Amb. Elder Challenges Pres. Weah to Address Country’s Economic Problems

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US Ambassador Christine Elder

United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, says Liberia’s economic challenge remains vital to the livelihood of Liberians, and therefore the George Weah Administration should see it as an urgent need to address.

Amb. Elder posed the challenge to President Weah on July 4, 2018, during the observance of her country’s 242nd Independence Anniversary at the embassy on Benson Street, Central Monrovia.

In her independence day message that basically centered on relations between Liberia and the United States, the female Diplomat said growing the economy is the only sustainable path to lifting the people out of poverty, acknowledging that the US shares the Liberian Government’s sense of urgency to move the country forward in its development.

As some of the solutions to improve the crumbling economy affected by a depreciating currency, the Ambassador stressed the need for the Liberian government to introduce broad reforms and take bold steps to inhibit (restrain) corruption in order to transform the business climate to attract domestic, regional and foreign investment, to grow the economy and to seek further fiscal and monetary stability.

She added, “Successful economies in Africa have mastered a balancing act that creates a combination of laws and incentives that deepen the relationship with the companies that are cornerstones of their economies and attract new businesses, while providing governments much needed revenues and creating domestic jobs.”

Beyond that, Amb. Elder suggested the way forward for the government to improve the economy; she also cited some instances that portray patriotism and commitment to duty.

She said while aboard a flight in recent time, she looked at her passport and thought how lucky she was to possess it and to have the privilege of standing before Liberians to represent her country.

She added that flipping through the passport, she came across quotes on the pages; one of which was written by a prominent African-American scholar, Dr. Anna Haywood Cooper.  In Anna’s writing that concerns freedom, Amb. Elder quoted, “The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, or the cause of a party or a class — it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.”

Ambassador Elder said July 4th is a day of reflection for Americans — reflection on the often difficult and costly road to attain freedom, to protect and defend freedom and to examine their understanding of freedom. Interestingly, she said, Dr. Cooper died at the age of 105, in 1964, the same year Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Drawing on the late Dr. Cooper’s profound understanding and of what freedom is, Ambassador Elder noted that, “viewing freedom in a slightly broader sense, in many ways it defines the underlying goals of my country’s development agenda with Liberia.”

She said viewing freedom in many ways, the United States thought to relate to Liberia by assisting to improve healthcare and education, contribute to infrastructure, elections, electricity and internet connectivity.

Speaking of freedom, she used the occasion to also praise the House of Representatives for passing an act to decriminalize freedom of speech, through a bill that was sent forward by President George M. Weah.

In President George Weah’s congratulatory message to the government and people of the United States and their President, Donald J. Trump, he conceded that the US has been instrumental in enhancing equality, justice, and liberty for all Liberians.

Weah said he looks forward to another get together of Liberians and people of the United States under the ‘Partnership Dialogue’ to share bilateral views and thoughts that will be beneficial to the two countries.

He commended the US for its support to Liberian security sector reform, elections and other human development activities.  He said with such support, the election that led him to power was held and a peaceful transition took place.

Many high profiles personalities, among them other ambassadors accredited to Liberia, including government officials, attended yesterday’s ceremony in Monrovia.

The event was colored by vocal renditions of the Liberian and American national anthems by Liberian and American staff of the US Embassy, respectively. The Marine Guard Detachment of the US Embassy also “presented the colors”, a ceremony to honor the American flag.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Happy Independence Day America!!!

    The economic situation in Liberia is becoming progressive worse. Ordinary Liberians are feeling the pinch while top government officials including lawmakers, who were elected to represent their constituents, seem to have no solutions in passing sensible laws to remedy the economic hardship on poor Liberians.

    Both the previous administration and the current administration are responsible for creating this economic mess. This new government inherited an economic mess from the previous government. There seems to be no economic contingency plan put in place after the departure of UNMIL.

    It became worse when this CDC government of President Weah came ill-prepared to tackle the deteriorating economic situation. From the way they are handling the economy, they looked shell-shocked to see the enormity of the economic crisis they inherited.

    The previous administration reaped the economic benefit of having UNMIL in Liberia during President’s twelve years of leadership. She courted the international goodwill to the extent of receiving so many billion dollars of foreign investments. UNMIL pumped billions of dollars into Liberia’s fragile economy both directly and indirectly: through employment, training, building facilities and equipment, infrastructure, just to name a few.

    There were many advance warnings about UNMIL departure. Some security preparations were put in place to take over after UNMIL’s departure; but this current government and the previous government did not put strategic economic contingency plans in place as their priority to alleviate the foreseeable economic hardship in anticipation of UNMIL departure. Also, President Weah and his CDC government were not fully prepared to handle the rapidly deteriorating economic impact from UNMIL departure this CDC government inherited.

    No new government comes into power without a fully prepared strategic economic plan knowing very well that their predecessor, the Unity Party government, barely survived on the goodwill of the United States, foreign aid, the World Bank, The IMF, foreign direct investments, and the robust economic activities of UNMIL.

    If this government strays away from Liberia’s traditional partners, mostly the United States, and these strategic international financial entities: the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and refuses to come up with strategic economic goals (reducing the high exchange rate, reducing high unemployment, controlling rampant corruption, increasing domestic and foreign investments, increasing agriculture growth, etc. ) to remedy the current and foreseeable economic hardship in Liberia, the suffering masses will not tolerate empty “Pro-Poor” slogan that has no effect on their lives.

    If this government fails to listen to the suffering masses; fails to listen to the advice from the international communities; fails to listen to the prophetic economic message from the U.S Ambassador that sees Liberia spinning out of control, then this government is asking for its own downfall.

    Act now, Mr. President, before it’s too late.

  2. They were in opposition for twelve years, they would have prepared themselves. They knew that they were going get to the state power. No platform, no success. Failure is the order of the day.

  3. When they were waiting to rule, they should have had a game plan. Wilson tarpeh salary should be given to the market women because he sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver.

  4. Once the law of the land is not respected, there will always be corruption, high crimes rate among the citizens, and very high level of institutional stealing/corruption among government officials denying the State of its due revenues/taxes for national development and welfare of its people.

    If we had good mechanisms and system in place from previous government, we would not be talking about EBOMAF and Elton loans today. But the question is, are we really prepared to make the imminent and required changes for this old-age Country to move forward, just simply by obeying the bunches of law and policy we already have on book?

    Even common traffic law and rules are not respected by high elected government officials who should be setting and leading by practical examples., for the rest of the Country to followed.

    Again, its good to borrowed money for road construction in the South East, but once the due process of law is not followed, than my fear is will these roads be really built, will such funds be used for its intended purpose looking at the amount of hungry lions that are on the the rampage? Common assets declaration has become a war.

    Why everygovernment always refusing to obey the law she met there, but only insterestedi n creating new law and rules? This beat my imagination!

  5. We need a dictator to abolish the senate and representative and rule Liberia by bringing order to the country. too much freedom and we cannot eat.

  6. This United States Ambassador’s call on Liberians to grow their own economy is not only seen in bylaws that would benefit “cornerstone companies” but that domestic revenues should be considered the base of a successful Liberian intake. I see her way forward for Americans in this trade connection with Liberians. However, the main focus is to rely on the domestic flow of local goods and services, the production of which should be mostly agricultural products alongside health provisions most needed for Liberians for survival each day. To achieve this goal, United States Dollars should be used to purchase needed materials, not necessarily luxury, not produced in Liberia. As the alternative, Liberian monies should be the reliability for domestic purchases. We must see the value of our own currency and use it wisely. Do not reply my box. Tell the people. Gone to silence.

  7. Our mindset is what is messing ruining this country. A government official feels no responsibility for the people. S/He feels being government officials entails being powerful, above the people (and actually , most of the people know not otherwise–> gross ignorance due to lack of education or exposure and/or fear ) and s/he owe the people nothing (yes , you owe them service , because they entrusted you are overseers of of various categories depending on your post). Instead officials feel that the people owe them reverence. But , no, no , no , you are the servant of the people , that is why you were elected (well, selected in most cases ). This mindset has to change for the country to be better.
    Regarding the state of economic affairs of Liberia, Liberia has to take control of it’s products (maritime for example–> well meaning and qualified personnel have to manage it under the total stewardship of an honest GOL leadership). The country is so rich potentially , yet so poor due to the corruption, nepotism, egoisme, ignorance, lack of patriotism (not in the negative direction–>am talking of love of country here and not hate –> xenophobia for example).

    Why can’t these people learn their lessons and at least follow in the footsteps of Ghana (not perfect but much better than Liberia). 1847 and we are “degressing” infinitely towards the negative direction on the “number line” of yesteryears. What is wrong with us people ??? “Pain on my heart and tears in my eyes” , I cry for this country, Liberia…. Can’t we learn ? Can’t those in charge see that by they being corrupt and careless , our country’s reputation diminishes, and so their place of origin ?

    By going abroad ( because that is what they know to do best) and lavishing/squandering the country’s money doesn’t make them any better? Because, at the end of the day , they will say I am from Liberia and guess what ??? You just expressed that you are from a “poor country” , No amount of spending will raise your “moral”. Don’t you guys see that ??? I feel sick!!! I am not off topic here, this is some of the causes of the current economic situation in the country. I am this new government specifically, but based on what is happening, taking controversial loans, statements uttered ( “this is our time”) etc, all points to the fact that we are heading in the same direction. STOP IT!!! Let’s think Liberia, let’s think the poor man in the village, let’s think the poor mother who can’t afford food for her kid, let’s think the young man who can’t afford school fees, let’s think the bad roads, let’s think , the bad hospitals , let’s think no corruption, let’s think quality education, let’s think about everything else that will make Liberia better! Let’s copy from countries (worldwide) that are doing better! You are the servant of the poeple , every child that doesn’t go to school is your responsibility, every one that dies (whose life could have otherwise been saved , had you put in place a functional health care system) is your responsibility. Think making Liberia better! “Do your best and leave the rest with God!” I have much to say , but you should know better, that’s why you were (supposedly) made a “steward”!

  8. QUICK CORRECTION FORGET THE TYPOS AND ABSORB THE MESSAGE !!!
    Our mindset is what is messing/ruining this country. A government official feels no responsibility for the people. S/He feels being government officials entails being powerful, above the people (and actually , most of the people know not otherwise–> gross ignorance due to lack of education or exposure and/or fear ) and s/he owe the people nothing (yes , you owe them service , because they entrusted you are overseers of various categories depending on your post). Instead officials feel that the people owe them reverence. But , no, no , no , you are the servant of the people , that is why you were elected (well, selected in most cases ). This mindset has to change for the country to be better.
    Regarding the state of economic affairs of Liberia, Liberia has to take control of it’s products (maritime for example–> well meaning and qualified personnel have to manage it under the total stewardship of an honest GOL leadership). The country is so rich potentially , yet so poor due to the corruption, nepotism, egoisme, ignorance, lack of patriotism (not in the negative direction–>am talking of love of country here and not hate –> xenophobia for example).

    Why can’t these people learn their lessons and at least follow in the footsteps of Ghana (not perfect but much better than Liberia). 1847 and we are “degressing” infinitely towards the negative direction on the “number line” of yesteryears. What is wrong with us people ??? “Pain on my heart and tears in my eyes” , I cry for this country, Liberia…. Can’t we learn ? Can’t those in charge see that by they being corrupt and careless , our country’s reputation diminishes, and so their place of origin ?

    By going abroad ( because that is what they know to do best) and lavishing/squandering the country’s money doesn’t make them any better? Because, at the end of the day , they will say I am from Liberia and guess what ??? You just expressed that you are from a “poor country” , No amount of spending will raise your “moral”. Don’t you guys see that ??? I feel sick!!! I am not off topic here, this is some of the causes of the current economic situation in the country. I am not blaming this new government specifically, but based on what is happening, taking controversial loans, statements uttered ( “this is our time”) etc, all points to the fact that we are heading in the same direction. STOP IT!!! Let’s think Liberia, let’s think the poor man in the village, let’s think the poor mother who can’t afford food for her kid, let’s think the young man who can’t afford school fees, let’s think the bad roads, let’s think , the bad hospitals , let’s think no corruption, let’s think quality education, let’s think about everything else that will make Liberia better! Let’s copy from countries (worldwide) that are doing better! You are the servant of the people , every child that doesn’t go to school is your responsibility, every one that dies (whose life could have otherwise been saved , had you put in place a functional health care system) is your responsibility. Think making Liberia better! “Do your best and leave the rest with God!” I have much to say , but you should know better, that’s why you were (supposedly) made a “steward”!

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