The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, Ms Christine Largade, has pledged her institution’s commitment to supporting Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery.
She says Liberia has done well in the fight against the deadly outbreak, but there is need for support to enable the country achievesher goals in the post-Ebola era. The IMF chief also expressed satisfaction in the leadership of the government here headed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the level of initiatives being undertaken to put the country back on track.
She described Liberia as a country of success, noting that by electing the first female President in Africa, and defeating Ebola virus implies that Liberia is a nation with pride. Ms Largade spoke Friday, September 11, at the Monrovia City Hall during a closed door meeting with officials of government.The meeting was conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
It brought together members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature, civil society, various stakeholders, the private sector, and students. She said the IMF is supportive of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation in achieving a middle income society, saying, “Do not look to where you fell, but always look to where you have slipped, because the fight against the Ebola virus is over; it is time that this country engages in activities that will bring changes for the benefit of the citizenry.”
“I think it is about time to transition this country, and our visit to Liberia is to put Liberia back on track to where it was by making it a middle income country by Vision 2030. As soon as the Ebola virus disease hit Liberia and the other two West African countries, the IMF provided$4 million to the three most affected countries in Africa.”
She narrated that the partnership between Liberia and the IMF is timely, saying lets congratulate ourselves for the job done and stand prepare for the task that is ahead, because the growth and development of Liberia last in the hands of every one; not just a single person. “One cannot pick a stone with one finger but rather two hands; if we must reach the middle income country that we think of then there is a need for total collaboration.”
Meanwhile,IMF Managing Director has highlighted three thematic areas that Liberia needs to focus in transitioning to a middle income society. She said if Liberia must get back on track the first thing is to focus on steering up investment to increase infrastructure, including building roads, schools, and other things that are essential to the citizens.
She said though election is drawing near, but the country should focus on what will benefit the people, because spending public resources on infrastructure is a key to developing a nation. According to her, the second thing is to focus on areas that will bring development and economic growth, including agriculture, mining, and increase in trade.
Madam Largade pointed out that the last thematic area is investing in human capital, noting that human resource development is the most important thing that this country needs right now. “We have to change the concept of man giving woman money; women must also help to put money on the table too”, she stressed.
By Lewis S. Teh – Editing by Jonathan Browne