‘Pioneer Leadership Stifles Liberia’s Development’

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The head of the Governance Commission (GC), Dr. Amos Sawyer, has said that pioneer leadership continues to affect Liberia’s development agenda, and wants emerging leaders to graduate from it and build on past leaders’ platforms.

Dr. Sawyer made the comment on Monday, April 25, in Gbarnga during the National Development Summit held at the Administrative Building Auditorium, which highlighted progress that has been made since the Agenda for Transformation was adopted in 2012.

Dr. Sawyer said it was unfortunate for Liberia that every leader wants to be a pioneer, refusing to build upon past leaders’ progress to move the country forward. Many incoming leaders, he said, feel gratified instead in criticizing past leaders for doing nothing.

It will be very difficult for Liberia to progress, he noted, if leaders continue to present themselves as pioneers and refuse to build upon the gains already made by past leaders, a behavior that has also contributed to the slow growth of Liberia as well as its people.

Dr. Sawyer said since the birth of the Agenda for Transformation (AFT) in December 2012, Liberia has made tremendous gains in decentralizing government’s services to the people.

He said the National Vision 2030 is the collective vision of the Liberian people from the various communities, towns and villages, and not a vision for a particular administration or political party.

Dr. Sawyer said the details of the Liberia Rising Vision 2030 have been documented and sent to the country’s record center for onward usage by students, teachers, development partners and succeeding administrations, adding that more needs to be done to ensure that students, individuals and others have copies.

“With support of the ministries and agencies, there is a need for the society and organizations and the youth to take this vision seriously and popularize it to become part of us,” he asserted.

He further explained that there has been some level of progress in other sectors, including the land rights law, and in the public sector, among others, the decentralization that will bring services to the people.

Dr. Sawyer noted that there has been tremendous progress across the country through the AFT, which process engaged the people in the various counties, bringing service centers to them and constructing farm-to-market roads.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reaffirmed the government’s commitment to taking development to the people through the decentralization process and urged citizens to take ownership of the ongoing development projects.

She hailed the government’s development partners for their tireless support in ensuring that the plan to bring development to the people is achieved.

Meanwhile, local and international partners have pledged their continued commitment to support the government in advancing its development agenda for the people of Liberia.

The National Development Summit brought together stakeholders from all sectors, including the business community, women’s groups, youth groups, students, civil society representatives, chiefs, elders, private sector and international development partners and government officials.

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