Liberia: Toward Good Governance, Building A Foundation for Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainable Development

Monrovia, Liberia, Photo Credit: Shadi Alkasim (Shadi_Alkasim, févr. 2019)

By Stephen O. Adams, Jr

The peaceful transition of power in Liberia marks a new chapter in the nation's history, offering an opportunity for the incoming government to set the stage for effective governance and sustainable development. Central to this endeavor is the imperative to embrace merit as the cornerstone of the new administration's formation. Simultaneously, a forensic audit of the outgoing administration is essential to ensure transparency, accountability, and the responsible stewardship of public resources. 

The Merit-Based Paradigm:

Liberia stands at a critical juncture where the decisions made by the new government will significantly impact the nation's trajectory. Embracing a merit-based system in the formation of the administration is not just a pragmatic choice but a moral imperative. This approach involves selecting individuals for key roles based on their qualifications, competence, and track record of service, rather than on political affiliations or personal connections.

Fostering Competence and Efficiency:

The appointment of officials based on merit ensures that the government is staffed with individuals who possess the necessary skills and expertise to address the complex challenges facing Liberia. Competence becomes the driving force behind decision-making, policy formulation, and the execution of public services. This focus on merit fosters efficiency, enabling the government to respond adeptly to the needs of the people and efficiently implement programs for the nation's development.

Mitigating Nepotism and Favoritism:

Historically, concerns of nepotism and favoritism have lingered in Liberian governance, eroding public trust and impeding progress. The adoption of a merit-based system is a decisive step toward mitigating these issues. By ensuring that appointments are based on objective criteria, the new government can build public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of its decision-making processes.

Transparency Through a Forensic Audit:

As the new administration begins its tenure, a forensic audit of the outgoing government is paramount to ensure transparency and accountability. This comprehensive examination of financial records and transactions will shed light on any irregularities or potential misuse of public funds. A forensic audit is not an indictment but a mechanism to unearth any discrepancies and hold the previous administration accountable for its financial stewardship. 

Restoring Public Trust:

In the wake of political transitions, restoring public trust is of paramount importance. The dual approach of embracing merit and conducting a forensic audit sends a clear signal to the citizens of Liberia that the new government is committed to a fresh era of transparent and accountable governance. These actions are not only symbolic but substantive, laying the groundwork for a renewed sense of trust between the government and the people.

Promoting Sustainable Development:

A merit-based administration, coupled with the findings of a forensic audit, creates a solid foundation for sustainable development. By placing competent individuals in key positions and ensuring financial accountability, the government is better equipped to formulate and execute policies that drive economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability.

Global Standards and International Support:

The adoption of merit-based governance aligns Liberia with global standards for effective and accountable public administration. Such alignment not only enhances the nation's reputation on the international stage but also opens avenues for increased support and collaboration with international partners. The global community values transparent and accountable governance, and Liberia's commitment to these principles can foster stronger diplomatic and economic ties.

In conclusion, the need for the new Liberian government to embrace merit in its administration and commission a forensic audit of the outgoing administration is paramount. These actions are not merely procedural but represent a commitment to the principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability. Liberia has the opportunity to set a positive precedent for the African continent by prioritizing merit and ensuring that the transition of power is accompanied by a thorough examination of financial practices. By doing so, the nation paves the way for a future defined by sustainable development, citizen trust, and global respect.

The Author: 

Stephen Olufummin Adams, is a Liberian IT professional currently residing in the US. He currently serves as managing partner of A&S information processing. He can be reached at