At the just-ended Gbarnga, Bong County, National Development Summit, held on Monday, April 25, 2016, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the implementation of Liberia’s shared vision, Vision 2030, which seeks to make Liberia a middle income country, is well on course and that government is committed to ensuring that the national vision is realized in the next 14 months. The summit aimed at highlighting progress made by government since 2012.
The President rallied every Liberian to form part of the process and take ownership of it.
With the progress that was enumerated by outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh on Monday, President Sirleaf said her administration would have gone further, but the prevailing economic circumstances are serving as major impediments.
She noted that despite the challenges, the progress is there for Liberians to see.
Vision 2030 was adopted on December 12, 2012. At its launch that year, President Sirleaf presented the idea to young people and civil society organizations (CSOs) asking them to take full ownership of it. Upon its adoption, many Liberians, who are accustomed to the syndrome of lack of implementation, saw it as one of those documents that though beautifully crafted, would be left to gather dust on the shelves.
Contrary to that perception, government was able to outline some major progress, especially in infrastructure, such as roads, energy, bridges, etc.
Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), said at the Summit on Monday that, “to craft this document, consultations were done in all 73 districts across the country. We must ensure that their aspirations are achieved.”
Dr. Sawyer is one of the architects of Vision 2030. “The vision of the Liberian people is a collective vision and we must work to achieve it,” he said.
He added that the stage in which the Vision implementation process is at now, “it is no time to cease the momentum, but rather building and closing upon it.”
He frowned on the tendency of Liberian leaders to always abandon projects initiated by their predecessors. “Every leader wants to be a pioneer, because they refused to build on what their predecessors have begun. So if we want to be pioneers, we will not leave from the frontier,” Dr.
Sawyer said. He cautioned the young people, “This is your future; you must guide and protect it.”
For outgoing Minister Konneh, he enumerated progresses the government is making, noting, “Steadfast progress [is] being made in all of the pillars,” including peace, security and the rule of law, economic transformation and human development.
The minister said government is making steadfast progress as it relates to pillar one, which comprises four sectors to create an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence based on reconciliation and conflict resolution and providing security, access to justice and the rule of law. It has to do with the Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).
With regards to the LNP, Minister Konneh noted that since the launch of the National Vision, 5,192 officers have been recruited, trained and deployed nationwide. The LNP has also purchased and delivered nonlethal weapons to 10 camps vacated by United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) police.
The current strength of the BIN is 2,346. In 2013 and 2014, Minister Konneh disclosed that 234 and 265 officers were trained and deployed respectively. He also said UNDP funding is helping to train additional 250 recruits in Grand Cape Mount County. Upon completion, uniforms, communication equipment and vehicles will be provided to the trainees.
“With the private sector development component of the Economic Transformation pillar, there are enormous progress that is making doing business in Liberia simple and interesting,” Konneh disclosed.