GNN Personalities Of The Year – 2021

After weeks of pouring in of entries from cross section of individuals residing in Liberia and abroad regarding the role individuals played in the growth and development of Liberia during the year- 2021 under review, the management of this outlet through its vetting committee has finally released the names of those who have made their marks during that year.

Grand Kru County Senator and Senate Pro-Tempore, Albert T. Chie

Man of the Year 2021: The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate and Grand Kru County Senator has been selected as our man of the year, 2021 for the level of transformation at the Liberian Senate during the year under review.

As head of that august body, Senator Chie has done a lot to unifying the senate be it from which political you come from; his quest to seeing an improved senate at the capitol has been visible during the year 2021.

Recently during the 5th session of the 54th Legislature opening, Senate Pro-Tempore Announced several reforms, noting that “Wherever there is even a small cloud of darkness, Democracy suffers”. We have therefore minimized the number of Executive or closed door sessions; these sessions are now held only for issues of national security and to vote during confirmation of Presidential nominees; there are plans to amend the Senate rules to vote publicly during confirmation;

We have stopped citing concessionaires and international organizations to Plenary and Committee Rooms; We have restricted this to superintending government agencies. For example, instead of citing or inviting Firestone, we invite or cite the Ministry of Agriculture to provide the requested information.

For crucial issues like concession and incentive agreements, national budget, etc, votes of Senators are recorded and published so that the constituents know how their Senators vote on these issues.

Cllr. Gloria Musu-Scott

Woman of the Year – Our woman of the year is one of Liberia’s respected legal minds, who once served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott.

Her professional and legal stance on national issues, specifically on the rights of the ordinary people has topped, thus putting her ahead of her opponents during the vetting process which has eventually made her to capture our Woman of the year 2021.

Recently, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia provided a platform on her social media page creating awareness for the benefit of the public over the legalization of dowry payment before making their marriage official, she further explained the importance of dowry payment.

Noting, “I was amazed to understand that many Liberian persons didn’t know that the  dowry payment ceremony was a legal wedding with legal implications and consequences,” giving for detail, she said,  You can obtain a license to be signed at the ceremony, to dissolve the traditional marriage you must obtain a divorce certificate, the  husband is entitled to multiple wives, the head wife must consent to the additional marriage, upon the death of the husband, the multiple wives are entitled to 1/3 of the deceased husband’s estate.

This explanation by the learned Liberian lawyer publicly cleared the doubts of many who have wondering over the legality of dowry payment and wedding

Cllr. Scott is a member of the Liberian National Bar Association and a co-founder of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, and served as an assistant professor at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.

Scott was appointed Chief Justice of a five-member Supreme Court in 1997, after the court was reconstituted following the civil war and the election of Charles Taylor.

In February 2003, Scott read a ruling of the court which said it did not have legal jurisdiction over the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy to stop the second civil war in order to conduct a national census prior to the 2003 election. She served on the court until August 2003, when the transitional government took effect.

At the 2005 elections, Scott became the Junior Senator for Maryland County, representing the Alliance for Peace and Democracy. In 2008, she spoke to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about the need to look further beyond the events of 1979. She lost her Senate seat in the 2011 election.

Scott was the chairperson of the Constitution Review Committee which convened from 2013 until 2015. The CRC visited all 73 electoral districts and collected a total of 56,729 views from citizens.[12] In this role, Scott advocated for the participation of women as well as for the education of girls. Scott presented the Committee’s final report to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in August 2015.

In 2016, Scott was named as one of a number of judges said to be bad debtors by the Liberia Banker Association, which said she had failed to pay $11,241.04 owed to the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment.

Justice Scott was admitted to the practice of law in Liberia as an Attorney in 1986 and became a Counsellor at law of the Supreme Court Bar in 1992. She also initiated the organization of the Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia during her tenure as a member of the Liberian Senate.

Politician of the year: GNN politician of the year is the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Grand Kru County District # Representative, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa; his ability to provide job opportunities to his people has been noted by our award committee, thus making him as GNN Politician of the year, 2021.

Since his ascendancy as Representative of the County District # 2, he has ventured into remote areas making sure that his people feel the impact of his developmental initiative be it via foot or water link, he was always pleased to do so once this had to do with the people of his county.

According to the many entries received, JFK as he is affectionately call has won the hearts of many for his numerous humanitarian contributions to the people of the county, described as a lawmaker without border, has taken the lead in his quest to see the future leaders of that county excel in education by providing countless scholarships for their educational sojourn.

As he always said in many of his public announcements that he is committed to implementing the developmental agenda for his people, during that bid, he made a available a brand new FM radio station, aimed at adequately educating the people on the policy of the Liberian Government under the Pro-Poor agenda.

Despite the tight fiscal space in the national budget to support legislative projects, during one of his annual massages to his people, Deputy Speaker Koffa was able to secure funding from other sources outside the country to begin the construction of three primary schools that are now in use for the future leaders of the county including one in Bolloh Chembwetee, at the cost of $45,000USD; the Taybue elementary school, at the cost of $25,000USD; and the George T. Worjloh elementary school in Sasstown, at the cost of $45,000USD. According to him these three projects cost are put at  $115,000 United States dollars for full completion.

In that line he further named the Warkpo to Nyankupo road; the office through its representative has met with management of Atlantic Resources, to begin the rehabilitation of the Warkpo to Nyankupo road.

As a politician without border, early this year, Deputy Speaker Koffa donates 2.74 lots of land to a church in Margibi CountyLand To Margibi Based Church, according report, prior to the purchase of the land, the Harvest Wonderland Church had been squatting on a private land, the situation, drew the attention of the Deputy Speaker to have made such a donation.

Lawmaker of the Year: GNN Lawmaker of the year is Bong County Senator, Prince Moye who prior to his election as Senator of Bong County served the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker; his numerous humanitarian contributions to his people have overwhelmed many including GNN award committee.

October 8, 2020. Liberia: The people of Bong County have said they are prepared December 8, 2020, to have Deputy Speaker Prince Kemon Moye, Sr. elected to the Liberian Senate to present their county for nine years. Over last weekend, citizens of Bong told the Parrot Newspaper that other counties across the country are gearing up to have their best elected to the Senate and Bong County can be of no exception.

Senator Moye over the years made his greater impact in the lives of his people; he has achieved momentous feat in terms of his services and progress in his county, according to information since his ascendancy to his current legislative positions has played and continues to play a significant role in influencing public policies and other legislations for the good of the county and country in general.

His services to his people including the provision of job opportunities through his private properties including large rubber, palm and rice farms that have created gainful jobs for a good number of citizens of Bong County.

Speaking to GNN, residents of Bong County poured praises on their senator for the construction in the county the most modern and technical high school called the Sumo Moye Memorial Institute in Gbarnga City, the school is both vocational and academic with trained and qualified teachers. According to them, these developmental initiatives and many other reasons will be the reasons why they will overwhelmingly elect Prince Moye.

Minister of the Year: Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., the Minister of Foreign Affairs is our Minister of the year, 2021; his quest to see Liberia’s relations with other countries improved since his ascendancy at that ministry has been noticed by our award committee.

Prior to his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, our Minister of the year previously served as Deputy Minister for Administration and was later appointed as Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations before his ascendancy.

Kemayah who is widely noted for being a Workaholic has promised to always sign in and out despite his status as Minister of Foreign Affairs thereby urging all Employees of the Ministry both at home and abroad to take their job serious.

Our Minister of the year always frowned on those that seek to undermine the workings of the Liberian Government, emphasizing the need for constructive engagements between the workers Association and the Senior Management team of the Ministry; his cordial relationship between him and his employees has won the hearts of many who preferred him as GNN Minister of the year- 2021.

NHA Boss, Madam Cuffy Brown

Managing Director of the year: GNN Managing Director of the year is Madam Celia Coffey-Brown, her quest over the year to see improved housing facilities for the people of Liberia, particularly those residing in rural Liberia has overwhelmed many, describing this initiative as welcoming.

During the year in review, Madam Cuffey-Brown revealed that the National Housing Authority under her watchful eyes will ably provide houses to low income earners at affordable prices across the country, noting that 300 units has been constructed at the Town Hill community and 500 at Schefflin.

Since her appointment as Managing Director of the NHA by the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah nearly three years ago, Madam Cuffy Brown has reportedly made some significance progress in making sure that Liberians are given the opportunity for decent housing facilities.

During her take over at the NHA, Madame Brown used the occasion to encourage banking institutions, companies and investors for a possible partnership arrangement with the National Housing Authority in order to diversify their portfolio by venturing into the construction of affluent communities, so that their profits will not be transferred into foreign markets.

Madam Brown reminded senior and junior managers of the NHA to be conscious of their responsibilities to both the entity and the state. She added that her administration will introduce measures that will attract investors, boost employees’ morale and create a conducive and cordial working environment. “Our people deserve adequate and affordable homes,” she said. “They, therefore, look to us for solution-something we must all do collectively with a sense of dedication and focus.”

She acknowledged that housing development for low-income citizens is in line with the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity and declared that she has no intention to fire employees but pleaded with them to remain law-abiding and take their responsibilities seriously.

Financial Expert of the year: J. Aloysius Tarlue, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia is our Financial Expert of the year; his sound managerial skills at the nation’s head banking institution has won him lots of admirations, according to our award committee.

His wealth of experience in the banking sector including Executive Governor and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Central Bank of Liberia (From 2020 to Present).

The CBL has the primary objective of maintaining price stability in the Liberian economy; second objective of contributing to financial stability and third objective of supporting government’s economic policy. To this extent, the Bank plays an important role in maintaining and promoting macroeconomic stability.

Chairman, Committee of Governors of ECOWAS Central Banks, West African Monetary Agency (From 2021 to Present)

The West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) is an autonomous and specialized agency of ECOWAS Commission which was established in 1996. The core mandates of WAMA are to handle monetary and economic integration as well as policies harmonization issues for movement of single currency.

Executive Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (From 2018 to 2020)

Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) is a statutory body created by the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (ELL) to regulate the electricity sector.  The objective of the Commission is to ensure the coordinated development and growth of the sector in a conducive and competitive environment for sustainability.

The governing body of LERC is a three-member Executive Board of Commissioners (BoC) with the responsibility to approve regulatory policies and strategic management decisions and provide oversight for the LERC operations.

Compliance Officer, J.P. Morgan Chase (From 2013 to 2018)

JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small business, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. The firm offers solutions to the world’s most important corporations, governments and institutions in more than100 countries.

BNY Mellon NA (From 2008 to 2013)

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, commonly known as BNY Mellon, is a multinational American investment banking services holding company headquartered in New York City. BNY Mellon was formed from the merger of The Bank of New York and the Mellon Financial Corporation in 2007. It is the world’s largest custodian bank and asset servicing company, with $2.0 trillion in assets under management and $38.6 trillion in assets under custody as of the second quarter of 2020.

Senior Risk Officer, Deutsche Bank NA (From 2007 to 2008)

Deutsche Bank AGis a German investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, and dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

The bank’s network spans 58 countries with a large presence in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As of 2017-2018, Deutsche Bank was the 21st largest bank in the world by total assets. As the largest German banking institution, it is a component of the DAX stock market index.

The bank is a universal bank with four major divisions: Investment Bank, Corporate Bank, Private Bank and Asset Management.

Compliance Officer, Merrill Lynch (From 2004 to 2007)

Merrill (officially Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated), previously branded Merrill Lynch, is an American investment management and wealth management division of Bank of America (BofA). Along with BofA Securities, the investment banking arm, both firms engaged in prime brokerage and broker-dealer activities. The firm is headquartered in New York City. Merrill employs over 14,000 financial advisors and manages $2.3 trillion in client assets.

Compliance Analyst, HSBC Bank NA (From 2001 to 2004)

HSBC Holdings plcis a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. It is the second largest bank in Europe, with total assets of US$2.984 trillion (as of December 2020).

According to our committee, since his ascendancy as head of the CBL, Executive Governor Tarlue has significantly excellently performed well in his monetary policy, thus making everyone who submitted their nomination described him as the best suited individual to capture GNN Administrator of the year – 2021.Male Security Expert of the Year: GNN male security expert of the year is the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), James Hernic Pearson, II, his professional attributes has given the organization which he head as one of the best in contemporary Liberia .

‘Jimmy’ as he is affectionately call, according to the entries received have placed him on top with other security experts in the country; his handling of issues professionally in the sector has been admired by many Liberians as compared to yesteryears where brutalities were applied on would be enemies of the state.

His stance for professionalism within the sector has also been admired by his institution international counterparts, for this reason it was resolved by our Award Committee after vetting many others of their contributions during the year under review, it was agreed that the Security Expert of the year Award be given to the Director of the NSA for his nationalistic role to steer the affairs that security agency in the protection of lives and properties.

Some Liberians who spoke to the GNN have expressed gratitude to the current administration led by its potent Director, James Hernic Pearson, II, for his steadfastness in the growth and development of the institution which has given the institution a new state-of-the-act headquarters.

Asatu Bah Kenneh – Deputy Commissioner /Naturalization, Liberia Immigration Service

Female Security Officer of the Year: GNN female security of the year is the Deputy is a Liberian activist, former Deputy Inspector General of the Liberian police, current Deputy Commissioner for Liberia of the Liberia Immigration Service, Attorney Asatu Bah Kenneth   has been overwhelmingly named by Liberians who sent out entries for her nomination.

Her nationalistic contributions during the year under review have indeed proven her ability to strengthen the country’s security sector through her many efforts being applied in this sector gave her the edge of becoming our female security officer of the year-2021.

A product of the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law, and executive member of the Liberia National Bar Association, Madam Kenneth recently as a woman of peace launched an organization, People Uniting for Peace in Liberia (PUFIL) aimed at maintaining and stabilizing the peace of Liberia despite the silence of the guns for nearly 18 years after the war has been launched in Monrovia.

The seasoned law enforcement practitioner and lawyer speaking at the launch in the presence of dozens of Liberians and foreign guests in Monrovia on December 9, 2021 said it is compelling to organize the peace group in order to help maintain peace in Liberia. She further noted  that the group has been divided into five regions in the country with its coordinators covering Bong, Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties, and further noted that 60 persons have been trained across the country to begin the activities of the group.

Attorney Bah-Kenneth former President of the Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association (LFLEA) has always been on the frontline for peace, making sure that Liberia as a country live in peace despite any situation, a move considered by those who publicly nominated her as our female security officer of the year as a truthful thoughts.

Mr. Najib Kamand

Entrepreneur of the year:  Mr. Najib  Kamand is our entrepreneur of the year, 2021 for his commitment despite the hullabaloo surrounding the operation of his business, the Palm Spring Resort, where detractors have over the years done every satanic bid to destroy his image in the sector.

Recently some detractors of his business, the Palm Spring Resort without any iota facts launched what many considered as negative propaganda against his business, a situation that drew the attention as to the reason behind such act on the part of those involved.

With all of these upheavals, the Manager of this establishment, Mr. Najib Kamand, is still resolute in managing his business which has employed dozens of Liberians and other foreign nationals, a situation that gave rise for his nomination and subsequent selection as GNN Entrepreneur of the year – 2021. Palm Spring Resort Hotel since its establishment has always been a home away from home.

Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director – NAYMOTE

Administrator of the year: GNN administrator of the year is Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director at Naymote Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE) is organization has over the years performed well to the expectation of Liberians and oversees; he has helped to method dozens of young Africans in leadership.

As the Executive Director of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development and the Young Political Leadership School Africa, Eddie Jarwolo directs, coordinates plans and implements programs on behalf of young Africans.

While in the U.S., Jarwolo worked with Oregon Bus Project in Portland, where he supported and participated in civic engagement events and registered new voters.

Eddie D. Jarwolo, Executive Director Naymote Partners for Democratic Development

Since his return to Liberia, Jarwolo has organized the Liberia Bus Project, a volunteer-driven democracy initiative for young people that aims to drive change in Liberia and has established the Young Political Leadership School Africa (YPLS Africa), a school designed to build the political leadership capacity of young political leaders in Liberia.

‘Eddie’ as he is affectionately call has won the admiration of many Liberians, his compatriots, and those in the diaspora for his role played in bringing young people from around Africa Liberia, to take on Leadership Role in their respective countries through their enrollment at the Young Political Leadership School (YPLS) Africa organized by NAYMOYE, partners for democratic development.

This initiative on the part of Eddie D. Jarwolo recently brought together several young people from across Africa, this colorful occasion was witnessed by the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed J. Jalloh who colorfully graced the occasion, the first of its kind in Liberia.

NAYMOTE Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo

According to the President of the leadership school and the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, the YPLS Africa has become an excellent platform for young people to learn new skills and tools to improve their leadership abilities and expand youth networks with a diverse community of young leaders and electoral management experts; a something considered to be helpful in order to solidify peace, development, and accountability within Africa.

This unique occasion was also graced by the Vice President of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, while some prominent individuals including the former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ambassadors from the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, among others graced the occasion.

Eddie Jarwolo, acquires over twelve (12) years working experience as Executive Director, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development and has far-reaching knowledge in civic education, community development and leadership approaches, participatory decision-making, advocacy, organizational development tools, grassroots democracy enhancement and community based organizations strengthening.

He has participated in the United State Department of State International Leadership Exchange Program and a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington DC and Community Solutions Fellow a U.S. Department of State Fellow. As executive director his primary responsible is to provide for the day-to-day costs of serving the administrative and technical needs of the institute; oversee the daily activities and implement such policies as may be adopted by the Board of Director.

Extensive international exposure: travel to the United States of America, South Africa, Qatar, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Guinea; participated in international conferences, seminars, workshops and assemblies sponsored by United Nations Development Programme, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, World Movement for Democracy, Africa Democracy Forum, World Youth Movement for Democracy and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Rufus Dio Neufville

Rights Advocate of the Year: Ambassador Rufus Dio Neufville is our rights advocate of the year- 2021; his numerous contributions over the years have overwhelmed many, making reference of his petitioned the National Legislature on the review and amendment of the Investment Incentive Act of 2010. This law sets aside certain businesses to be owned and operated by Liberians only. Neufville drew the attention of the lawmaking body to the flagrant violation of this law by foreign merchants. The petition to the legislature claimed the attention of the public and encouraged policymakers to work on the strict adherence of the law protecting Liberian businesses.

He cautioned the Executive and Legislative branches of government to prioritize the University of Liberia in the 2022 National Budget. Neufville emphasized on the need to modernize the infrastructure of the University and increase the benefits of Professors. His communication sparked serious debate in the student community and encouraged the government to begin key renovation work at the state-owned University.

In a radical communication to the Speaker and Members of the Legislature, Amb. Neufville requested the lawmakers to reduce their allowances/benefits and increase the salary of civil servants. He requested the lawmakers to also abandon the allocation of $30,000 USD in the 2021 and 2022 National Budget.

Neufville advocated for the amendment of section 204 subsection 1 (A&B) of the revenue code of 2000. This law sets the depreciation of government vehicles over three years. He argued that the 3 years depreciation of government cars presented the condition for waste and abuse. He requested that the law be amended to put the depreciation at 6 years to save the country of the huge expenses on new government cars every 3 years.

Rufus Neufville motivated students to perform better in the WAEC exams this year by presenting $150,000 LD to top scorers in the exam. Average performance increase as a result of this motivation and the student community appreciated his support to education. This is the first time in the history of Liberia.

LBS Boss, Mrs. Kermoh

Radio Station of the Year – GNN radio station of the year is state radio, ELBC, commonly known as the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), under the leadership of Madam Estelle Liberty Kermoh, the youngest female Director General of the system has indeed been transformed by professionally informing the Liberian people credibly in its series of programs, including news and public services.

Since the appointment by the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah of young Liberian journalists and technocrats to run the state radio few years ago, Liberians from all sector during the year, 2021 under review are appreciating the professional services of Madam Estelle Liberty Kermoh and her team for the level of good work at this state broadcaster.

Making reference of its wilder coverage nationwide, those nominated the state radio boss, said they are overwhelmed of the level of professional services been provided these young Liberians journalists, and further called on the National Legislature to increase its budget in order to add more flavor to the station by adequately informing the Liberian people ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.

Businessman of the Year: GNN  businessman of the year goes to Mr. George Haddad; his committed services to the nation over the years has won him the title. Despite all the odds which has the propensity to derail his business did not bother him  as he always remain resolute to assist the country and its people at all time.

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About Cholo Brooks 16091 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, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

2 Comments on GNN Personalities Of The Year – 2021

  1. I have opposing views on your nomination of the foreign minister, he has practiced nepotism by employing his whole family I to our foreign corridor including his mother. He’s a bad news. I have no respect for this man. Again I am calling on the president to relieve him of his post or Liberia will suffer its consequences.

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