The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Liberia (GoL) partners, including the University of Liberia (UL) and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) hosted the second Liberia Development Conference at the Monrovia City Hall from June 27 to June 28, 2019.
The conference, according to a USAID release, focused on ways of improving the design and implementation of development policies in Liberia to support a vision for prosperity and self-reliance.
With the GoL’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) that seeks to revitalize the Liberian economy, mobilize resources, and USAID’s new development approach organized around a country’s journey to self-reliance, the conference discussed how development policies and practices can be better aligned to reduce poverty at the national and local level.
The conference brought together over 300 development practitioners, policymakers, and change agents from Liberia’s development arena that shared their expertise, lessons learned and how they can create a roadmap for economic expansion and potential.
USAID/Liberia Mission Director, Dr. Anthony Chan, highlighted that macroeconomics stability was necessary, but not enough to deal with Liberia’s development challenges.
Chan said one of the first steps was to build Liberia’s knowledge economy. He then encouraged Liberians to use faith-based institutions as a resource, because they have infrastructures that could be taken advantage of to extend the provision of health, education and welfare services.
Earlier, Dr. Thomas Jaye, Head of the Research Institute, University of Liberia, said while the country was grappling with the complex task of rebuilding, there was a need to develop shared consensus around building a strong economy and forging an alliance for sustainable development.
It can be recalled that during on opening ceremony on Thursday, June 27, 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Monrovia, Christine Elder, reaffirmed the American Government’s commitment to help Liberia achieve the goal outlined in President George Weah’s PAPD.
Amb. Elder informed the government that they have designed a strategy, which will guide the U.S. development initiative in the country for the next five years so it aligns with the pillars.
The Conference was held in Monrovia in collaboration with the Liberia Institute for Policy Studies and Research, the GoL, policymakers, multilateral and bilateral donors.
It was organized under the theme, “Implementing a Vision for Prosperity and Self-Reliance in Liberia.”
The event was held from June 27-28, 2019, with focus on various panels discussions, and emphasis on policy implementation in a challenging macroeconomic context, institutional framework implementation, and addressing special challenges-vulnerable population and food security.
Amb. Elder said this year’s conference focuses on how to implement those valuable ideas as well as many solid policy proposals produced, indicating that she is confident that the discussions generated will contribute to advancing the collective effort to combat poverty and help steer Liberia on a journey of self-reliance.