By Lewis S Teh
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has ended a one-day economic forum on revision of progress report on economic dialogue held earlier this year in the country.
Giving an overview of the dialogue, Thursday, September 29, Assistant Finance Minister for Economic Policy, Macroeconomic and Financial Policy sector James Dorbor Na-Kula Sao noted that the National Economic Dialogue began in 2019 when there were concerns about both the public and private sectors looking at the state of the economy.
He said it was against that backdrop that government-initiated Dialogue at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ministerial complex in Congo Town, adding the intent was to seek and proffer solutions that will address economy.
He added that the one-day forum on Thursday was to review progress made since the conclusion of the economic dialogue and to make necessary recommendations, where necessary.
In a brief opening statement, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management Augustus J. Flomo recalled that the 2019 economic dialogue was intended to bring stakeholders, private and public sectors and government together to discuss challenges confronting the economy of Liberia.
Minister Flomo recalled that when the government took over the county, they were busy doing things to recover from the shock they met, including the 2014 Ebola pandemic, inflation rate, and health care services, among others.
He said lots of pressure came from the public to the extent that people who didn’t have a single idea about economic issues were all descending on the government, referring to the economy as messy.
The pressure was too high, and government had to bring like-minded individuals together to discuss and find solutions, something he noted, gave rise to the holding of the National Economic Dialogue.
The 2019 national economic dialogue was structured along four thematic areas, including Finance Mobilization and Management, Private Sector Growth, and Investment, Youth Unemployment, and Skills Development, as well as Peace Building and Reconciliation.
Also speaking, the Montserrado County coordinator of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, George N. Kingsley extolled the government through the MFDP for organizing the dialogue, which he said demonstrates government’s seriousness.
“From the angle of the civil society, we want to caution you to continue the good work, because this will help in the development of the country”, Mr. Kingsley urged.
Held under the auspices of UNDP, the forum brought together key stakeholders, including local and international development partners such as European Union, UNDP, USAID, government officials and civil society. Editing by Jonathan Browne