Leaders from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are asking other world leaders and organizations to help them lift the Ebola-stricken countries back to social and economic health. "The most important long-term response to Ebola therefore rests in plans and strategies for economic recovery," says Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's president.
Officials in Sierra Leone and Liberia are turning to technology and local fisherman to combat illegal fishing. Sierra Leone has unveiled a high-tech monitoring system to track the locations and names of vessels, while Liberia is handing out smartphones to coastal communities to take and transmit geo-tagged images to government authorities.
Interviewers are spending months, and sometimes years, in some the world's most dangerous conflict zones in order to listen to victims of war recount their experiences. In a two-part series focusing on rape as a tool of war, interviewers speak, too, of their experiences, in hopes that their work can not only steer foreign policy, but help heal emotional wounds.
In Liberia, where rape surpasses even armed robbery as the most reported crime -- and some 40% of all victims are under the age of 12 -- women are attempting to reverse a legacy of discrimination and abuse, in part, with the assistance of UN Women. "The biggest challenge is education for women and it is the biggest tool for empowerment, and that's what we are trying to address," said Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected president in an African country.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor began his defense against charges he is responsible for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone. The first African head of state to be charged in The Hague, Taylor has been accused of 11 crimes, including murder, torture, rape, employing child soldiers and enabling sex slavery. Taylor's defense rests on arguing he is not responsible for the crimes, which his defense acknowledges as heinous.