Liberia has a new Finance Minister, in the person of Boima Kamara, and a new Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Milton Weeks.
The President chose both of these two topmost officials from the same institution, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Mr. Kamara was Deputy Governor of the CBL and Mr. Weeks was a CBL Governor.
Observers see three significant indications in these two appointments: first, that the President has chosen exceptionally well in filling them, which means that she is very serious about finishing well. She has two years to the end of her second term as President of Liberia. Her 12-year tenure ends in January 2018.
Second, she recognizes the importance of the two institutions having an excellent relationship, in order to maintain the economic stability Liberia has enjoyed in spite of Ebola. Since Amara Konneh’s appointment as Finance Minister in early 2012, there has been a decisive disconnect between him and former Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones—the two just never got along.
Thirdly, choosing the new Finance Minister and the CBL Governor from the same institution, CBL, is a positive reflection on former CBL Governor J. Mills Jones. This may not have happened had he not run a highly productive and successful CBL during his 10-year tenure.
The President has also appointed two new members of the CBL Board: Kollie Tamba, a CBL retiree and husband of the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, Elfrieda Tamba.; and Mrs. Elsie Dossen Badio.
New Finance Minister Boima Kamara
In choosing Boima Kamara to head the Finance Ministry, President Sirleaf has brought to her administration another young Liberian brain trust. Born on May 9, 1974 in Monrovia to Mr. John Kamara David and Ms. Yatta Moore, Boima hails from Gballasuah, a Gola village in the Suehn District of Bomi County.
He is a product of St. Patrick’s High School, Monrovia, where he graduated first of his class, the valedictorian. He then entered the University of Liberia where he did the same thing, graduating summa cum laude (highest honors) in 2001.
He was then recruited to join the staff of the Central Bank of Liberia, where he served first as an Analyst in the Research Department, later as Assistant Director, then as Director of Research and Policy. The CBL sent Mr. Kollie to the University of Ghana at Legon, where he took the Master of Philosophy degree in Economics (MPhil) in 2007.
He was later appointed CBL Deputy Governor for Economic Policy.
A staunch member of the Philadelphia Central Church in Congotown, Mr. Kollie is married with four children.
New CBL Governor Milton Weeks
The new Central Bank Governor is Milton Alvin Weeks, 54, who brings to the table a wealth of experience in the field of banking. Born in Monrovia on March 8, 1974 to University of Liberia President Rocheforte L. Weeks and his wife Euphemia Weeks, Milton is a product of Monrovia‘s College of West Africa (CWA) (1978). Milton matriculated to George Mason University in Virginia, USA and later transferred to Syracuse University in New York State, where he took a degree in Finance.
In naming Milton Weeks, who had served for about two years as a Governor on the CBL Board, President Sirleaf has appointed a brilliant and seasoned international banker to head the Central Bank. There are not many who know that at 25 Milton Weeks served as Treasurer of City Bank of Monrovia, Liberia, then Liberia’s oldest and leading bank.
Between 1984 and 87 he was Assistant Manager of Citibank Liberia. From 1987 to 1990 he was Assistant Manager of Citibank of Zambia; and from 1992-94 General Manager of Meridian Bank Liberia, following which he joined the FCIB as Vice President and CEO. He later served as Senior Executive
Manager of Meridien Bank, Zambia. From 1996 to 97, he was Project Consultant of CIBank (in Information) in Malawi and from 1997-1998 as Director, also in Malawi. He rose to the rank of Managing Director at the same Malawian bank (LCIP). Mr. Weeks was later appointed Managing Director of Stanbic Bank in Nigeria. He was responsible for the overall management and operations of the bank, including corporate and investment banking, SME Banking, private banking, treasury; equities trading and banking operations. Mr. Weeks managed the bank from a small corporate banking operation into what became the largest single investment in Africa of the Standard Bank Group of South Africa.
Following his retirement from Standard Bank, Milton Weeks returned home to open his own management consulting firm, DEVIN Corporation, a Liberian-based strategic consulting and investment advisory services company, which he served as Managing Director.
As Head of Devin, Milton Weeks served from 2008 to 2014 as Principal Consultant and Advisor to the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA). He also oversaw the functions of the LBA,
Mr. Weeks is Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Fellow of the Institute of Credit and Risk Management of Nigeria and Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria.
Fraternally, Milton Weeks is former President of the Rotary Club of Monrovia and Assistant District Governor, Rotary International, District 9101.
Mr. Weeks hails from the eminent Weeks family of Crozierville, Montserrado County, and is a member of the Township’s Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church.
Acting Finance Minister James Kollie
Announcing these new appointments in government, the Executive Mansion also indicated that Mr. James Kollie, who recently served as Acting Minister of Finance, is slated for another position.
The Daily Observer has reliably learnt that James Kollie is slated to become the new Maritime Commissioner, succeeding Binyan Kesselly, who recently resigned after eight years of service.
Other appointments by the President over the weekend are Attorney Oretha Snyder Davis and Independent National Commission on Human Rights Attorney Oretha Snyder Davis and Attorney James Torh as Commissioners of the Independent National Human Rights Commission. Mr. Torh is reappointed.
The President also made two new appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are the Rev. Jervis Witherspoon, Chief of Protocol, replacing Mr. Charles Allen, who goes into Diplomatic Service, and Mr. Emmanuel Munyeneh , Assistant Minister for International Cooperation.
At the General Auditing Commission, President Sirleaf has appointed Adam Sheriff as Deputy Auditor General for Quality Assurance.
Madam Sara K. Kullie has also been appointed Mayor of Voinjama, capital of Lofa County.