As Liberia and other African countries fall into a leadership crisis and a daunting economic future, three prominent Liberian social-political activists participated in a forum and presented a perspective on Liberia’s future, a release has said.
The forum, according to a release, saw a major PowerPoint presentation by Liberia’s award-winning scientist and social activist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, who presented the “New Vision Liberia” and an urgent patriotic call to “Rescue Liberia.”
Liberia is the oldest republic in Africa and gained its independence in 1847, but its national life appears to be reduced to a bleak future.
In contrast, Dr. Nyan presented an overall view of a New Vision for Liberia, saying, “The New Vision is a renewed patriotic platform that encourages every citizen to fight against corruption and mismanagement of our national resources in society; it is that New Vision that encourages good governance, visionary national leadership as well as advocating equality, social justice, and economic prosperity for all in our society.”
The forum, held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was attended by an array of entrepreneurs, policymakers, and medical professionals whose attention was also drawn to corruption in the Liberian government and problems that exist in doing business in Liberia, a country that has vast investment opportunities.
As a caveat, Dr. Nyan added, “Investing in various sectors of the Liberian economy could be attractive with a business-friendly atmosphere tailored to the country’s national interest, while being profitable for investors.”
He continued, “This could be possible under a visionary government that demands accountability and transparency.”
But interjecting his observation, Martin Kollie, a youth activist and student of Economics at the state-run University of Liberia, highlighted the free-fall of the Liberian economy under President George Weah and listed the lack of foreign direct investment, industrial-scale corruption and mismanagement as contributing factors.
Martin Kollie is currently standard-bearer of the Student Unification Party (SUP) and was the leader of the “Bring Back Our Money” protest movement, which indicted the Liberian government on the “missing L$16 billion” and US$25 million saga in 2018.
In continuation, Dr. Nyan further said, “The New Vision Liberia is a national vision that promotes competence, merit and patriotism, prioritizes agriculture and food security, a forward-looking vision of Liberia that promotes science, innovation, technology and medicine for the advancement of our society.”
He also spoke of “equal access to quality education, quality healthcare and justice as being a cardinal pillar of the New Vision Liberia for a better Liberia.”
He said that voter’s education, peaceful and civic mass actions in a democratic process should be the only path to changing our government or its anti-people policies.
Professor Alaric Tokpa, who spoke on peace and security, emphasized that the New Vision Liberia “is that clear Vision, which promotes the rule of law, respect for the Constitution, promotes unity and cultural diversity, peace, harmony, and security in all sectors of society.”
He added, “Freedom of speech, academic freedom, youth advancement and women’s rights were important to the New Vision for Liberia in a New Liberia.”
Alaric Tokpa is an iconic fighter for social-economic justice and democracy in Liberia.
In the 1980s, Mr. Tokpa was arrested and imprisoned by then Master Sgt. Samuel Doe’s military junta, tried by a military tribunal and sentenced to death by firing squad, but later released on clemency.
Further in his presentation, Dr. Nyan acknowledged the disappointment of the Liberian people and the international community in the current Liberian government, which he described as “unhealthy,” adding, “That is why this New Vision for Liberia should build institutions and groom patriotic servants, not political leaders.”
In view of Liberia’s past civil crisis and continuous governance problem, Dr. Nyan said “Liberians must get it right this time in the elections of 2020 and 2023, instead of experimenting with leadership anymore, because our generation has all it takes to rescue our country and build it to be a prosperous and respected nation once again.”
Dr. Nyan then emphasized that this Vision is a New Vision of all Liberians irrespective of political, religious, or social affiliations, and for all that espouse a new Liberia with a new breed of leaders vetted on ten-point characteristics.
The ten-point characteristics include Visionary, farsighted, and competent; no history of corruption while in past governments; never involved in economic and war crimes; patriots, with no blood on their hands; have strong history of grass-roots’ advocacy; have long-standing identification with the people’s struggle; possess astute national integrity; internationally respected and recognized; made meaningful contributions to the Liberian society and humanity; respects the African cultural heritage, its richness and good aspects.
Nyan added that the New Vision should be a vision for every Liberian, a forward-thinking philosophy that encourages Liberians and Africans towards the principles of social democracy and economic justice and promotes cooperation among all true democratic forces as well as advocacy institutions for the common good of all citizens.
Dougbeh Chris Nyan is a Liberian scientist and inventor of the multiplex infectious disease diagnostic test. In his fight for democracy in Liberia, he was also imprisoned by the Samuel Doe military government, expelled from the University of Liberia and exiled in the late 80’s.
He now serves as an executive of the National Democratic Coalition of Liberia (NDC), a coalition of Liberia’s social democratic parties.
“Our generation needs to Rescue Liberia with this New Vision,” Dr. Nyan said.