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Liberia news

Tears at Konneh’s Cabinet farewell

Konneh receivesSome members of the carbinet

It was President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who had to gave a shoulders for a comfort as tears came rolling down the cheeks of outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh.

It was at his final Cabinet Meeting with President Sirleaf as chair among other soon to be former cabinet colleagues, Konneh bids his final farewell. Konneh has worked with the Sirleaf’s administration for over 10 years now. But he now has to move on as he takes up a new assignment with the World Bank Nairobi Office on Monday May 2, 2016.

An Executive Mansion release said, while President Sirleaf was informing members of the Cabinet about Minister Konneh’s departure, she indicated that Wednesday’s Cabinet Meeting was his last and praised him for his many roles and initiatives that helped Liberia in its transformational process.

“Minister Konneh has been an effective official of the government of Liberia under my leadership. I really want to thank him for the many processes he led and undertook for the good of our country and wish him well as he leaves. We will all indeed miss him for his work”, President Sirleaf indicated.

Speaking at the meeting, outgoing Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Amara Konneh informed his colleagues about his transition in about 72 hours, admitting that it was not an easy decision to make. He pointed out that following a long period of consideration and with the advice and full support of his friends and family, he has made up his mind to go out and seek additional experience and serve a greater portion of humanity.

He particularly thanked President Sirleaf for affording him the opportunity to serve the Liberia people through her government. “Madam President, I thank you for all your support to me and for your personally mentoring. You have supported me and encouraged me in all of my undertakings as an official of your government and guided me in the right leadership path; thank you Madam President”, he indicated.

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The Liberian leader also recounted the tremendous contributions of Minister Konneh in championing the Agenda for Transformation and the Vision 2030, which have become intrinsic to the forward march of taking Liberia to the level of a Middle Income country.

Liberia’s outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara M. Konneh has passionately acknowledged President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s deep personal and political mentorship spanning over the last 10 years of humbled but dedicated and determined service to the country and its people.

Minister Konneh, while describing the final determination as a hard one – said it was equally important that having worked so laboriously in ensuring the government succeeded in achieving critical benchmarks – it was now time to move having created the best political environment ever before.

He paid tribute to his family for the courage, hindsight, forthright, unwavering support and guidance in arriving at such crucial decision but noted that it is an opportunity to acquire increased professional experience at the international level.

The Liberian outgoing fiscal policy wit said – as Minister of Finance and Development Planning he encountered multiple challenges, managed difficulty tasks, took key and strategic decisions, weighed thorny options, learned to withstand stormy weather but added that all he did he knew was in the best interest of the country and its people.

In a pretty emotional mood, Minister Konneh thanked President Sirleaf for entrusting in his care a major national endeavor – a leader, from whom in his numerous interactions, he learnt a great deal that has impacted him professionally. He then wised President Sirleaf good health as she continues to steer the ship of affairs of the nation amid challenging He also used the occasion to praise the level of cordiality and cooperation between him and Cabinet colleagues throughout the many years of service in government – from the position of Deputy Minister of Public Affairs, Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs; Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs; and Minister of Finance and Development Planning respectively.

Speaking on behalf of Cabinet colleagues, Foreign Minister, Marjon Kamara, challenged outgoing Minister Konneh to always remember his roots and urged him to see the new assignment as an opportunity not just as a change for him but one of professional growth and development. She however described his previous role as once characterized as a conveyor of difficult and sometimes bad news. Minister Kamara commended and saluted outgoing Minister Konneh for his immense contributions, which brought integrity to Liberia’s prudent fiscal management regime.

For his part, Finance Minister-designate – Bioma Kamara drew Cabinet’s attention to the god working relations he enjoyed with Minister Konneh through their collaboration at the fiscal management cum policy and monetary levels that helped to shape the country’s direction of the years. Minister-designate Kamara indicated that what became essential was for both the Central Bank and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to forge a cohesive collaboration aimed at achieving the same objectives for the country’ growth and development.

-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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