Outgoing Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Amara M. Konneh, alongside Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), has launched a three year strategic plan for the MFDP.
The three-year plan is aimed at promoting inclusive sustainable growth and development through efficient resource allocation, equitable wealth distribution, prudent financial management, integrated development planning, coordinated economic management and well formulated and implemented policies.
In their plan for the next three years — 2015 to 2018— authorities of the MFDP said they intend to accomplish: a deep-rooted macroeconomic stability by maintaining favorable fiscal; monetary trade and exchange rate polices; efficiency, innovation, responsiveness and transparency in public financial management; and a policy and administrative environment that fast-tracks broad-based private sector growth and development through the framework of the Agenda for Transformation (AfT).
Also in the three-year plan, five strategic priorities and 25 intended outputs were identified. “These comprise the core elements of the strategic plan,” said Konneh.
Just before Minister Konneh, who has secured for himself a new job with the World Bank Group, did the launching of the plan, he disclosed that the strategic plan was something that is being done across the entire United Party-led government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The government has at most 20 months left in power.
Min. Konneh used the occasion to thank Dr. Amos Sawyer for serving in the capacity that is helping to get Liberia “to slowly get governance right.”
He stated that the MFDP is now “unique” as it has now moved beyond a “simple accounting process of debit and credit to more of thinking through” how one navigates an economy in shadow through difficult crises.
He stated that with the merging of the former Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs with the Ministry of Finance, the first benefit of this combination was seen in 2014, when the deadly Ebola virus disease struck.
“When we were attacked by Ebola, everyone saw how we kept this economy floating and stable; when everyone was projecting that it was going to collapse.
“When your country is being projected to lose 20,000 of its citizens every month, then you know that you are in serious trouble,” he stated.
He boasted that it was through what he termed as the MFDP thinking to focus on policies that lead to solving complex problems “versus just collecting money, disbursing it and drawing the line.”
He used the occasion to thank his colleagues at the MFDP for working with him over the last four years.
He told them that what they have done for him is far greater than what he did for them.
He added: “Four years ago when we first met, I was much younger; but I am bit older now, and wiser. Some of you trusted and took me in, but some of you didn’t.”
However, he thanked all of them for helping him be the leader he is today.
“You gave me confidence to put my anger into good use. I know it wasn’t easy here in the beginning. Your doubts gave me the determination to prove you and my critics wrong. You witnessed my fear transformed into strength. Your rejection taught me courage.”
He acknowledged that it was their cooperation that made him win the “Minister of Finance Africa Award,” among others.
While thanking them from the bottom of his heart, he apologized to those who he might have hurt along the way.
For his part, Dr. Sawyer congratulated Min. Konneh for his stewardship of the Ministry and the nation’s economy.
Dr. Sawyer, who heads the institution that helps the nation formulate good governance policies, stated that the leadership role played by the outgoing Minister when he (Sawyer) was told by the President to steer the process of combining both the Ministries of Planning and Finance into the MFDP, was “great.”
He thanked the Minister for choosing a Liberian consulting group for developing their 3-year plan.
The MFDP comprises four departments, eight divisions, including the Comptroller and Accountant General, and 28 units, as well as eight specialized units, which directly fall under the Office of the Minister.