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Pres. Sirleaf wants G-7 nations help continent’s dev’t

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has emphasized the need for economically viable nations of the world and international organizations to assist Liberia and Africa develop its infrastructures as a way of improving other aspects of the continent’s development.

She said if the people have infrastructure such as roads and basic social services such as electricity and water, this will give rise to the quality of life on the African continent and eventually improve other services like education, quality healthcare programs, and boost the agriculture sector of each country.

The Liberian President said Africa’s potential for investment and growth is high, but emphasized that it needed strong assistance and collaboration from other industrialized nations to realize its full potential.

According to a dispatch from the German Alps of Schloss Elmau, President Sirleaf made the assertion when she addressed the outreach meeting of the G7 nations 41st Summit. The Liberian leader stressed that the eradication of poverty on the African continent was also vital as it helps promote growth, sustainability, enhances productivity and create jobs for its citizens.

She said investment in the continent’s youthful population is most important as, the future of Africa is heavily reliant on its youthful population, but lagging behind due to the many constraints of either neglect, conflict or poverty.

President Sirleaf revealed that the African continent has made tremendous progress in the past two decades by laying the foundation for peace and security on the continent. Taking Liberia as an example, she indicated that 15 years ago, the country exported child soldiers and refugees. “Today, it is a nation educating a new generation of children who never heard a gunshot and looking towards a brighter future,” the Liberian leader said.

She emphasized that 20 years from now, Africa will be home to a youthful population of more than one billion people, with the greater majority of them less than 30 years old. ”This could be a demographic dividend which could be of benefit not only to Africa but to the world as a whole,” she said, adding, ”It could also be a time bomb, if we don’t arrive at a social order where inequalities are reduced; where we tackle the root causes of poverty that lead to desperation.”

The Liberian leader indicated that the world cannot continue on the same path and at the same time expect that critical social, political and environmental issues confronting us all would just vanished. ”The new paradigm of development demands a shift in mindset and the way we conduct the affairs of our nations. Recognizing the universality of issues, such inequalities, injustice, intolerance and marginalization constitute the first step in moving forward, in the right direction.”

President Sirleaf pointed out that the new political order has not been translated into economic dividend for the people of Africa, mostly the youth and the women. ”It is therefore important that creating a sustainable and peaceful social environment is directly linked to how these young people and women find their rightful place, with opportunities open to them.”

The 41st G7 Summit invited several African heads of state and government to participate in the outreach meeting. They included: Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Senegal’s President and current ECOWAS chair Macky Sall, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi. -Press Release

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