Deputy Minister for Budget Speaks on Economic Exclusion, Marginalization

Madam Tanneh Brunson, Deputy Minister for Budget, MFDP

Blames 14 years Civil Unrest

Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister for Budget, Tenneh Brunson, has said that one of the contributing factors for Liberia’s 14 years civil unrest was the perception of economic exclusion and marginalization.

Madam Brunson’s statement was contained in a speech delivered by her policy advisor, Mr. Anthony Nimely, at the start of a week-long National Fragility Assessment for the Evaluation of the National Risk and Resilience for Trans-formative Development Consultative Stakeholders conference in the country.

The conference, which is organized by the Department of Budget and Development Planning through the MFDP, brought together representatives from various government ministries and agencies, at a resort on the Robertsfield highway.

She said there were several factors responsible for the breakdown that resulted in the civil crisis; with the most common being marginalization.

According to her, the majority of the nation’s 2.5million citizens, at the time, felt excluded believing that political participation and economic inclusion were limited to an elite class of people.

She added that the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), in Accra, Ghana, prescribed that the newly elected government initiate several policies and development frameworks to address the root causes of the crisis as part of the national recovery process.

Accordingly, the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2008), the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011), the Agenda for Transformation (2012-2017), the National Vision 2030, the Reconciliation Road-map and the National Decentralization Policy are examples of various policy and development initiatives meant to fundamentally address the conditions that led to the crisis and improve governance.

She explained that following the end of the civil war, peace had been consolidated and considerable progress has been made in economic management, governance, security, the rule of law, public financial management, transparency and accountability and in improving social conditions.

Madam Brunson indicated that the formulation and implementation of national policies and framework have contributed significantly to placing Liberia on an irreversible path from recovery to reconstruction and on-wards to development.

She further stated that several institutions have been established to build, nurture, promote and sustain the country’s democracy, state-building processes, evidenced by the conduct of two successive credible elections and several by-elections with a very minimum occurrence of violence.

However, she stated that Liberia as a member of the G7+ and a signatory to the New Deal agreed in November 2011 to five proposed areas to strengthen peace-building goals, which are: legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations and revenue services.

Introducing the New Deal, one of the facilitators of the workshop, Nathaniel Kwabo indicated that fragility serves as one of the driving forces that lead to war in a country.

Therefore, Kwabo intimated that the New Deal calls for new approaches and processes to make development assistance more impactful to countries so as to ensure not to send assistance to conflict-prone areas.

Also speaking, United Nations Development Programme official Jairo Acuna Alfaro expressed joy for being a part of the workshop.

He pointed out that the UNDP is supporting countries coming out of fragility and that is one of the reasons he’s visiting Liberia to have an appreciation of the transition processes of UNMIL and the turning over of power from the current government to the next.

Alfaro stressed the need to look at the format of politics and the functions of government institutions to make those institutions work for the benefit of the people.


  1. Wake-up everybody! With ritualistic killings, endemic corruption, excessive salaries and benefits of lawmakers, Liberia’s system of governance is rotten to the core and broken by design. Liberia needs a new system, not a new manager of a corrupt system ! Nothing will change in Liberia until the citizens prioritize changing the broken and corrupt system. And who is qualified to bring change? Educated or illiterate, the citizens are more qualified than politicians to bring systemic change because democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people! The Holy Bible supports systemic change. Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.” Liberians have a saying; “99 days for rogue, one day for master.”
    Yes, the master must first create a blueprint before hiring qualified contractors to work on the terms of the master to successfully construct a home that lasts. The master, not the contractor must set the salaries and benefits. For 170 years Liberia has been in deep trouble because we have relied on politicians (contractors) to set their own salaries and benefits, lead and determine our destiny with their selfish agenda and deceptive platforms. How foolish? The contractor’s design of 1847 was flawed and their revised design of 1986 is corrupt, broken and created just to enrich politicians and not to serve the public. That is why as long as the broken system remains, anyone, even Obama jumping in the sea of corruption will only get rich and leave the country broken. We just witnessed 12 years of the broken system at work! Proof: All Liberian lawmakers earn higher salaries than lawmakers in all 50 states in America. The highest paid American state lawmaker from California, a state with US$265 billion dollars budget is US$104,118.00 yearly salary. Compare that the salary of Liberian senators (including presidential aspirants) making over US$156,000.00 yearly on a national budget of US$550 million (not even one billion dollars. Shameful! 20 presidential aspirants are making empty promises that cannot be fulfilled because Liberia’s system of governance is still broken and still corrupt by design. The 20 aspirants who claim they can leave the broken system intact and perform miracles are fooling themselves and the public. The people’s platform and agenda are by far superior and better than the agenda of any politician. Proof: Look at what the so called “uneducated” citizens accomplish in Liberia: they pay majority of school fees, operate countless mechanic shops, provide transportation for the country, make farms that feed the people. Compare that to what the politicians have done: set excessive salaries and benefits, build mansions at home and abroad. Drinking from a broken glass isn’t only dangerous-it didn’t work back then and and hasn’t worked for the past 170 years. It’s time to start from scratch and design a new system before hiring contractors to build. “99 days for rogue, one day for master.”


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