Gov’t To Hold 3-day National Dialogue In September
The Government of Liberia with support the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will hold a three-day National Economic Dialogue (NED) in Monrovia in early September.
According the Chairman of the NED, Dr. Toga Gayewea Mcintosh, the dialogue is intended to strengthen transparent, participatory and accountable governance.Speaking during a press conference in Monrovia recently, Dr. Mcintosh said, the dialogue will stimulate a broad-based national conversation on the state and fate of the country’s economy and also find ways to situate Liberia on a path of rapid economic recovery and growth.
“We all know that three days are not enough to adequately deal with the structural development challenges in the country but this dialogue will be the start,” he said.
He indicated that about 250 participants from all parts of the country are expected to grace the occasion, including members from the private sector, political parties, labor unions, academia, religious community, disadvantaged groups, civil society organizations, and development partners, among others.
A little over eight weeks ago, President George M. Weah called for a national dialogue on the state of the economy in an effort to deal with the associated challenges.
In response to this call, the UNDP by the request of the government is leading a process towards organizing the dialogue in collaboration with development partners.
To date an Independent National Dialogue Secretariat has been established by the government and partners with the mandate to organize and hold the dialogue.
Macintosh noted that the discussion will focus on Public Finance Mobilization and Management, as well as Investment Promotion and Private Sector Growth, Youth Unemployment and Skills Development and Peace and Reconciliation for Sustained Economic Growth.
He stressed that there are series of challenges in the country, citing debates around the country begin and end with talks about the structural macroeconomic challenges facing the economy, something, he said, that has dampened the economy and poses considerable risks to the survival of every Liberian.
The economist emphasized that the impact of these challenges have led to the slow growth of the economy, rising prices for basic commodities, a steady rise in the volume of the country’s balance of payments deficits, among others.
He, however, noted that these pressing issues which are the outmost concern of the government, the Liberian people and development partners, include corruption, governance, local content, reconciliation and decentralization of political, economic and social power, and as such the dialogue will address these issues.