United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, says in order to compete in the modern global economy, there is a need for Liberia to have a state-of-the-art telecommunications sector.
“We need the ability to connect with the entire world, for the private sector, for the government, and for individuals to be able to succeed. We believe all this can be achieved through a vibrant telecommunications sector,” Ambassador Malac said.
Speaking at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication when she paid a courtesy call on Minister Frederick Norkeh, Ambassador Malac said a modern telecommunications sector would give the country’s economy a boost as government tries to rebuild the nation after 14 years of civil crisis.
“That is why it is important that Liberia rebuilds its economy and the country becomes a part of the global economy.
To do this, you need a modern telecommunications system,” she said.
She said the telecommunications sector is just one of the many things that need to advance in Liberia for it to participate in the modern world.
She indicated that Minister Norkeh has some very good ideas and a lot of good plans concerning where he wants to take the ministry and the telecommunications sector, but warned that there are still a lot of pieces that need to be put together and that it takes time for it to be built.
When asked whether the government’s projection for the future were too ambitious and would cause embarrassing project shortfalls, she responded “it is important that governments don’t spend money they do not have because it is not a good position to be in.”
“Sometimes it hard when you are impatient to make things happen and the money is not there, but sometimes it good to take a step back and figure out what is possible when the funding is not available and find other means to get the financing,” the US Ambassador said.
“We would like to see the private sector involved in a number of activities that the government itself is currently involved in, but that has its own challenges as well,” she added.
Minister Norkeh said that Ambassador Malac’s visit was one of the usual visits that she pays to his ministry, and that she actually wanted to know some of the challenges and achievements the ministry had experienced since her last visit.
He said the U.S. has been providing assistance to his ministry, especially in the area of capacity building, and that the meeting was intended to discuss how best the U.S. could help in the fiber-optic installation process.
“We have been having problems in the fiber-optic installation process. The U.S., being a premier country in this kind of technology, has offered to help Liberia,” Minister Norkeh concluded.