A day long symposium in honor of Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh’s 75th birthday will be held today in the auditorium of the University of Liberia.
According to Dr. Amos Sawyer, chairman of the occasion, the symposium will feature a major lecture on economics and Liberia’s development possibilities to be delivered by Dr. Tipoteh.
Dr. Sawyer said celebrating Professor Tipoteh’s more than 40 years in scholarship, politics, and development practice in the country and Africa, the symposium will also feature analyses of Liberia’s development challenges from a range of perspectives, noting Dr. Tipoteh’s contributions.
In addition to Tipoteh’s anniversary lecture, Sawyer said, other speakers, including those expected to convey greetings will include President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Madam Mary Brownell; former Chief Justice, Henry Reed Cooper; Senator Cletus Wotorson; Senator Conmany Wesseh; Dr. Wilfred Bouyue, Madam Wakor; former Paramount Chief of Nimba County Madam Elithia Manning.
Others speakers include Founding President-General of the Liberia Labor Congress, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh and Professor Dew Tuan-Wleh Mayson.
Dr. Tipoteh was born in Monrovia in 1941 to Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Togba Roberts of Grand Kru County. He was educated at the College of West Africa (high school) and at the University of Liberia.
He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Ohio University (Athens) and Ohio State University in Columbus, USA in June 1963 and 1964 respectively.
In 1969, he earned a doctorate degree in economics while studying as a Harvard University/United Nations Special Fund Fellow in Economic Development at the University of Nebraska.
In the early 1970s, Dr. Tipoteh was Associate Professor of Economics, Chair of the Economics Department and Director of the Management Research Institute at the University of Liberia (1971-1974).
In 1973 Dr. Tipoteh founded the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), a leftist pan-African political organization which played a pivotal role in the struggle for social justice and democracy in Liberia in the 1970s. He served as a Budget Advisor to the late President William R. Tolbert, in
which position he expressed concerns about government waste and advocated public management reforms.
He was the first Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs (1980-1981) under the regime of the late Samuel K. Doe who overthrew President Tolbert, but resigned after 15 months in office, citing human rights abuses by the government as his reason for leaving.
In 1983 the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) was formed as the electoral wing of MOJA. In Liberia’s 1997 elections Tipoteh ran as the presidential candidate of the LPP, winning 1.61 percent of the vote. In the 2005 elections, Tipoteh was the candidate for the Alliance for Peace and
Democracy, an alliance of the LPP and another opposition movement, the United People’s Party (UPP), winning 2.3 percent. In the 2011 elections, he was the candidate of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia (FAPL).
Dr. Tipoteh is also a businessman, and serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kukatornon Reconstruction Corporation.
He is President of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA); founding Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), an alliance of Liberian political parties; was founder and Director-General of Susukuu Incorporated 1971-present, Liberia’s oldest non-governmental development organization, which was credited by the West Africa Peacekeeping Force (ECOMOG) as helping to disarm over 10,000 combatants and child soldiers in Liberia during the 1997 disarmament program through a school for gun program; and was former Chairman of the Interest Groups of
Liberia, a consortium of 32 national organizations with a collective membership of well over one million persons.
He has worked in international development in the United States, the Netherlands, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa and other countries, as well as for the United Nations system: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),
International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Economic Community (ECA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), among others.
The organizer invite the general public including students, teachers, and the leaders of the academic community, development practitioners and the leaders of political parties, Labor organizations and Civil Society Organizations.