The Man Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr. – An Administrator without Border: A Profile

Mr. Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA)
Mr. Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA)

This week we profile another selfless Liberian administrator, a man many described as one of Liberia’s best administers as our personality of the week; Harrison  S. Karnwea, Sr., is the man selected this week to fill the gap of our personality of the week profile.

Honorable Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr. who served as Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Liberia before becoming Managing Director of the Liberian Forestry Development Authority has immensely contributed to the restoration of Liberia’s fragile peace which is now been enjoyed all Liberians.

FDA Managing Director, Harrison Karnwea and FAO Country Representative Jean-Alexandre exchange documents
FDA Managing Director, Harrison Karnwea and FAO Country Representative Jean-Alexandre exchange documents

Our personality of the week has over thirty years of experience in the private sector including the management of rubber plantations in Liberia; he first entered the Public Sector as Superintendent of Nimba County during the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) in 2003 where he made his marks as successful administrator.

As a real nationalist, ‘Harrison’ as he is affectionately call has always played his nationalistic role even during the height of the Liberian civil war was always in the center of peacefully bringing his people together with his borderless, despite of some of his compatriots who were linked to the beating of war drum as he was always resolute in helping his people peacefully.

Harrison S. Karnwea Sr, MD, FDA at Alpha Logging
Harrison S. Karnwea Sr, MD, FDA at Alpha Logging

His boastful thoughts of not being a part of any situation that helped to destabilize the peaceful gains of Liberia is glaring, as he always said to local media: “I did not participate in any bloodletting activities or fight any war. “I am not a murderer and therefore I challenge anybody who is making such allegation to put his or her evidence together to prove me guilty before a competent court of jurisdiction,” making reference to a local daily of his role in the Liberian civil war.

“I’m throwing the challenge back at the group that is reportedly documenting evidence against me to hurry up and present it to the appropriate people that will expedite the establishment of the war crimes court, so as to establish who the evil doers are before it is too late,” speaking further during an interaction with journalists our personality of the week declared.

As Minister of Internal Affairs meeting with Liberian traditional leaders including chiefs and elders
As Minister of Internal Affairs meeting with Liberian traditional leaders including chiefs and elders

Explaining about his whereabouts during the country’s 14-year civil crisis, the former Minister of Internal Affairs recounted, “I lived in only two places during the entire length of the civil crisis and it will be very easy to compile evidence of whatever role I played during the war.”

Naming the areas where he resided, he said, “I went to Maryland to work for the defunct Agriculture and Cooperative Development Bank (ACDB) in late 1989 when the war broke out. It met me there.”

“I remained there jumping from one point to the other (until) I returned to my home in Nimba County. Most of the people who were in Pleebo, Maryland County are still there and are my living witnesses as to whatever I may have done during the war,” he added.

After leaving Maryland, he said, “I returned to Nimba County and worked at Cocopa Rubber Plantation up to 2003, as a general manager, until I became Superintendent of the county. I left office as Superintendent on April 14, 2006 and returned to Maryland on April 18, to manage the Cavalla Rubber Plantation.”

World Bank Boosts Sustainable Forest Landscapes in Liberia (L/R: World Bank Official, Former Finance Minister and Mr. Karnweak)
World Bank Boosts Sustainable Forest Landscapes in Liberia (L/R: World Bank Official, Former Finance Minister and Mr. Karnweak)

“Later,” he recounted, “I returned to Nimba to manage Cocopa in 2008, where I was until the President nominated me to serve as Minister of Internal Affairs in April 2010.

 “My confirmation hearing was held in the joint Chambers of the National Legislature, where I received overwhelming endorsement.”

The former Nimba County Superintendent has therefore called on the management of the newspaper in question to learn always to contact anyone accused through their “classified documents” before going to press, or else they will be practicing “yellow journalism.”

His reaction on this issue came as a result of some detractors and enemies of progress published in a local Liberian dailies tinting his reputation of his link to the Liberian 15-year civil war which left thousands of Liberians homeless and the destruction of innocents lives.

The FDA boss at his office performing his official duties
The FDA boss at his office performing his official duties

During a survey conducted by a team of GNN staff as usual to get detail on the character of our weekly personality of the week, it was gathered and noticed that in both Montserrado and other parts of the Country of those interviewed spoke highly of the excellence character of our Personality of the week, notably lauding his many countless role played over the years to empower and bring Liberians together peacefully.

Some employees and ex-employees to areas where he previously served who spoke to our staff publicly applauded the administrative skills of our Personality of the week, stressing of his farsightedness in those areas he served brought transformation and dignity, making specific reference of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Cocopa Rubber Plantation, and even when he served as Superintendent of his home County during the tenure of the NTGL.

At his current assigned post, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), as Managing Director, Mr. Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., is once again making his mark excellently; bringing smiles on the faces of his employees who said his stay at the FDA has brought dignity to the institution and the workforce of that very important governmental institution.

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About Cholo Brooks 5293 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.