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Friday, June 14, 2024

GNN RELEASES A LIST OF ITS 2022 AWARDEES 

Date:

As tradition dictates and in fulfillment of the adage, “Give the man his flowers while he/she is alive”, GNN Liberia has again embarked on its recognition and honoring of deserving personalities. Our institution, GNN Liberia, following a process of nomination of names from credible citizens, is pleased to announce the 2022 list of awardees who continue to impact post-war Liberia through various means. The occasion will see the honoring of awards in various categories of individuals and institutions who will be given their honors as our awardees of the year – 2022.

This colorful event is expected to be held at the famous Pen House on Camp Johnson Road, Central Monrovia, on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 10 AM (GMT). Several personalities will receive Awards after a competitive vetting process.

Here is a lineup of personalities who played nationalistic roles in the growth and development of Liberia.

Man of the year

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The United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, H.E. Michael A. McCarthy is GNN Liberia’s Man of the year – 2022; his quest to see Liberia, Africa’s oldest independent country graduate from the state of rampant corruption, and the growing wave of cultural impunity in Liberia nowadays.

Liberians, during this vetting process, described the United States Ambassador as being more or like Liberian due to his endless advocacies for the eradication of corruption, backed by his countless calls to see Liberia, amongst members of the world community, improve in the interest of its people.

Woman of the year

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Madam Brenda Moore has overwhelmingly been selected as GNN Liberia Woman of the year 2022. Her professional contributions during the year under review, which led to her election as Deputy Presiding Officer for West Africa on the Economic, Social & Cultural Council, at African Union (AU), have brightened the image of Liberian women.

Being the first woman for a such position since the organization was established in 2004, Madam Moore was unanimously voted for by members of the West African region serving in the 4th General Assembly.

She is the Founder & Executive Director of Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), a national charity that started during the height of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia as an effort to keep children academically engaged during the health crisis. Under her leadership, KEEP has constructed and created 22 mini libraries and 3 Learning Resource Centers across 9 of Liberia’s 15 counties. Her efforts have seen over 100 children and teachers provided basic computer literacy skills and over 150 women provided up to L$1.5 million in microloans to start and scale up their small businesses.

Minister of the year

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Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah is our Minister of the year – 2022. As Liberia’s Minister of Health, her fearless battle against the deadly COVID-19 in collaboration with a team of medical doctors, helped to secure Liberia as a healthy nation despite numerous challenges. Our Minister of the year and team significantly made an impact in this direction.

As Chair of Liberia’s Incident Management System (IMS), Dr. Jallah’s professional and committed nationalistic services, during the year under review, cannot be overemphasized. All Liberians, including the donor community in the health sector, showered lots of praise on her for the level of hard work on the part of the Minister.

Politician of the year

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Simeon Freeman has emerged as the best pick for the Politician of the Year for the GNN 2022 Annual Awards Program. He has earned this privilege based on his astute political and economic leadership role in post-war Liberia. He is the founder and political leader of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC).

During the course of the year in review, Simeon Freeman has not only held the CDC-led Government of President George Weah’s feet to the fire but has been very consistent in providing alternative policy suggestions to the government on a variety of national issues. Unlike other political figures and or institutions, Simeon Freeman, and his MPC have been able to both criticize the misgivings of the incumbency and also provide clear alternative solutions intended to improve the situation.

During the year 2022, Freeman called for a reduction in the number of powers given to the government, including the presidency, saying this is one of the ways to solve the poverty problem in Liberia. Also, during the year, he proposed the digitization of the controversial National Population and Housing Census process, when the government’s process became chaotic.

An Economist by profession, Freeman’s economic policy suggestions have always been targeted at the resurrection of the country’s failing economy by advancing new and workable alternatives grounded in standard economic procedures.

Simeon Freeman’s advocacy and criticisms are not limited to the government only but also extend to members of his opposition community. He believes that while the government has fallen short of addressing the people’s problems, the opposition block has not equally been able to help in solving the nightmares that the country faces.

Lawmaker of the year

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The Lawmaker of the year is representing the western county of Gbarpolu, and he is Representative Cllr. Kanie Wesso of District #2. His quest to see his people’s livelihood condition improve has always been his hallmark with his most recent milestone being Road connectivity in Central and Northern Liberia, initiated by him to prevent citizens of the region from walking for hours, and sometimes for days, to get to nearby towns or villages in search of their social needs.

The initiative followed a series of negotiations between Rep. Kanie Wesso (District #2, Gbarpolu County) and residents led by elders of Kpayaquelleh Town in Salayea District, Lofa County.

At a mass meeting attended by local chiefs, elders, and residents of both districts recently, the people agreed to begin the massive clearing and cutting of trees for the road project which will connect Gborsangaye Town in Salayea to the Via River which links Belle District.

The bridgeless Via River, which forms the boundary between Belle and Salayea districts has become a major impediment to trade and social activities. The risky canoe rides, which are the only means to get, across now, last for hours and sometimes lead to the loss of lives.

Owing to his numerous support to his people, chiefs, and elders in Gorwulala District in Gbarpolu County have petitioned Representative Kanie Wesso to run as a senator in the upcoming 2023 legislative and presidential elections in the county.

The chiefs and elders, through their paramount Chief Flomo Tokpah, praised the Gbarpolu County District #2 Representative for his selfless humanitarian services constantly rendered to citizens in the district aimed at improving their lives and the district at large.

Entrepreneur of the year 

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 The Chief Executive Officer and Founder of J-Palm Liberia, a Liberian-owned oil palm processing business, Mahmud Johnson, is GNN Liberia’s Entrepreneur of the year – 2022; Through his professional establishment, J-Palm Liberia, since 2013, he has employed dozens of Liberians. 

Mr. Johnson’s quest to see Liberia on the map of economic growth through the importation of locally made products, the palm oil, palm kernel oil, and a range of other products based on oil palm, is overwhelming.

Managing Director of the year 

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GNN Liberia’s Managing Director of the year award goes to Dr. Darren Wilkins; His good corporate governance practices at the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO) have been admired by many Liberians including foreign residents during the year – 2022 under review.

As a state-owned entity and as Liberia’s National Operator, LIBTELCO realized that it is responsible not only to the government, but to the Liberian people which the management noted is its primary stakeholders, and to the communities in which it serves.

Under the administration of Dr. Wilkins, LIBTELCO has introduced a new technology by providing quality and affordable communication and a high standard of customer service to all of Liberia.

The administrator of the year

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The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Thomas Doe Nah is our Administrator of the year – 2022. The level of transformation gained at the LRA under his watch has been the driver behind his selection for this prestigious award.

Since his appointment in August 2018, he has been leading the change at the LRA as the entity collects revenue to support Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda. Under his leadership, the LRA has seen the digitization and improvement of the government’s tax collection processes.

His strong administrative stance against tax evasion includes threatening sanctions on duty-free privileges for non-tax-compliant elected officials of government. He says taxes are required to promote the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development of the CDC-led government, paying salaries, providing essential services, and national security, among others.

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) during the year under review officially launched its foundation as a charity arm to serve humanity. The Foundation named and styled “The LRA Foundation” is established as a way of giving back to the communities and assisting the needy in the country, this move has been lauded by Liberians.

NGO of the year

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The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) is currently Liberia’s foremost local media development organization, providing multiple interventions for the improvement of local media personnel and institutions.

CEMESP has been able to secure grants from its many international partners to provide numerous interventions including but not limited to providing FOI story grants to journalists, advocating for data protection legislation in Liberia, several thematic training opportunities for community radio journalists across Liberia, providing trafficking in-person training for Liberian Journalists, etc. Thus CEMESP is GNN Liberia’s choice of local NGO for the Year 2022

INGO of the year

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Internews-Liberia has been unanimously selected as GNN’s International NGO of the year 2022. The INGO which implemented its first USAID-funded media development program (Liberia Media Development), from 2015 to 2020, launched another five years of media development program under the name Liberia Media Activities in August 2022. Internews has been working with media and civil society across Liberia since 2014 and is currently implementing three large-scale media development programs funded by USAID, the EU, and the Swedish Embassy.

Male Security Expect of the year

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Our Male Security Expert of the Year, 2022 Award goes to the head of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Trokon Nathaniel Roberts. His high level of professionalism as head of this elite presidential security service gave rise to his being selected for this prestigious award.

With a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Walden in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the United States, Director General Roberts has won the admiration of the general public for the level of professionalism usually demonstrated as be a member of his elite security force, as they discharge their VIP protective services for the Liberian Presidency, members of the first family and other VIPs.

Despite his role as head of   EPS, he has a deep passion for youth development. He established the Tebeh Sports Agency through which he runs his Tebeh Football Academy.

Female Security Expert of the year

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Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George is GNN Liberia’s Female Security Officer of the year 2022. She is a career soldier with extensive military leadership skills, enlisted into the AFL on July 24, 2006, as part of the first batch of soldiers of the restructured Armed Forces of Liberia. She was nominated in March 2018 and later commissioned on June 1, 2018, by President George Weah as Liberia’s first female Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

General George has served as Acting Commander, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Military Police Company Commander; Brigade S-5, CIMIC Officer, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Provost Marshal, 23rd Infantry Brigade; Legal Officer, Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters; Acting  Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters; Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel (ACOS J1)(2x), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operation (ACOS J3) (2x), Armed Forces of Liberia Headquarters. Her service to the nation is unmatched

Bank of the year

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Ecobank Liberia’s nomination for the GNN 2022 Annual Award comes as no mistake. The bank is one of Liberia’s foremost banking institutions helping to make post-war Liberia better for its war-ravished citizens.  Ecobank Liberia Limited is a member of Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank with 1,200 branches. The Bank offers Microfinance institutions a range of banking services to increase their capacity to grow and serve more clients.

For quick, easy, and safe transactions, Ecobank continues to provide opportunities for a cashless system through its Debit, Credit, and Prepaid Cards services. These services provide instant access to customers’ accounts via ATMs, Cashless Payment (POS) machines, online, mobile, or in-branch. The bank is indeed the commoners’ bank

During the year under review, specifically for the festive season, the bank afforded its numerous customers the opportunity to make cash deposits, withdrawals, and transfers at the nearest Xpress Point right within their communities.

Also, for micro-entrepreneurs or small incomers, the bank offers Micro savings, Micro-loans, Bills payments, Transfers and remittances, Mobile Banking and Advisory services.

Rights Advocate of the year

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Due to his many services towards defending the ordinary people, and giving his borderless services to humanity, Adama Dempster has been selected as GNN Liberia’s Rights Advocate of the year.

Recently he presented the case of Liberia when he attended the African Human Rights Leaders Summit, on the eve of President Joseph Biden’s U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington.

He expressed this viewpoint that, while the number of people who suffered from war crimes in Sierra Leone is less than those who suffered the same plight in Liberia, Liberia should have been further along in achieving justice for victims.” In Washington, Dempster was seeking answers on the sidelines of the U.S-Africa Leaders’ Summit, and urging increased backing for a war crimes court of law to be set up in Liberia.

Accountability Campaigner of the year

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Our Accountability Campaigner of the year 2022 is a young Liberian named Anderson Miamen, Executive Director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL). The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is the local chapter of Transparency International.

Our awardee has been leading a staunch team at CENTAL in its multiple human rights advocacy campaigns, and good governance programs. Anderson has over ten (10) years of work experience as a governance and human rights campaigner supporting and promoting efforts aimed at making the world corruption-free, just, inclusive, and peaceful

During the year in review, Miamen and his CENTAL team led several anti-corruption campaigns. In May 2022, he called on President George Manneh Weah to take drastic actions against every underperforming official of his government, stating, “Whatever “love” the President has for his officials, especially the corrupt and underachieving ones, cannot and should not supersede his “love” for Liberia and Liberians.

Also during the year, Miamen condemned a statement made by the then Minister of State, now sanctioned, when he, Nathaniel McGill, tried to justify acts of corruption by making huge investments in Liberia using ill-gotten wealth. In September 2022, He welcomed the resignations of three officials of the Liberian Government but further called on them to declare their assets, incomes, and liabilities, as they exited government.

Media Institution of the year

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GNN Liberia 2022 Media Institution of the year has been awarded to the Spoon Network owner of Spoon TV and Radio. The media institution has overwhelmingly won the hearts of the Liberian people for its professional presentation of programs, especially its weekly nighttime program, Spoon Talk.

Its broadcast of factual programs including news and talk shows on radio and online TV has made Liberians believe in the professionalism of its staff, particularly its team of journalists.

Thousands of Liberians and foreigners at home and in the diaspora follow the broadcasts both online and by radio and participate passionately in the usually thought-provoking national discussion. The station also reaches out to many Liberins with cash prizes through its weekend Bible Quizzing program, “God Can Bless Anybody.” Several citizens win weekly cash prizes for answering simple Bible questions.  Residents who spoke to our team said they appreciate the management of Spoon Network for the level of professionalism in the dissemination of factual and credible news and information to the Liberian people, and the rest of the world.

Cleric of the year

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The Cleric of the Year 2022 Award goes to Bishop S. Oliver Kpaan, Jr. Founder and General Overseer of the Apostolic Outreach Assemblies of Jesus Christ (AOAJC), Life Tabernacle Church.

Bishop Oliver Kpaan is one of Liberia’s foremost religious leaders who has been in the vanguard of praying for the nation and working towards the establishment and expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Bishop Kpaan does not only preach the salvation message of our Lord Jesus Christ but has also used his pulpit and weekly radio program to provide direction for the state.

He is a staunch advocate for justice and good governance and believes that the government has a fiducial duty to its citizens and the state. He preaches the gospel of salvation, peace, and the love of God.

He was popularly nominated as a recipient of the prestigious Cleric of the Year 2022 Award.

Humanitarian of the year

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Julius Jeh, a young Liberian journalist and radio talk show host on OK FM 99.5 has been nominated for the Humanitarian of the Year 2022 Award.

His preferment for this prestigious award is mostly because of his advocacy and humanitarian services for young privileged Liberian children. During the year under review, Julius used his media platform to raise money, both locally and internationally, to pay school fees for several kids across Liberia whose parents did not have the financial means to get them enrolled in school. As a result of his intervention, these underprivileged kids received school materials and tuition to join their colleagues in school.

In addition to his kids’ school enrollment efforts, the young Liberian journalist, also during the course of the year, paid visits to various public schools within Montserrado County, where the learning environments were very deplorable.

He also used his weekly radio program, “The OK Afternoon Conversation,” to continuously call on the government to do something about the prevailing conditions at those institutions.

Based on his consistent advocacy, the Ministry of Education took action by providing much-needed assistance. No ordinary Liberian is more deserving of this prestigious award than this young and patriotic citizen.

smartnews
Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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