An international conference to show-case Liberia’s mineral, Petroleum and energy resources is scheduled to end in Monrovia. The three-day conference, which began on Monday, has been exposing Liberia’s natural resources to those with deep interest and economic for possible investment in the country. About three hundred international business tycoons are in attendance under the auspices of the Government of Liberia, which earlier declared Liberia’s preparedness for total investment.
This, according to President Ellen Sirleaf, would assist in alleviating the poverty-stricken situation of the people of Liberia. Truly indeed, the current government has been able to positively confront some of the many challenges faced by the investment climate of Liberia for the past five years, with 90-percent of the policy document to encourage investment now in place.
The Liberian Chief Executive further encouraged the business tycoons at the conference to restore confidence in the mineral industry in Liberia, reiterating that the country was on the right track for investment. Sirleaf added that with these developments, the hope and expectations of the people of Liberia was in sight for employment. No doubt, the words of the President about the restoration of nation’s economy in the interest of its people are very positive and welcoming.
Once there’s influx of investments in key areas of the economy such as those show-cased at the three-day international conference, the hope and expectations of Liberians for jobs would be assured and the issue of poverty approached positively. While we may be in total concurrence with the government of Liberia towards this end, one thing we believe, that will continue to intercept the battle against poverty is nepotism.
Not only in the government does nepotism exist currently, but also the private sector to include the NGO and United nations systems in Liberia. At the moment, employments are done in these institutions on the basis of contacts within the system, despite the numerous job advertisements in the various newspapers.
Improving the Liberian economy with huge investments is one thing, and sincerity in job placement is another. We do believe that once an individual met all of the requirements for a job at an institution-public or private, the opportunity must be given to such individual to begin the battle against poverty in his or her family. But to advertise, accept applications, shortlist and conduct tests/interviews only to make selection on the basis of relationship and other contacts are tantamount to increasing poverty in Liberia.
And so while we concur with the Government of Liberia in promoting investment to fight poverty, we also challenge it to make employment open in both private and public sectors so that those that meet the requirements will be given the opportunities to help the government to reduce poverty as we expose our economy to investments. We do congratulate the Government of Liberia for this conference with the hope that the words of the conference will be translated into the realities at all levels.