still a lot of action in the content creation space. I’ll be exploring some of the best and most promising content creation services over the coming weeks here on ReadWriteWeb, in a series called ‘The Creative Web.’The first service we’ll look at is a startup from Berlin, Germany, called SoundCloud. It’s a platform to publish music and audio to the Web – and it’s been experiencing rapid growth.Two prominent VC firms invested in SoundCloud earlier this year: Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures. Fred Wilson of the former believes that it won’t just be music that pushes SoundCloud to a mass audience, but other audio such as podcasts. That seems like a risky bet, but there’s a good chance SoundCloud will become big anyway – via music alone. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#music#web center_img SoundCloud is being used by professional musicians and amateurs alike. It’s also become a platform for other online music services, such as The Hype Machine and We Are Hunted. Trending alternative pop singer Lykke Li has been using SoundCloud to publish songs from her upcoming new album, Wounded Rhymes. There are also remixes of Li’s songs on her SoundCloud. Indeed, one of SoundCloud’s best features is that it allows artists to collaborate with others – including their fans – on remixes. 50 Cent and R.E.M. have both launched remix contests recently using SoundCloud. richard macmanus 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts last_img read more

Australian Startup Launches Prefab Passivhaus Line

first_imgThermal performance can be scaled upThe R-values of walls and the roof in Superpod are listed by PHI as R-4.2 in the walls and R-7.7 in the roof. These are European R-values, however; the unit is m2·°C/W. Translated to U.S. R-values (ft2·°F·hr/Btu), the walls are R-23.8 and the roof is R-43.7.Kingspan lists a variety of insulated wall and ceiling panels. Some walls panels, for example, are 6 inches thick with an R-value of more than 43, according to the company’s website.The R-value of the panels could be increased if needed for different climate zones, while the size of the steel framing members could be increased to meet the structural loads of multistory buildings, McKenzie said.“The walls and roof are completely scalable,” she wrote. “The panels are not SIPs so they can be any width and go up high, and the internal frame is engineered to suit the weight of them.”The original Superpod uses triple-pane vinyl windows. There is a heat pump for space conditioning and a vacuum tube solar collector for domestic hot water.McKenzie didn’t offer details on how a Superpod is assembled, particularly when it comes to air-sealing.“We have a patent pending,” she wrote, “but it is important to retain some confidentiality around our details, which are proprietary. Especially our thermal break and airtight solutions, which have taken a long time to develop.” UPDATED on August 14, 2015A house made from insulated steel panels and a steel frame has been certified by the Passivhaus Institut (PHI) and now the Australian company behind the project says that it would like to get the Superpod into full production.The modernist design has few frills, but the company says that it goes up quickly, is made from durable, low-maintenance materials, and is a “blank slate” that can be customized by its owner.There is but a single Superpod, built in 2014 in Wonthaggi, Victoria, a town near the coast southeast of Melbourne, but the fledgling company that built it is looking for partners to expand the company’s reach. Founding director Fiona McKenzie said by email that the startup is now capable of shipping Superpods to sites outside of Australia, but would prefer to find fabricators and builders in the U.S. and elsewhere to manufacture and assemble components closer to their final destination.The company was launched in February.The first Superpod, built with “a lot of donated product,” has 73 square meters of conditioned floor area, roughly 748 square feet, according to its listing at PHI’s website. The walls and roof incorporate steel-faced polyisocyanurate panels manufactured by Kingspan. The framework is hollow-section steel tube measuring 100 mm by 100 mm (about 4 inches on a side).A Superpod of 75 square meters (768 square feet) would cost about $280,000 (AU), McKenzie said, or $204,100 in U.S. dollars. That’s $273 (US) per square foot.last_img read more