The New Dawn (Monrovia)

11 December 2012

Liberia: Ellen - It's Time to Think About Change

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told Liberians at the ongoing vision 2030 conference in Gbarnga Bong County to start thinking about change in Liberia.

She said it is about time Liberian think of reviewing their national symbols, the declaration of independence and the flag of the republic.

She however urged that any change of either of the symbols should be based on the wishes of the Liberian people.

She also urged Liberians to love their country and put aside all political differences to push the nation agenda forward for general peace and reconciliation.

The Liberian leader noted that it is about time that Liberians show to the rest of the world that they love their country.

She wants the conference to be a celebration of citizenship that will prove to the world that Liberia is on a different footing.

Speaking at the launch and opening of the Vision 2030 conference in Bong County, the Liberian leader made it clear that the vision 2030 was not her own vision.

The President added that it is the vision of the Liberian people that came about during town hall meetings from Liberians themselves. Pres. Sirleaf noted that the vision 2030 is built from lesson from the past, adding, it is about time to review the country's national symbols.

The Liberian leader urged Liberian to restore their country and claim the future through the vision 2030,"and do so in a manner that reflects the genius, resilience and true character of Liberians in their collectivity. She said the vision is about a harmonious nation, united in diversity, culturally vibrant, self-reliant prosperous and grounded in an ecologically sustainable environment.

The Liberian leader noted that the current national visioning exercise has roots with national conversation about justice that began in the 1970s but was aborted by the 1980 coup. the national visioning exercise, the president said is a daunting challenge, especially in the context of the many aspiration.

She said Gbarnga Bong County was chosen for the conference to prove to all Liberians that Monrovia is not Liberia, adding, the gathering is not intended for political purpose, "we never came here in Gbarnga to compute with each other, we're not here for party blue print or to prepare someone for political office, we are here as one Liberian fighting for one goal," she not6ed.

The Liberian leader said the country development will not hold until everyone participates in the process. She noted that from the vision 2030, the bridge between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government will be build.

The program in Bong County brought together Liberians from all worth of live to participate in the process. The summery report of the vision 2030 is structure into five parts.

The introductory chapter of the vision 2030 draft report gives the background of the exercise, the objectives assigned to it and the structure of the report; it aims at contextualizing the exercise.

Chapter two of the report also provides information on the conceptual and methodological frameworks of the exercise while the third chapter can be read as a status report.

It presents the findings of ten research papers produced by the working groups and research teams. They are clustered under four broad categories including demography, economy, Social structures, and governance.

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