On The Way To Economic Recovery
-Liberians, Partners Brainstorm
-Pres. Weah Optimistic
Liberia’s unprecedented economic challenges and woes have reached a crisis point; every citizen, including ordinary people as well as those in authority are not exempted from enduring the excruciating collision of the structural defects and imbalances of the Liberian economy.
Although the current depreciating condition of the Liberian economy did not originate from the Administration of incumbent President, George Manneh Weah, however, there are those who perhaps, blindly, ignorantly or intentionally are blaming the current administration for what commenced years before the coming into power of the regime.However, As the Public Agenda Reports, the just ended three days National Economic Dialogue (NED) which brought together local and international best brains, as well as Liberia’s International Partners, has provided a roadmap that perhaps, could put Liberia on the right trajectory for effective economic recovery if initial recommendations advanced are scrupulously implemented and fulfilled by the Government.
Amongst other things, the National Economic Dialogue (NED) was focused on resources mobilization and proper utilization; stimulation of investment opportunities; youth employment and peace & reconciliation.
Several recommendation were advanced to Pres. Weah on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the end of the three day event and in response, the Liberian leader promised to execute those recommendation contained in the document presented to him. He gave the assurance in his opening and remarks on the first and last days of the NED.
In his keynote statement delivered Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at the opening of the 3-day forum attended by national and international stakeholders, Pres. Weah closed that his Administration decided hold the National Economic Dialogue (NED) as an “important initiative aimed at stimulating a broad-based conversation among stakeholders within the Liberian economy, concerning the best and most feasible way forward to sustainable growth and development.”
He noted: “You may recall that, in my first Annual Message which was given one week after I assumed the Presidency in January last year, I informed the Nation that the state of the economy that my administration had inherited left a lot to be desired,” indicating that there were structural challenges which would require major adjustments if they were not to continue to have a negative impact on macro-economic stability.”
According to him, “There were also issues of liquidity, and a persistent decline in the value of our currency, compounded by reducing inflows of foreign exchange and investments, all of which placed upward pressure on inflation.”
The Liberian leader said, in the eighteen months since his incumbency, “We have exercised our best efforts as a Government to address these issues. Yet, many of them persist, and continue to present challenges,” adding that the NED therefore grew out of his government’s determination to address the serious downward trend of the economy, with the hope to find the best possible solutions that would ameliorate the problems.
The Dialogue was held under the theme: “National Economic Revival and Growth: Critical Issues, Challenges, And A Way Forward.”
“Given our deep concern for the current state of the Liberian economy, and our appreciation of the urgent need to take corrective action in the short, medium and long terms, we established an Independent National Dialogue Secretariat. We gave them the mandate to create this consultative forum, where the best and the brightest minds, both Liberian and International, can be made to focus on analysis and diagnosis of our economic problems, and development prescriptions, policies, programs that should take our economy forward and upward to growth and prosperity for all,” the President asserted.
Pres. Weah said while he is not an economist, and will never pretend to be one, he has the mantle of leadership that has been placed upon him, giving him direct responsibility to find solutions to repair the broken Liberian economy, and make life better for the people.
The Liberian leader noted that he has been urging all Liberians to work with his Administration to devise and support new measures which could successfully address the structural defects and imbalances in our economy. “And I then called for discussions and dialogue on the way forward for economic revival in Liberia. This is the genesis of this National Economic Dialogue Conference.”
He was impressed by the caliber of Liberian and foreign panelists, and the depth and range of their experience and knowledge they brought to the dialogue in searching for lasting solutions to Liberian’s economic problems.
Meanwhile, the President declared “I am convinced that your findings and recommendations will support and enhance the attainment of the goals and objectives of our national development plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.” He assured Liberians that his administration would take the NED’s recommendations and back them with the political will required for successful implementation.