The New Dawn (Monrovia)

13 February 2012

Liberia: Ngafuan, Konneh Take Charge

Photo: Liberia Government
Members of the Liberian cabinet.

The two youngest members of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Cabinet have taken over their respective offices at the Ministry of Finance and Foreign Affairs, respectively after they were confirmed by the Liberian Senate.

Minister Augustine Ngafuan, formerly of the Finance Ministry, is now Minister of Foreign Affairs, while and Minister Amara Konneh, formerly of the Planning Ministry is now the new Finance Minister of the Republic of Liberia.

During a formal turning over ceremony at the Finance Ministry Friday in the joint conference room of the Ministry, the two officials praised President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in them to serve in her second term.

The two ministers appeared very happy with their new tasks, but employees of the Finance Ministry were very quiet and seemed worried during the entire ceremony for fear of an imminent reshuffle and downsize d as was done in the first term of the President.

Some of the employees, who asked to remain anonymous, told this paper there are speculations that Minister Konneh is seriously considering to institute a major reshuffle at the Finance Ministry.

The speculations have caused many employees to live in fear of losing their jobs. But Minister Konneh told this paper after the turn over ceremony that the issue of reshuffle is not currently on his agenda.

I am a planner; my plan now for this ministry is how for us to work together as team and secondly, we are thinking of how to empower the smaller businesses because this government's attention had been on bigger investments now that they are here. Empowerment for the Small Medium Enterprise Businesses that's our critical decision as a ministry", he said.

The Finance Boss re-emphasized his intention of creating over 20,000 jobs for Liberian youth and also ensuring that those jobs are sustainable in the long-term.

He promised to build on the foundation of his predecessor Minister Ngafuan, but added that his priority is to improve the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) businesses, especially Liberian- owned.

For his part, Minister Ngafuan praised the workforce of the Finance Ministry for the level cooperation exhibited during his tenure there.

He promised to introduce economic diplomatic reforms to Liberia, meaning that the diplomatic policy of Liberia will be squarely based on economic issues.

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