The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, with support from the Liberia Embassy in Ghana through Ambassador Genevieve A. Kennedy ends two-day Diaspora Consultative Meeting with 271 Liberians at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Accra, Ghana, including 42 Liberian business entrepreneurs at the Liberia Embassy in Accra.
The consultations were held under the theme: “Promoting a Participatory Development Planning Process.” According to a press release, the Diaspora Consultations are aimed at promoting citizens’ participation in the crafting of the next five-year medium-term National Development Plan to succeed the former Agenda for Transformation, which expired in 2017.
Speaking during the consultations, Ambassador Genevieve A. Kennedy said President George Weah’s number one priority is the poor people and to eradicate poverty here, adding: “now we have agenda that looks at poverty in our nation, we are going to be members of the defending group that will look at the problem and find solution to those problems that give rise to poverty in Liberia.”
Ambassador Kennedy indicates that the consultations were intended to obtain views of Liberians in Accra on the development agenda, as well as their concerns and thoughts on how to move the pro-poor agenda by addressing the four pillars of the President’s.
She described the occasion as an opportunity for Liberians to voice out their concerns on the issues and challenges, and make recommendations to advance the pro-poor agenda.
The Assistant Director for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Division of Development Planning, Mr. James Afif Jaber, described the National Development Planning Diaspora Consultations in Ghana as inclusive and participatory, which provided Liberians in that country an opportunity to actively contribute to formulating a development plan for the next five years.
Mr. Jaber said findings from the consultations will form part of formulation of pro-poor policies leading to the development of Liberia’s next five-year medium- term development plan, that will directly impact and lift the lives of citizens out of poverty and help reduce disparities or inequalities among Liberians in terms of employment and income.
He noted that pillar one include education and training, health and sanitation, gender equality, youth reorientation and empowerment, physically challenged and senior citizens.
Pillar two will deal with sustained economic growth, agriculture and forestry, and infrastructure and development (roads, energy and transportation) while pillar three will focus on justice and human rights, reconciliation, security and national defense and veterans; and pillar four covers decentralization of institutions and systems, accountability and anti-corruption, foreign policy and diplomatic relations.
Mr. Jaber called on the Government of Liberia to consider recommendations by Liberians in Buduburam, and the Liberian business entrepreneurs, all of which are very crucial for encouraging investment and improving the country.
Liberians in Ghana want the Weah-led administration to connect county capitals with paved roads, strengthen the education system, provide adequate training for teachers, improve technical vocational education as well as provide instructional materials for all public schools in order to enhance learning environment.
Liberian entrepreneurs and investors in Ghana stressed friendly business environment that is conducive for investment, timely clearing of goods or containers from the Freeport of Monrovia as priorities that are critical to the generation of additional revenues.
They also called for reduction in tariffs imposed for the clearing of goods at the Freeport of Monrovia, renewed commitment to the fight against corruption at the highest level, and eradication of bribery at border crossings. Press Release