13 February 2018

Liberia: 'Remove Culture and Tourism From Ministry of Information'

Pro-democracy advocate Josiah Flomo Jokai has called on the government of President George Manneh Weah to consider removing the culture and tourism portions of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICAT) by repealing the law that established it (MICAT).

Appearing on both the Truth Breakfast Show of Truth FM (96.1) and the Bumper Show of ELBC (99.9 FM), Jokai said inasmuch as he did not wish for Weah to become Liberia's President at this time, however, he thinks that his suggestion to the Weah-led government is vital for the forward march of the country.

"Interestingly, that part that should have been viable is conspicuously silent and as such the question of whom we are in terms of our way of life and our identity remains a myth," he noted.

He recommended that the government should establish the Liberia Culture and Tourism Authority (LCTA) as an agency with the mandate to ensure that all historical sites are culturally reorganized to reflect the meaning and way of life of all Liberians.

"This is a modern approach to development as well and Liberia is best suited for this endeavor," Jokai said, noting that the process of establishing and sustaining LCTA should involve a research that will gather facts, artifacts, documentation of various sorts, construction of appropriate infrastructure, and the training and deployment of professional narrators.

"These national shrines should be transformed and given befitting beautification representative of our traditions, customs, and ethics," he said. Jokai added that "Like Ghana, The Gambia, South Africa, Rwanda, and many other African countries, Liberia will rediscover its identity, significantly generate revenues through its attractive tourism program, and realize an enviable infrastructural development."

In a recent open letter to President Weah published in several daily newspapers, Jokai said: "Currently, Mr. President, the other piece of MICAT, which is 'Cultural Affairs and Tourism,' is practically nominal or nonexistent. It is being overshadowed by the information component; culture and tourism is an important part that tells the world who Liberians are truly in terms of heritage and national identity."

Jokai, a former employee of the National Elections Commission (NEC), testified against the commission at its headquarters in Monrovia on the alleged fraud and irregularities suspected to have been carried out during the October 10, 2017 representative and presidential elections.


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