In order to address the challenges confronting businesses in Liberia and to increase local private investment and ownership, authorities at the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) in partnership with its United States chapter, has disclosed plans to train and empower several young Liberians who are into small businesses through their partnership agreement.
James Strother, president of LIBA, who spoke at a news conference in Monrovia recently, underscored the need to have a meaningful transformation of the country’s economy and the empowerment and participation of its local businesses.
He said Liberians in the Diaspora want to come back home and partner with local Liberian businesses to provide them training capacity as well as empowerment opportunities to improve their businesses.
“Liberians cannot be in the Diaspora for their business to grow and so the idea we came up with is to create a partnership with Liberians abroad to see how they can come back home to tap on the partnership to grow,” he stated.
Mr. Strother believes that taking these steps will ensure that Liberian-owned businesses will succeed and not be a spectator in their own country.
He said LIBA-Liberia is making frantic efforts in getting incubation centers around the country to train young people that are coming up in business.
Strother indicated, “You may go into the private sector and will have to start from somewhere. Like those that are in the agricultural sector, if we have these centers across Liberia and conduct regular training in specific disciplines, you will understand exactly where you want to go in business.”
He said most Liberian businessmen and women have been guessing because they do not understand the kind of business to do, and “I believe that if we teach them how to enter into business, Liberia will make significant progress in its business climate.”
Mr. Strother disclosed further that LIBA is also negotiating with the government to see how they can empower Liberian businesses.
He said that nobody can build Liberia except Liberians themselves.
The LIBA president said, “We want the government to invest more in helping Liberian owned-businesses to excel. We want to guide many young people who are in businesses to succeed as well as ensure that they do the right thing.”
According to him, effective next year, LIBA, in partnership with Liberians in the Diaspora, will begin most of its projects across Liberia; “I mean the training component.”
Also speaking, LIBA-USA executive director, Jackson George, named few countries including Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana that are succeeding in a business partnership deal in the sub-region from their people in the USA.
He used the occasion to launch an appealed to Liberians out there to put away the issue of hatred and unite as one people.
Mr. George, who is currently in the country for a business purpose noted that hatred has the ability to impede the progress of Liberia’s development if not properly looked at.
The LIBA-USA chapter then expressed optimism that if there is a continued partnership in business, hatred will definitely leave by itself, noting that; sole proprietorship has created hatred “If it is not you, it cannot be me.”
“We want the leadership structure to start the partnership first by building or setting up the necessary programs here in Liberia,” the visiting LIBA -USA executive director added.
He maintained that LIBA-USA is working in collaboration with the government of Liberia to help empower local businesses.
Mr. George said, “We must create the avenue to have a soft loan and a long term loan. We want the government to come in so that Liberians can take over its economy.”
He concluded that the only way Liberian owned-businesses will succeed among foreign businesses is to work together.