By Jonathan Browne
President George Manneh Weah says over the last three years, his government has made tremendous efforts in meeting the expectations of Liberians through massive investment in road infrastructure, expansion of electricity to both rural and urban areas, and investment in health and education, respectively.
“In health, we have moved to provide new health facilities and to address challenges to the quality of care. In education, we are building nearly 100 new schools and have taken steps to bring more Liberians into higher education by abolishing payment of tuition fees at public colleges and universities and have reduced the burden on parents by having Government pay the West African examination fees for 12th graders”, he says.
Addressing the first Steering Committee Meeting of the PAPD on Monday, April 11, 2022, at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, President Weah however, noted that
macroeconomic shocks in 2018 gravely affected the PAPD.
He says considering these challenges, government had to revise and recalibrate the ambitions of the PAPD, but this first Steering Committee meeting of the PAPD but despite these revisions, the PAPD remains on course and has been able to achieve a lot, while still dealing with numerous challenges, adding “In the course of these recent difficulties, we moved swiftly as a government to prioritize public expenditure and aggressively grow domestic revenue.”
President Weah maintains that the PAPD remains the best expression of his government’s collective ambition to achieve peace, prosperity, and national development and address the critical constraints to growth, such as regional disparity, low human capacity, and poor distribution of the national wealth.
He says the aim of the PAPD is to place Liberia on a higher trajectory of inclusive economic growth, secure peace and democracy, reduce poverty, solve infrastructure constraints in roads, electricity, port and telecommunications as well as improve agriculture as well as transform governance, improve business climate and provide the means for private sector-led growth.
He stresses that the Steering Committee Meeting is important to take stock of what has been achieved collectively over the last three to four years of the PAPD and face the challenges of the future together.
President Weah thanks the Cabinet, Development Partners, and friends of Liberia for the tremendous support towards implementation of the PAPD, and specifically lauds the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for coordinating with all stakeholders to arrive at the Steering Committee Meeting following several pillars and sectoral meetings.
“Let us all deliberate in the spirit of frankness and openness, knowing that when united, we can resolve the many problems and challenges that confront us as a nation, a government, a people and as partners”, he challenges participants.