Warning Or Wake-Up Call?
-US Speaks On Economic Crisis
Amid escalating and daunting economic crisis which has plunged Liberians into nearly untold excruciating and volatile condition, United States of America’s (USA) senior envoy to Liberia, Ambassador Christine Elder, has sounded what appears to be a robust warning or wake-up call to President George Manneh Weah, the architect and campaigner of a pro-poor policy. The Public Agenda peeps at Amb. Elder’s comments and Reports!The US recently commemorated its242nd Independence from Great Britain; the vote for freedom was taken in 1776 by the Continental Congress which paved the way for the Americans to declare their independence 242 years ago; the program was celebrated around the world, including Liberia.
It was at that occasion in Monrovia, that Amb. Elder was able to publically speak to Pres. Weah in a rather diplomatic language with specific focus on unfolding volatile economic situation in Liberia.
It although it is not clear how well Pres. Weah and his officials who attended the occasion greeted the approach of the America Government through its Ambassador, some Liberians considered the latest position of the US envoy as a wake-up call while others described it as a strong warning that must not be treated with disdain.
In a rather diplomatic norm, Amb. Elder first acknowledged the felicitations sent to the American People and Government on the occasion marking the 242nd independence of the country from Great Britain.
Commenting on Liberia’s current situation, Amb Elder noted, “Mr. President, your government shoulders significant challenges,” key among them, according to her was the jump-starting of the disintegrating Liberian economy.
She warned that jump-starting the economy was the only sustainable path to lifting people out of poverty; the US envoy added that they share the sense of urgency of the Liberian Government to move Liberia forward in its development.
However, Amb. Elder in a clear and, perhaps, radical diplomatic tongue, declared that “broad reforms and bold steps to inhibit corruption are needed to transform the business climate to attract domestic, regional and foreign investment to grow the economy and to seek further fiscal and monetary stability”.
According to her, successful economies in Africa have mastered a balancing act that creates a combination of laws and incentive that deepen the relationship with companies that are cornerstone of their economics and attracts new business while proving governments much needed revenues and creating domesticjobs, especially for youth.
The US diplomat urged the Liberian authorities to open up the economy in an effort to attract investment and jobs, not by narrowing it.
These warnings come at the time when Liberia is enduring a period of severe inflation, coupled with government’s loss of control over exchange rate.
From all indications, it is undisputable that Liberia is enduring economy meltdown; prices of all commodities, including locally produced and imported goods, are skyrocketing by the day dictated by uninterrupted high exchange rate between the US and the Liberian dollars.
This harsh economic crisis is creating unbearable adversity which is being felt at all levels across the country and needs urgent solution.
At the moment, it is clear that the current regime has lost total control over the exchanged rate situation;it has reached to a crisis point making many Liberians to ask “where are the trained economists in the country”.