Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, has called on donor partners and national government to focus on national capacity strategy in the country.
Minister Tweah noted that not much attention has been given to the national capacity strategy over the years, adding that when given more attention, it will immensely contribute to the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The MFDP Minister made these statements over the weekend at the Ministerial Complex during a one-day conference on programming aid development. It was organized by the MFDP.
He noted that the strategy, when effective, will address some national issues across the country in the provision of more scholarships and empower other sectors which are key to the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government.
Minister Tweah also admonished the government of Liberia to take the lead to ensure that both transparency and accountability are effective in all sectors, something he said will encourage the country’s development partners to continue their support to the government.
Presenting during the conference, the Deputy Minister for the Department of Economic Management at the Finance Ministry, Augustus Flomo, said it is important to look at aid because the conference reflects the major and critical concerns in tracking aids to Liberia.
Minister Flomo said programming aid for national development must ensure value for money, whereby the impact of aid dollars improves the lives of the poor, adding that aid bridged funding gap and it complements government’s spending towards the PAPD.
He named weak alignment of donor funds to the PAPD, delay in counterpart funding, delay in fulfilling effective conditions to track aid and the extent to which it impacts the country as challenges in aid management.
Also speaking, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has reaffirmed its commitment to the developmental drive of Liberia.
Madam Sara Walter, Mission Director of USAID, said her agency is proud to be working hand-in-hand with the Government of Liberia to ensure that its development programs remain aligned with government policies.
She said USAID is committed to strengthening its collaboration and coordination with the government, saying “Just six months ago, I had the pleasure of joining Minister Samuel Tweah to sign the Development Objective Grant Agreement (DOGA) between the United States and Liberia that provides the framework for our five-year development assistance programming in Liberia.”
The USAID boss maintained that the development strategy her institution is implementing under said agreement reflects its strong commitment to effective collaboration with all stakeholders in Liberia’s development drive, adding that in performance with their Liberian partners, they purposefully designed the strategy so that its key objectives are aligned with and supported the broad pillars of Liberia’s strategic development initiative, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Madam Walter furthered said that in the final analysis, aligning USAID’s activities with Liberia’s strategic development objectives and fostering meaningful collaboration with their Liberian partners is the key to helping Liberia to succeed on the journey to self-reliance.
She noted that national aid and NGO policy represents an important step forward in the ongoing effort to extend the reach of unusual development resources so that they provide more Liberians access to essential support and services, noting that “in particular, the policy provides a strong framework for enhanced coordination by all development stakeholders coordination that produces collaborations, eliminates wastes and helps allocate development resources to their most productive uses.”
The USAID envoy stated that these gains and many others provide cause to celebrate the conference, but they are also a reminder of the constant challenge they are faced with as development professionals; how to spend every development dollar to give even more Liberian mothers, students, and farmers access to quality health care, education, and basic infrastructure.
World Bank Country Manager, Mr. Khwima Nthara, termed the initiative as one of the best he has ever seen under the Coalition for Democratic Change led-administration.
According to him, all resources invested into national government’s policies including the National Aid Policy and Procedural Manual by the World Bank has been realized under the Weah led-government.
The World Bank Country manager also pledged the bank’s financial support to the government of Liberia to implement all of its national policies for national development.
Mr. Nthara, however, called on other development partners and various government institutions including agencies and ministries to cooperate and collaborate with each other to enhance national development, stressing that success comes through unity and collective efforts of everyone.