As exchange rate between the Liberian and U.S. Dollars continue to rise President Ellen says Liberia has “a unique situation,” pointing to a dual currency regime in which “we have no exchange controls.”
While interacting with a conglomeration of University and high school students at the state -run University of Liberia on Monday, 25 July, President Sirleaf, however, cautioned that for Liberia to de-dollarize which she says is part of her government’s long-term plan, “we got to be careful that you don’t introduce another shock.”
“Because if tomorrow we announce that the Liberian Dollars will be the only legal tender, everybody will be afraid and start taking money out. And so, what you have to do is to have a gradual plan which is what we have. Unfortunately, we have some problems with some of the financial banking sectors in the last couple of years that we’re trying to sort out,” she said.
Mrs. Sirleaf told the students that exchange rate stability is tied to growth, before citing two success shocks that have affected the Liberian economy, including the 2008 global financial crisis resulting to sharp decline in the prices of Liberia’s major commodities – iron ore and rubber; and the Ebola crisis, followed by UNMIL’s departure.
“So, all of those shocks have caused the economy to … However, our five-year Agenda for Transformation now has a transformative plan of moving away from the extractive industries into the productive areas such as agriculture,” she said.
At that interactive dialogue with the President, Liberia’s Defense Minister, Mr. Brownie Samukai, as well as the Director of Police, Mr. Chris C. Massaquoi, among others, made presentations and also underscored the role of young people in upholding the peace, collaborating with the securities and reporting crimes, while urging them to join the security.
As part of series of activities in observance of Liberia’s 169th Independence Day Celebration, President Sirleaf also joined Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and other officials at the Monrovia City Hall on Wednesday morning, 27 July, on the official launch of the National Expo Strategy, where art and other cultural heritages were exhibited.
Mrs. Sirleaf said her government is fully behind those working to get Liberia’s tourism sector moving, including those doing entertainment and those providing food – areas that can also create jobs and allow a lot of outsiders to come and see Liberia.
In continuation of the holiday activities, the President also interacted and shared food and football with kids assembled by the Gender Ministry at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium or ATS down Michelin Street from various Communities in and around Monrovia.
The President, with football in her hands, took photos with the kids grouped by their community names at ATS before later taking the microphone to express happy Independence Day to them.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen