In an analysis of Liberia’s economic performance for the year-ending 2013, the Analyst newspaper (“Liberia’s Resolution 2014, Analyst Liberia, January 7, 2014) says that Finance & Planning Minister, Honorable Amara Konneh, claimed that real economic growth remains on a solid footing, declaring that Government revised projections for 2013 imply a real GDP growth of 8.1% compared to 7.5% in 2012.
According to the newspaper (Analyst Liberia) the Finance & Economic Planning Minister added that getting to this point was not without problems associated with economic shortfalls and internal wrangling; “I have been pressured by my colleagues”, the Minister said, “to ensure that the necessary investments are made in popularizing the Open Budget Initiative (OBI) so that Budget Execution is within the public domain, which has landed me in trouble and exposed me to all kinds of hatred. I . . . understand why . . . my colleagues are angry . . . we are changing the way we spend money by eliminating what we spend on ourselves – corruption – to investing it (the money) in the public sector investment programs that benefit all Liberians”. Great observation and public policy change, with courage and commitment.
Priority Public Policy Development
This observation, with commitment for policy change alternative “to benefit all Liberians” is, indeed, relevant and necessary during this age of rapid change. Throughout our history of 166 years, our political economy had been controlled and dominated by a very few – the ruling, political class and their foreign friends – characterized by public dishonesty (or corruption), almost, institutionalized. Over time, the entrenched corruption, with an alarming incidence, now threatens the nation’s economy because such policy innovation of salary/wage allowance now finances corruption, Inc., which may be likened to the Mafia.
Priority policy – transportation/communications – by all-weather, national highways/roads, is the acknowledged “premier effect” in national economic development. It is reasonable and compelling to apply the Biblical saying of “seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added unto you”. Similarly, Liberia must seek first the kingdom of “transportation/communications” and all other national programs for economic development will follow easily. For example, transportation/communication facilitates:
- Mass movement of people
- Production, distribution, exchange of goods & services
- County, national and international trade & commerce
- Agricultural & Industrial development
- Development of export trade
- Health & Educational facilities
- Reduce, control and, eventually, eradicate public/private dishonesty (corruption)
Hope for the Future
Now, that we have a President who is not only informed on the issues (national & International), relevantly-trained/experienced in nation-building, but also exposed on the national/international stage; with a Finance & Planning Minister, also relevantly-trained/experienced, both with passionate dedication/commitment for change, both, also, honored for their foresight and vision for change by our friendly partners-in-progress – the USA, UK, EU, USAID, UN, UNDP, IMF, WB, ADB and many others, with commitments, as in the past, to come to our aid and assistance for social, economic and political development of our country.
Indeed, there is hope for the 2014 Resolution.