Dr. Darren WilkinsThat too Will Help Spark Economic Growth and Modernity.By Dr. Darren Wilkins (Email: DWilkins@SaharaTechnology.Com Tel: 0777129092 & 0886703789)As part of his vision for Liberia, President Dr. George M. Weah has expressed his determination to improve the infrastructure of the country (roads in particular), thus connecting the entire nation for economic development. His determination and passion to achieve his goals are, unparalleled and unwavering, as we have come to realize. Quite frankly, I am optimistic that he will achieve this by the fourth year of his Presidency, if not earlier. No doubt, connecting the country through paved roads will kindle significant economic growth in Liberia. New businesses will emerge, and major economic activities will occur, especially in those areas benefiting from the paved roads, sustainable electricity, etc.Another move by the President that has won my heart and the hearts of many Liberians living in rural areas, is his mandate for the construction of housing projects in those areas (rural Liberia). What’s even more commendable, if I may, is his mandate that those housing projects be built, equipped with solar power capabilities. What I garner from his actions since he took over, is that he wants to bring a level of modernity to our beloved country; something I believe, all Liberians support.Now, the President could also go beyond the building of roads and housing projects by building the much needed national telecommunications backbone, to bring affordable broadband access to the entire country. Building the national backbone concomitantly with other planned utility infrastructure projects (roads, power grids, etc.), can certainly reduce the costs. According to a feasibility study (Done by the World Bank, I believe) of the national backbone, and results from subsequent stakeholders’ meetings, a national backbone with resilient loops covering 90% of the population (roughly 4000km) will cost around or over $65 million. Again, this depends on the extent to which utility infrastructure projects are used to cut the cost of civil works. Currently, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) is going on in the rural areas, building the national backbone now, would reduce some costs. But what is this national backbone all about and how does it benefit Liberia/ns? Below, I provide some details.In 2010, Liberia took a $25.6 million loan from the World Bank to join a “Consortium” for the landing of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine fiber optic cable. The ACE cable would connect Liberia to the digital world, provide affordable broadband access for its citizens and residents, and kindle and drive economic growth, through programs like e-government, e-commerce, e-health, e-agriculture, etc. The ACE cable landed in November 2011 and became operational in January of 2013. It offered Liberia its first international Internet gateway, thus increasing access and use of the internet in the country. Since then, we have made significant progress in leveraging it (ACE Cable) in Monrovia and a few miles outside of the city. Yet, we have we have not been able to transcend Monrovia and its suburbs for citizens in other areas to benefit from the Cable. One reason for this is our inability to build a national backbone that connects major cities in the country and allow those in the rural areas considered, “un-served”, “underserved” and “marginalized”, to benefit from the ACE cable. Meanwhile, we are expected to start paying on the $25.6 million loan at some point, if not now, even though the Cable has been and is still greatly UNDERUTILIZED.Let’s backtrack a moment. In 2010 France Telecom-Orange initiated the ACE Submarine Communications Cable Project that would run from France to South Africa. This was in addition to the already deployed SAT-3 cable that our neighbor Cote d’Ivoire, had been benefitting from. The ACE Cable is a 17000 km-long submarine fiber –optic cable system that was financed with an investment of approximately $700 million and administered by a consortium. Liberia is a member of this consortium. The initial number of members connected to the cable or part of the consortium was 18 African countries; including Liberia. The capacity of the cable at the time was 5.1 Terabits. Today, that capacity has been upgraded.For Liberia to secure membership to the ACE consortium, an agreement was reached between the Government of Liberia, LIBTELCO and two other private-sector operators (Cellcom, now Orange and Lonestar MTN). This was a public-private partnership (PPP). The World Bank supported the GoL’s membership to the Consortium and later provided a loan of $25.6 million. This amount was for the cost of membership in the ACE consortium, administrative costs, and capacity building. This loan is expected to be paid back at some point, as I mentioned earlier.The $25.6 million loan had three components: The first and the largest portion of $21 million covered the cost of Internet connectivity, primarily the cost of membership in the ACE Consortium. The second component which was US$3.32 million, covered the cost of formulating and implementing policies, regulations and institutional arrangements to support long-term Internet connectivity. The third component of US$1.28 million, covered project expenses, including a project-implementation unit (PIU) based at the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), our national regulator.The GoL owns 55% shares in the ACE Cable’s distribution, LIBTELCO owns 20%, while Orange owns 10% and Lonestar MTN owns 15%. The GoL’s capacity is still sitting there; unused! The others are simply underutilized. Without a national fiber optic backbone the Cable may never be utilized to its full potential and folks in the rural areas my not benefit from it. Hence, the deployment of a national backbone is necessary at this time to drive demand for the ACE’s capacity. It will lead to a national fiber optic network that connects all cities within the country, thereby enabling last mile penetration to un-served and underserved areas. This also is in line with the Government’s Universal Access Policy. Moreover, the national backbone will facilitate better and cheaper access to communications services, provide jobs for people in the fifteen counties, and bring improvement to our struggling economy.While I ask the President and the Government to consider building the national backbone, I should state emphatically, that such an initiative requires a supportive environment facilitated by the Government, with participation from the private sector. This means, that GoL will utilize a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) approach in the deployment of a national backbone, and allow it to be managed under Open Access principles. In fact, this is something that was discussed earlier attracting interests from other players. Interest was shown by the African Development Bank, through its support for connectivity amongst the Mano River Union Member States (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire), the ECOWAS’s Regional Infrastructure initiative, which considers building the ECOWAS Wide Area Network or ECOWAN, the World Bank (WARCIP), the African Union’s PIDA, and several others from the private sector, both local and international.The development of a national backbone in Liberia is a matter of urgency, and a clear planthat stimulates strong public/private sector collaboration to build out the national backbone must be developed and explored in order to better utilize the spare capacity in the ACE submarine cable.If a PPP is considered, appropriate institutional mechanisms for management and operation of the national backbone with consideration for the structuring it’s administration to ensure transparency and accountability should also be put in place. Again, I call on the President and the GoL to consider building the national backbone while building the roads because that’s when backbone ducting are cheaper to install. Otherwise, if we build the roads first and the backbone later, we will have to break the roads as is being done today, in the CSquared Metro fiber optic network project in Monrovia. And that would be another cost!Finally, it is obvious that the telecommunications and ICT sector has seen a decline over the years; and this sector is supposed to be one of the “Cash Cow” sectors of our economy. Why the decline? Could the lack of a national fiber optic backbone be the reason? That’s it for today!Until next week, Carpe diem!!! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…tells GDF to always be prepared to defendJust over a month after the Venezuelan navy attempted to intercept a vessel conducting 3-D seismic oil exploration activities offshore Guyana, President David Granger has stated that these incursions into Guyana’s maritime and land space must be stopped.The commander-in-chief made this statement during his feature address at the opening ceremony of the Guyana Defence Force’s Annual Officers’ Conference on Thursday.According to President Granger, Guyana has always been victim to claims – by Venezuela and Suriname – on its territory despite international recognition of its land mass, territorial borders, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).He specially mentioned the December 22, 2018 incident whereby the VenezuelanCommander-in-Chief, Brigadier (retired) David Granger inspecting the Guard of Honour ahead of the opening ceremony of the Guyana Defence Force’s Officers ConferenceNavy corvette, the Karina PC-14, made a hostile incursion into Guyana’s EEZ, some 144 kilometres from the boundary that separates the two countries. A helicopter on the platform of the naval corvette attempted to land on the Ramform Tethys – an unarmed vessel contracted by ExxonMobil to undertaking seismic surveys at the western end of the Stabroek Block. The incursion forced the vessel to discontinue its operations at that time.The Head of State posited this recent aggression by Venezuela is the second naval assault against Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. He reminded of the incident back in October 2013, where a petroleum exploration vessel – RV Teknik Perdana – conducting a survey in the Roraima block offshore, in Guyana’s EEZ, was intercepted by a Venezuelan Navy frigate and ordered to cease its. That vessel was ordered to sail to Margarita Island, where it was seized for six days before being subsequently released.Furthermore, President Granger also recalled an incident involving Guyana’s Dutch neighbour. Back in June 2000, the Suriname Navy expelled a CGX licensed exploration vessel and drill ship, the C. E. Thornton, from Guyana’s waters.These, according to the Head of State, all occurred within recent memory and while Guyana remains committed to ensuring that the Caribbean and continent of South America remain a zone of peace, these incursions should end.“Incursions have occurred not only in our maritime space but also on land. Illegal mining, illegal logging, illegal arms, narcotics, people and wildlife trafficking and the smuggling of precious minerals have continued. They have to stop,” the President insisted.He pointed out that citizens have been killed, especially those living in the frontier villages. As such, he underscored the need for the safety of these communities from transnational crime.“The persistence of transnational crime alerts us to the need for continued vigilance to protect our airspace, land borders, coastline and territorial sea. Over-flights and landings by aircraft suspected of involvement in illegal activities undermine our territorial integrity and sovereignty. The influx of more than 3,000 migrants fleeing economic and political distress in Venezuela necessitates stronger controls along borders,” he asserted.The Commander-in-Chief said the GDF must always be ready to deter aggression, defend national sovereignty and ensure the development of the country as a safe, secure and strong state.“The Guyana Defence Force therefore, must maintain itself in a state of readiness to secure our entire country and protect it from present and future dangers,” he stated.Referencing the Defence Act, President Granger added, “The Force therefore is obligated to secure the state and safeguard the entire territory from invasion, incursion and insurrection. Incursions must be deterred. Insurrections must be suppressed. The state must remain secure.”The Head of State went onto acknowledge, however, the number challenges the army is faced with including its inability to effectively man the borders not only as a result of lack of human resources but because of the terrain of the hinterland region.Moreover, he noted that in addition to working to boost recruitment to 50 per cent of the strength of the regular Force, the army is also working with frontier villages to protect its territory and natural resources as well as to repel threats to human safety.“The Force is the vanguard of national defence. The Force is conscious of its duty to preserve our territory, protect our people and develop the economy by implementing our national defence doctrine. The Defence Force has been, and always must be, ready to deter aggression, defend sovereignty and ensure the development of our country as a safe, secure and strong state,” the Commander-in-Chief asserted.Meanwhile, Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, in echoing the sentiments of the President, also assured that the GDF will continue to execute its mandate, particularly as it relates to upholding the country’s territorial integrity especially in light of ongoing exploration activities offshore Guyana.This year’s GDF Officers Conference was held under the theme: “Effective Transformation for Total National Defence”.
UPDATE – RCMP say the death is not considered criminal but the cause of death has not yet been determined. They say the Medical Examiner is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.Police are also still waiting to notify all of the woman’s next of kin and will not be releasing her name until that is complete. – Advertisement -One person has been pronounced dead after being found lying in the snow outside a residence in Manning, Alta.Manning RCMP say the woman was found on Sunday at around 9:45 a.m.Police say her death is being treated as suspicious and the Peace River Major Crimes and the Peace River Forensic Identification Unit are investigating.The woman is in her 20’s and is from the Manning area but police are not releasing her name until her next of kin is notified.Advertisement Police say they have not yet determined her cause of death but an autopsy is scheduled to take place in Edmonton.Anyone with information about her death is asked to contact the Manning RCMP at 780-836-3769 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
1 Mario Balotelli Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is still loving his time on Merseyside despite the club going through an embarrassing slump.Brendan Rodgers’ side suffered their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat on Sunday with a 3-1 reverse to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.Balotelli was absent with a hamstring injury but, as usual, he courted controversy by attending a televised boxing show in the city on Saturday night dressed in his usual outlandish style.Reports since the weekend have claimed some members of the Liverpool squad are unhappy with the former Manchester City man’s contributions – or lack of – as he is yet to score a Premier League goal from nine attempts.But the 24-year-old insists he will hit the goal trail at Anfield and has vowed to repay supporters for the faith they have shown him.“I’m glad to be here [at Liverpool],” Balotelli, who arrived from AC Milan in the summer, told BeIn Sports.“I know that it’s crucial for a striker to score goals but fortunately the fans continue to love me: the Liverpool supporters are fantastic.“I’m very grateful to them for their support in what has been a difficult period for me.“When I return to scoring it will be mainly thanks to them for continuing to believe in me.”
0Shares0000Will North America or Morocco win the chance to host the 2026 World Cup © AFP/File / Patrik STOLLARZMoscow, Russian Federation, Jun 11 – FIFA members will decide on Wednesday whether the 2026 World Cup should be played in North America or in Morocco, taking football’s global showpiece to Africa for just the second time.The choice is clear — between a slick bid based on gleaming stadiums in the United States, Mexico and Canada or an ambitious attempt from Morocco based on as-yet largely unbuilt facilities. On the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, 207 FIFA member nations will cast their vote in a congress of world football’s governing body.Morocco’s bid for 2026 was only cleared to advance to the runoff vote earlier this month, despite a FIFA evaluation report that classified the north African nation’s stadiums, accommodation and transport as “high risk”.Morocco received only 2.7 out of five, with red flags raised over several critical components of the bid.A FIFA summary of the bid taskforce’s findings warned “the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated”.The report left the US-Canada-Mexico bid as the clear front-runner after giving it a rating of four out of five.– Referendum on Trump? –The North American bid leaders fear the vote could become a referendum on US President Donald Trump © AFP / Brendan SmialowskiBut the North American bid has been dogged by concerns that the vote could become a referendum on the popularity of US President Donald Trump.Bid leader Carlos Cordeiro on Monday repeated a message he has hammered out again and again in recent months — vote on us, not Trump.“We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits,” Cordeiro said in a conference call with reporters. “This is not geopolitics, we’re talking about football and what is fundamentally, at the end of the day, the best interest of football and our footballing community…. We’ve had no backlash.”The bid to bring the World Cup back to North America for the first time since 1994 has backing from former Manchester United and England midfielder David Beckham, who ended his career at LA Galaxy and is behind a nascent Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.“A football competition as big as the World Cup deserves to be in great places and if the US, Canada and Mexico get that it will be very special,” Beckham said.The US lost out to Qatar in 2022 in a vote now tarnished by corruption allegations that spelled the beginning of the end of the once all-powerful FIFA president Sepp Blatter.The corruption-tainted nature of that vote in 2010 vote prompted FIFA to overhaul its bidding process for the World Cup. Whereas previously the 24 members of the FIFA executive committee used to determine World Cup races, the hosts will now be decided by a vote of individual FIFA member nations.Critics of the Morocco bid also point to the fact that the 2026 World Cup will be the first to be expanded to 48 teams, posing a severe test for the hosts.FIFA President Gianni Infantino is believed to strongly support the North American bid because the three countries involved backed him for the presidency in 2016 when he took over after the reign of Blatter, who is being investigated in Switzerland for alleged corruption.– Fourth time lucky? –But the north Africans are still considered to be in with a genuine chance.Morocco has tried, and failed, four times before, in votes for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments — it lost out in the latter to South Africa, the only African nation ever to have hosted football’s global showpiece.Morocco has the support of many European countries, attracted by its geographical proximity, and most of Africa, in line with a call from the head of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad.But two English-speaking African countries, Liberia and South Africa, have defected to the North America bid.Morocco’s bid leader Moulay Hafid Elalamy says the bid is based on the “fervour for football in the country and the entire African continent” and promises all the host cities will be less than an hour’s flight apart.North American bid leaders countered by promising to deliver a record $11 billion profit.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
6 Burnley beaten on day one as Chelsea go top – click the yellow arrow to see more of the Blues’ key games this season – Premier League new boys Burnley gave Chelsea a fright when Scott Arfield gave the Clarets the lead at Turf Moor. However, Diego Costa scored on his debut, with Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic getting the others. Five points clear at the top following 2-0 win against Arsenal – click the yellow arrow to see more of the Blues’ key games this season – Chelsea cemented their position at the top of the Premier League here thanks to goals from Costa and Eden Hazard. It’s a game best remembered for Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger’s touchline spat Eden Hazard wraps up Premier League title – Crystal Palace put up a good fight but they couldn’t stop Chelsea winning the Premier League at Stamford Bridge 6 6 One shot on target, one goal! Chelsea seven points clear following 1-0 win against QPR – click the yellow arrow to see more of the Blues’ key games this season – Just three minutes remained at Loftus Road when Cesc Fabregas arrived to tuck away the Blues only shot on target. 6 Man United have 70 per cent of possession but Chelsea still win – click the yellow arrow to see more of the Blues’ key games this season – With this 1-0 win, thanks to Eden Hazard, who by then was well on his way to the Player of the Year award, Chelsea were two wins from the title. Celebrations at the Emirates amid ‘boring’ chants – Arsenal may have shouted ‘boring’ but John Terry was celebrating his side’s 0-0 draw, which maintained their 10-point lead. A win against Leicester meant just three more points were needed to win the title. 6 6
Former Tottenham midfielder Matthew Etherington has urged Spurs to sign West Brom forward Saido Berahino before the transfer window closes.Manager Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be looking to strengthen his attacking options before the September 1 deadline, with Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor no longer in the Argentine’s plans.Berahino is one of the players on his radar, along with Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, and it has been suggested the arrival of Salomon Rondon at the Hawthorns for a club record £12million means the 22-year-old Englishman could be on the move this summer.And Etherington claims the Baggies forward would be a good fit for Spurs, who are in desperate need of back-up for star striker Harry Kane.“Tottenham need competition for places and if Harry Kane gets injured they’re in a lot of trouble,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“Berahino looked sharp against Manchester City and moved out to the wing when Tony Pulis changed the formation.“He’s a very good player and with West Brom getting that new striker for a record fee, it’s maybe because they think Berahino may be on the move.“He’s a great, young talent, and if that is the case I think he would be a great signing for Spurs.”
The 5th Donegal (Letterkenny) Beaver and Cub Scout Sections are looking for Leaders to become involved in the coming year. The groups are run by a team of dedicated volunteers and they really need YOUR help!The Beaver Section (6 – 8 year olds) and the Cub Section (9-12 years old) run on Wednesday evenings in Trinity Hall at 7.15pm No previous Scouting experience is required, just a good sense of fun and a willingness to get involved.If you are interested in doing a good deed for this worthwhile organisation, come along on Registration night, this Wednesday at 7.15pm in the Trinity Hall.5TH DONEGAL (LETTERKENNY) BEAVERS NEED A GOOD DEED was last modified: September 10th, 2013 by StephenShare 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) Tags:5th Letterkenny and Beaver and Cub Scout
MAC CUMHAILLS GAA NEWS: Donegal Minor Footballers:Well done to Nathan Gavigan, Declan Bonner and the Donegal minor footballers in their Ulster League final win in Derry last Saturday. Senior Team Football Result:Our senior team travelled to play Fanad Gaels on Sunday afternoon. Score: Sean MacCumhaill’s – 1.12 Fanad Gaels – 0.06.Reserve Team Football Result:Our reserve team also played Fanad on Sunday afternoon but lost out by a single point. Final score: Sean Mac Cumhaills 0.10 – Fanad Gaels 2.05 Third Team Football Result:Our third team drew away to Glenties with 1-4 against Naomh Conaill 0-7.Top of FormClub Donegal Cards:We have a number of Club Donegal Cards which will grant access to the All-County League and every Club Championship game for the forthcoming season. The cards are priced at €50 for the card alone or €70 for a card plus a Club Donegal item of clothing when it arrives (possibly an O’Neill’s Polo Shirt this year). Anyone interested please contact Eugene Gallagher on 086 609 8801. Coaching Officers:The club are currently seeking people to fill the roles of Football and Hurling coaching officers within the club. These are very important roles in the club. Anyone interested in these positions please contact Minor Board Secretary Bryan Cannon on 087 623 6599.Club Lotto:The club are asking for people to help out by selling lotto’s. This would involve helping to sell 1 week out of every 7 or 8 depending on the amount of teams formed. This is an important source of funding for the club and a great way to help get involved with your club. All help available would be greatly appreciated. If interested please contact Terry O’Reilly on 086 609 5347. Lotto Results:There was no winner of this week’s Lotto. The numbers drawn were 11, 13, 20 and 28. There were no match 3 winners. Three names were pulled out: Louise Doherty, Mary Gallagher and Gary Gallen watch receive €30. Next week’s Jackpot is €4,800. Shane Mc Nulty’s team is selling this week. If you’re not in you can’t win!Bingo:The Bingo takes place in the Villa Rose on Sunday night with an 8.30pm start. The Snowball jackpot is €9,000 for 45 numbers or less. All are very welcome.Training Schedule:New players to all teams are more than welcome. If there is a change of time/location it will be noted on Facebook or sent via text. Training will cost 2 Euro every night, and all players must have their membership paid also. Please bring gum shield and a bottle of water.Training for our Under 6’s is on a Wednesday evening in St. Columba’s Hall at 6.00pm.Under-8 training is on Wednesday evening at the club at 6.00pm, all boys and girls are welcome.U-10 football for boys and girls is onWednesday evenings at 6.00pm at the club.U-12 boy’s football is on a Wednesday at 7.00 to 8.00pm.The U-14 boy’s football training is on a Sunday morning at 10am.U-16 boy’s football training is on Friday from 6.30 to 7.30pm.Minor football training is on a Monday from 7pm and a Friday at 7.30pm.U-8 & U-10 Hurling is at 1.00pm to 2.00pm on Sunday.U-14 & U-16 Hurling on a Monday from 7.00 to 8.00.The U-12 girl’s football continues on a Tuesday evening from 6.00pm to 7.00pm.The U-14 girl’s football is on a Tuesday from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.The U-16 and Minor Girl’s Football is on Thursday from 7.00 to 8.00pm.The U-12, U-14 and U-16 Girls camogie is on a Monday at 4.30 to 6.00pm and a Friday from 5.30 to 7.00pm.Club Shop:The club shop will be open on a Wednesday from 5.45 to 7.15. The club stocks a large amount of club-crested shorts, gloves, bags and bottles and a limited number of club crested O’Neills half-zip tops.Steward Bibs:Anyone in possession of a club steward’s bib is asked to return it to the club as soon as possible as we get ready to prepare for the Tyrone Championship game.GAA NEWS: MAC CUMHAILLS EARN SUPER WIN OVER GAEIL FHÁNADA was last modified: April 27th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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)Tags:GAAMac CumhaillsNoticesSport