Gov’t Pledges Commitment to Adopt Metric System

Pror Tarpeh: threatened administrative and regulatory sanctions against individuals, firms, and residents currently undertaking projects within and along the wetland in the area.

Commerce and Industry Minister Wilson Tarpeh has said the government is committed to adopting the metric system to promote accountability and transparency in trade.

The metric system is an international system of measurement adopted universally with the US, Liberia and Myanmar being the only exceptions.

Minister Tarpeh who spoke at the celebration of the World Met++++++-+++++-rology Day in Liberia, organized by the National Standards Laboratory on May 24, explained that the government is aware that if it does not adopt  the metric system, local manufacturers will find it difficult to benefit from the various ECOWAS trade agreements.

He added they are also aware that no quantity can be correctly and consistently measured without metrology and metrological infrastructure.

“International agreements and decisions concerning trade and the social well-being of people increasingly require mutual recognition of measurements and tests among nations. The absence of such mutual recognition is considered a non-tariff technical barrier to trade and an impediment to environmental and health related decision making.

“All of these agreements rest upon the development of equivalence of national measurement standard and the reliability of the link between national measurement standard and the relevant testing services in each country,” Min. Tarpeh said.

The minister therefore challenged participants at the celebration to develop a policy that will lead the government to adopt the metric system.

“Ware aware that to develop as a prosperous and industrialized nation and to gain competitive edge both within the ECOWAS region and on the global stage, there is no other choice than to rely on a developed national quality infrastructure that will provide the needed services to local producers and service providers.

“The government will remain dedicated to following steps ECOWAS member states took to adopt the metric system to strengthen trade and industrialization, protection of health and safety of the consumers and the environment.

The program was attended by several partners including EU, UNIDO, and the ECOWAS commission, who have all contributed tremendous support to the development of metrology in Liberia.


  1. BS.. I am sorry but we do not want no freaking metric system in Liberia. You have to practically change everything/system in the country. Why can we be who we are? EU has both systems right???

    • If you are a stupid and useless person on the outside looking in, just maybe you don’t need to use the metric system. But, if you are a person who wants to expand his horizons and grow and prosper with the greater world, then you need metric. It is good to see that those people who are forward thinking are finally seeing the light. Obviously lack of business from the metric world is hurting enough to realise a change is needed.

      You can be who you are and still use metric units and no, the EU does not use both. Only SI units are legal there as in the vast majority of the world. They should be the only legal units everywhere.

  2. You’ve heard it before. It’s hard to teach an older person new tricks. To be on the safe or I should say the understanding side, let’s adopt both systems. Quote certain measurements in both systems; it’s done with most new automobiles. Look on your car dashboard, you’ll probably see, miles per hour and kilometers per hour… Why not write our measures in both systems? He/She who knows many roads to the same town, will never get lost. As a matter of fact, “The U.S does use both systems in some cases. When it comes to drugs/medicines, No Doubts! The METRICS systems PREVAILS. Hey! Let’s write our measures in both METRICS and IMPERIAL or The English System. It won’t hurt anything. Check out some rulers. You will see both systems.

    • It sounds good to have dual measures, but it’s a nuisance. The best way to change is simply to switch. Where we did this in Australia there was no problem at all; in the few areas where dual measures are used, it’s a nuisance. My advice: don’t duel with dual!

    • Henry,

      You are completely clueless. Both systems don’t work. They only create great division and confusion. So, what do you think using both will involve? Just printing two sets of numbers? How would you feel if I told you that a particular dimension you had to measure was 250.0 mm apart. Its conversion would be 9.842 519 inches, which could be rounded to 9.84 inches. How would you measure it? You would be very frustrated. If you were my employee, I would have to fire you and find someone else to do the measuring.

      The other problem is both units do not promote learning. Those who are lazy won’t bother to learn will just look at the old units. Then they have a conversation with someone who has learned and wants to communicate in the new units, which those like you don’t or won’t understand. You will be upset. Is this what you want?

      Liberia needs to grow, not be forever in the clutches of backwardness. That is what American Customary units are good for, keeping Liberia backwards. Everyone has to make the sacrifice to move forward. Those who cling to the past will always be on the outside wishing to be on the inside. You will be very miserable.

  3. Congratulations to Liberia for intending to adopt the metric system. As an Australian who lived through the adoption of the metric system I can assure you that the changeover is nothing to be afraid of. Of course, there are adjustments that have to be made, but these are nothing to fear.

    Now, more than 40 years after the changeover, it is well worth the minor inconvenience of changing from the old measures to the new ones.

  4. Liberia’s pro-metric announcement now leaves just one nation non-metric: the Pacifico-Atlantic island nation on North America known as the United States of America. MY country.

    Misery loves company, but now we don’t even have company. We are the world’s SOLE non-metric, or rather, pre-metric, nation.Trouble is, we are so numb that we cannot feel the misery of this hour. Converting non-metric to metric when needed is built into the software. The clarion call of practicality will gave to come from international economic pressure. Now that America hangs alone in the stocks of its own making, perhaps a heaping measure of shame will weigh in on the scale of infrastructure legislation in the Congress. Timecwill tell.

    • Paul, there IS no shame in the USA. Ignorance in the US is a basic human right and something to be proud of. It is truly an insurmountable task to metricate the USA without some heavy handed legislation and we all know there is not ONE career politician willing to risk their gravy train to make it happen. It is truly by the grace of God that the USA has accomplished so much. And I will admit, we’ve built a pretty nice nation using a kings foot – but there’s a clear upgrade available and no American is willing to admit that.

  5. Michael, I visited Australia in 2007, and was totally blown away by the thoroughness of Australian metrication. The ONLY non-metric mark, sign, or reference I saw in my two weeks in country from Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne was a dual-labeledclearance sign at the entrance to a carpark across the street from Southern Cross Station, and that sign looked very old. Seeing a sewer cover marked in kilonewtons and restaurant steak sizes in hundreds of grams told me, “WOW..SI won!!!”

  6. I have witnessed metrication at first hand in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. South Africa did not permit the use of dual units, the United Kingdon did. Metrication was completed in South Africa many years ago. It is stil incomplete in the United Kingdom.

    One f the drivers for metrication in Liberia is the emergence of ECOWAS. Taking car speedometers as an example, if Liberia were to mandate dual unit speedometers, they would be out of sync with the rest of the continent (who use metric -only speedometers). The same applies to all other products. The way i which I see ECOWAS going is that any product that is made for export within Africa by an African country will have both English and French markings as one of these two languages is the linga franca in any particular country. Of course, all ECOWAS countries will use the metric system (they all do anyway apart from Liberia).

  7. Congratulations, Liberia. The English Imperial “system” truly belongs in the dustbin of history. Retaining it only leads to lack of opportunity and growth, as does the confusion and endless challenge of trying to be a “dual unit” nation. As an American who is forced to use antiquated and nearly obsolete methods to quantify the world around me, I can’t help but be a bit envious. Welcome to the entire rest of the globe! (well, except the USA)


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