Liberia: A Country on the Rise

 

Ellen-Johnson-Sirleaf--Council-on-foreign-relationsIn the fall of 2012, the twenty-fourth president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations. She clearly deliberated on the progress and challenges, which her country is currently engaged with. For anyone who wants to see the big picture of where Liberia has come from and where it plans to head, this is a must listen to podcast.

President Sirleaf begins by painting a verbal portrait of the chaos and destruction, which engulfed Liberia at the beginning of her presidency. She shares how her chief concern was putting into place a poverty reduction strategy. Early on, the government came up with a plan built around four pillars entitled Lift Liberia.

With the help of the World Bank, Liberia began to methodically pay down their $4.9 billion debt. Within three years, most of that debt had either been forgiven or repaid. This enabled Liberia to begin the long road back to rebuilding their infrastructure. Now they are beginning to focus on becoming an exporting country through the renewal and revitalization of power, ports and roads.

the-four-pillars.png.opt556x344o0,0s556x344As a result of these concentrated efforts, the Liberian economy has begun to grow again. During her first term, the annual rate of growth in Liberia was 6.5%.

In 2012, the IMF estimated that the growth rate for that year would be 8.8%. But it’s not just the economics of Liberia, where President Johnson Sirleaf has ushered in new laws to increase  the admission of young girls into schools. Because of these efforts, enrollments in schools quadrupled during her first term.

Throughout this address and in the Q&A time, she portrays a realistic picture of the Liberian challenges, which still exist today. She also gives the listener a brief preview into the new plan which Liberia finalized in 2012 entitled Liberia Rising 2030.  Tomorrow, we will explore what this plan is all about.

 

 

Liberian-educationFor those who want to learn a little more about Liberia, listening to this podcast will exponentially increase your knowledge

about this nation on the rise.

To listen to this podcast click here

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