When Liberia announced a significant breakthrough in the fight against corruption by being selected as the third in Africa after Cape Verde and Ghana, and the 75th place among 165 countries in the world on the 2012 Transparency International's Corruption Perception Chart, eye brows have been raised as to what so much that Liberia has done to merit that noble place.
What pessimist have failed to realize is that there is no gainsaying the fact that Liberia has been working around the clock to put in place measures to ensure transparency and financial accountability whose benchmarks on the basis of global standards are yielding fruits and if strictly adhered to would continue to be harvested by future generation of Liberians.
Essentially fighting corruption in a country like Liberia where corruption has pinned down the progress of the country for a long time is a process that requires adequate and proper planning. The institutions have to be planted and next will be building the capacity of these institutions.
Corruption is a cankerworm that has engulfed the economic growth of this country for quite a long time. It has in fact being for many decades a system that lacks transparency as it favors one section of the population against the interest of the vast majority.
Indeed there are many who view that one of the prime reasons that provoked the civil war in Liberia and other forms of instability was injustices in the social, economic and political arena. For Liberians to change their attitudes from the way things were done to con form with the new wave of positive changes is now a principal challenge and a time consuming process.
Since the assumption to power of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, government has been making efforts to make a radical shift from the traditional ways of doing things, which had brought setbacks to the development of this country over the years.
In other words it is moving from the culture of corruption that had eaten the social fiber of the society to an era of transparency. It is no hidden secret that instead of the merit system in employment and the offer of scholarships, it used to be tribalism, favoritism and nepotism. Government funds were often at the mercy of influential politicians.
In this era of transparency, government is putting in place mechanisms that ensure transparency in almost every aspect of life. In access to education, health care delivery, decentralization, road construction and the like.
Moreover in this era of transparency, laws are being crafted to ensure transparent procurement, land purchasing and disposal, law reforms, updating financial laws framework, reinforcing freedom of information such as the passage of the freedom of information Act, adhering to the Table Mountain declaration etc.
We take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the government of President Sirleaf for the relentless efforts now put in place to enhance the climate of transparency in the country. One thing that should be made clear is that Liberians need to cooperate in getting rid of the negative tendencies of the past such the culture of impunity, intolerance and who knows you.
Observing and adhering to the implementation of laws, procedures and the rule of law is a giant step in fighting corruption. Indeed fighting corruption is a collective responsibility of every Liberia.