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Editorial: National Vision 2030 Conference: Issue of Implementation & Sustainability

The National Vision 2030 Conference, held under the theme “Consolidating Citizen-centered Development,” has finally ended in the Central Liberian Town of Gbarnga in Bong County. The Conference, which gathered hundreds of Liberians from the fifteen political subdivisions of the country and Diaspora under the auspices of its organizing committee, sought to tackle a scourge of Liberia’s socio-economic and political problems, with the view to reducing poverty, as well as ensuring that the country rises from economic collapse to a middle-income economy to afford everybody the opportunity to have food on the table by 2030.

While delegates and many observers continue to describe the Conference as remarkably successful in terms of the goals achieved, one doubt left in the minds of the people of Liberia as they head back to their respective homes is the issue of the sustainability of such National Agenda. As some delegates expressed deep skepticism about the Vision’s implementation and sustainability in their arguments at the Conference judging from previous failed national undertakings, others emphasized the need for the legislation of a policy  for future governments to continue such agenda.

One key suggestion put forth by a delegate for the successful implementation and sustenance of vision 2030 was for the people of Liberia to develop and keep the true spirit and passion to reconcile with one another- and that’s the issue of UNITY because in unity, there is strength. Such key suggestion was in consonance with President Ellen Johnson-‘s initial call at the start of the Gbarnga Conference on Monday, December 110, 2012 for Liberians to love their country and put aside all political differences to push the nation’s agenda forward for general peace and reconciliation.

Again at the close of the Conference on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, the President repeated call for togetherness as a way of successfully implementing and sustaining the vision, further noting that ‘we must all treat this (Gbarnga) Document with sincerity and collaboration. Unfortunately, as the issues of sustainability and unity came at focus during the conference, the conspicuous absence of seventy-five percent of the Liberian Legislators, including the two senators of the host county, Bong further raised eye-brows as to whether the issue of collaboration as emphasized by President Sirleaf in her closing address on Wednesday will be manifested in the success of Vision 2030.

four senators including President Pro temper Gbezohngar Findley and nine members of the lower house were present at the program which attracted Acting Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, other top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and citizens of all walks of life. Reports gathered from Gbarnga suggest that Senators Edward Dagoseh of Grand Cape Mount, Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh and Sando Johnson of Bomi attended the program, while Bong County Senators Jewel Howard-Taylor and Henry Yallah were conspicuously absent.

Speaker Alex Tyler was also reportedly absent at the opening program, even though invitations were extended to him and all other lawmakers. If in, deed, their conspicuous absence or limited presence as reported is true, we think there’s a rocky ahead of the sincerity and collaboration for the success of Vision 2030. Borrowing from the President when she officially declared the conference opened, our lawmakers should have sincerely seen the Gbarnga Conference as restoring our country and claiming the future through the “vision 2030,”and do so in a manner that reflects the genius, resilience and true character of Liberians in their collectively.

What more can our legislators, especially those who reportedly stayed away, be told that the vision is about a harmonious nation, united in diversity, culturally vibrant, self-reliant prosperous and grounded in an ecologically sustainable environment. We must remind them that What  happened in Gbarnga, and how it happened will go a long way in determining the kind of Liberia-the land of our nativity we envisage in the future for ourselves, our children and our children’s children. Truly, Vision 2030 is our only hope for our country’s renewal and prosperity.

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