-Not To Forget Liberia
President George Weah is not turning his back on America as it is being perceived in some quarters following his trip to France in February.
President George Manneh Weah
Instead, the President is pleading with America to look into the direction of Liberia.
In an article published in the New York Times, he reflected on a number of issues, including his youthful upbringing in Clara Town, the civil war, democratic elections and how his government wants to revamp the economy and infrastructure.
America is Liberia’s longstanding traditional ally credited for some of the good things being enjoyed.
“I must acknowledge the enormous tasks ahead. We need to build a stable and sustainable peace and ensure that our dire socioeconomic situation does not undermine the hard-fought gains of the past 15 years. Liberia’s economy is broken and the government is broke,” the Liberian leader noted in the Article.
“According to the World Bank, the gross domestic product per capita was $455 in 2016. Inflation is at 15 percent and rising, and unemployment is at record highs. The U.N. human development index ranks Liberia 177 out of 189 countries.”
Nevertheless, the President said he was determined to move forward, noting “The core of my efforts will be helping the worst off in Liberia.”
According to him, education will play a central role in pushing the economy forward, and stressed, “We are rebooting our educational system so that everyone can have access to quality education.”
He also focused on what is needed to improve the lives of Liberians.
Pres. Weah said: “The most effective way to improve the lives of the poor and reduce inequality is to ensure that government officials do not skim public resources. I intend to use legislation and build upon our current code of conduct to limit conflicts of interest involving government employees, enhance transparency over public processes and punish violators.”
He informed the world only super power that his government is drafting legislation to make ministries more effective and efficient in addressing the specific challenges they face.
“We are decentralizing the government to make it more accessible to the people. We are reforming our land rights regulations to ensure equity for all Liberians. We are investing in infrastructure and roads to improve connectivity across the country and promoting agriculture to ensure self-sufficiency and nutrition for all,” he said.
Saying that his government is working to sustain a peaceful and stable Liberia, he said they are working on reforming our judicial system to ensure the basic rights of all citizens are protected.
“It will require sustained engagement from both my government and the citizens of the country. We do need the assistance of our friends outside Liberia. Building a stable, prosperous, democratic Liberia in the heart of West Africa is firmly in the interests of all nations, including the United States,” he said.
“To ensure economic growth and make Liberia attractive for investment, I have committed to removing unnecessary regulations and bureaucratic hurdles.”
The Liberian leader told the world that Liberia needs urgent reforms in a number of areas, including removal of restrictions on dual citizenship and regulations that limit land ownership to Liberian citizens.
Repeating his calls, he said “Liberia is open for business and my government will take every measure to support economic growth and bring prosperity to all our people.”
“But we do need continued support from our international partners. Don’t forget Liberia as we move from recovery to development. We are not asking for charity; we are looking for a chance. We need partners to walk with us on the road to progress and development.”