16 November 2012

Liberia: U.S Envoy Speaks On Liberia's Political Progress

United States Ambassador Deborah Malac has commended Liberia for its political and economic progress in the post-war period and explained how the U.S. government is assisting Liberia in its recovery.

According to a release, Ambassador Malac made the comments during a keynote address she delivered Wednesday at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) in Monrovia. Ambassador Malac praised Liberia for making strides following the civil war

"Under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's leadership, Liberia has put itself on a positive path toward a brighter and more prosperous future," she said.

The US envoy added: "But we all know that even in the best of circumstances, even with unlimited public resources, government and the public sector cannot do it all."

She predicted that over a long term, sustainable economic growth will rely on the strength of Liberia's private sector and on investor-friendly government economic policies.

Ambassador Malac outlined the challenges facing Liberia as it works to achieve long-term growth. She named some of those challenges as ensuring stability and physical security, improving the country's infrastructure, establishing transparent economic policies and practices to attract investment, rebuilding its educational system, and eradicating corruption, among others.

Ambassador Malac praised the Government of Liberia for its progress but said more needs to be done.

"Capacity building in various sectors is an important area of collaboration between Liberia and its partners; for example, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with more than a dozen ministries and agencies to strengthen their financial management systems, increase transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption", the Us envoy said.

Madam Malac observed that the U.S. government, through programs administered by USAID, is also working to improve the country's agricultural development by helping farmers improve their productivity and transportation of their products to market as well as expand access to capital for small businesses in the agriculture sector.

She said another important U.S. contribution to Liberia is the work that USAID and the Peace Corps are doing in close coordination with the Ministry of Education to improve the educational system thereby strengthening the skills and capacities of the country's youth.

"It is important not to lose sight of how much has been accomplished, and to work together to build on that progress; this work requires cooperation between the public and private sectors and coordination among donors and investors. The United States is committed to the partnership with Liberia and will continue to support the Government of Liberia to move the country forward", Ambassador Malac stressed.

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