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Minister Konneh happy over LINAs reactivation

By Patrick Flomo
Finance Minister, Amara Konneh
Finance Minister, Amara Konneh

(mylbsonline.com/Liberia/Nov.7/ 2013) Finance Minister, Amara Konneh, has expressed satisfaction over the reactivation of the Liberia News Agency (LINA).

Minister Konneh said: “LINA’s reactivation will help promote government’s efforts to build a viable, united and cohesive Nation-State.

According to a release, Minister Konneh made the statements recently when the Minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, Lewis Brown, led him on a tour of the Agency’s newly renovated offices at the ministry in Monrovia.

“The Liberian Government and its development partners have been making frantic efforts to rebuild Liberia, re-establish peace throughout the country, and reconcile the citizens,” the Finance Minister also noted.

“Such efforts have always needed such specialized development media outlets as LINA to be appreciated by the people.”

Earlier, Information Minister, Lewis Brown, assured his colleague that LINA is back to resume its unique roles.

The release quotes Minister Brown as having named mobilizing the citizens for nation-building, economic and social development, national unity and integration as the Agency’s roles in Liberia’s transformation initiative.

The two government officials lauded LINA Project Manager, Nagbe Sloh, for his efforts to revamp LINA.

Mr. Sloh earlier assured the two Cabinet Ministers that LINA, as a central news collection agent of the state, will gather news from all regions of the country, the release also noted.

Regrettably, LINA has been dormant for the past 23 years, since the outbreak of the foregone 15 year Liberian civil war.

It can be recalled that during the administration of President William R. Tolbert, the Liberia News Agency was established in the 1970s, with Mr. Edward Davis as its first Director-General.

LINA was established as part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the Liberian Government to build a viable, united, and cohesive nation-state.

LINA established and effectively operated various bureaus throughout Liberia until the unfortunate civil crisis that vandalized LINA’s entire network throughout Liberia.

Under the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Liberian Government decided to rebuild the Agency beyond its pre-war level.

The rebuilding process was, however, split into two phases: the suspension of the entity’s entire existing structure, including the position of Director-General, introducing a new concept where LINA becomes a Project, headed by a Project Manager, charged with the responsibility of leading the reformation drive.

Mr. Sloh, now occupying the position of Project Manager, is highly expected to effectively and efficiently ensuring such huge responsibility as the Liberia News Agency remains very engaged in the dissemination of government’s information, policy programs, and development agenda.

According to the release, the News Agency received a donation from the Chinese Embassy in June of 2013.

Though the donation was not specified in the release, it was intended to enhance the resumption of the publication of the LINA Bulletin, the first time since the outbreak of the civil war in 1990.

Also in June, LINA received US$800 from the MICAT Administration to resume the bulletin’s publication.
Fortunately, LINA resumed the publication of a weekly bulletin on Friday, June 10, 2013 on an experimental basis, the release said.

The weekly bulletin publication projects about 100 copies per edition.

LINA has, for now, published a total of 12 editions in the past two-and-a-half months.

The bulletin, containing stories from the various political subdivisions of Liberia, is being distributed to the offices of senior government officials, including the Offices of the President and Vice President of Liberia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President Pro-temp, the Chief Justice, as well as government ministries and agencies across the country.

The bulletin is also being distributed to most foreign embassies near Monrovia, including the embassies of the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Nigerian, Egypt, Ghana and Germany.

International non-governmental organizations such as United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL), UNDP, World Bank, among others institutions are also benefiting from the distribution.

Since the resumption of the publication, LINA has received commendations from the Office of the President, Chinese, German and Egyptian embassies.

To further buttress the bulletin production and make sure that it remains in circulation, the MICAT Administration in July 2013 provided one Canon Photocopier Machine to LINA. The photocopier has been very effective in producing mass copies of the publication.

The release further added that despite these early successes, however, LINA is still faced with numerous constraints that continue to hinder the smooth production of the bulletin.

The agency has serious manpower limitation so much so that it has been unable to cover the entire country. LINA Bureau Chiefs are deployed in only six of the 15 counties of Liberia.

“There is an urgent need to employ correspondents in the remaining counties. Staff at central office needs to be increased. We need additional editors and reporters to operate an effective news agency,” the release quoted Director General Sloh as saying.

 


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