The Analyst (Monrovia)

12 December 2012

Liberia: Vision 2030 Crystallized - 500 Delegates From Around Country Express Approval

Now, finally, Liberia has got the ambitious vision, dubbed Vision 2030, out of its puberty into a full-blown national project meant to address the oldest but backward African state’s development quagmire holistically. Throngs of Liberians and friends of Liberia from all walks of life who gathered in Gbarnga, Bong County this week have been putting final touches on this milestone document, as The Analyst reports.

Following the official launched by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday, hundreds of Liberians attending the ongoing National Vision 2030 national conference on Tuesday adopted an 18-year development plan, Liberia Rising 2030, otherwise known as Vision 2030.

The historic document was overwhelmingly approbated by all 500 delegates when Madam Daintowon D. Pay-bayee representing the physically challenged community made a motion for adoption during a plenary session last night.

President Sirleaf who delivered the keynote address at the Vision 2030 adoption ceremonies challenged civil society organization to take the lead in implementing the Vision.

Calling for the formation of a national CSO consortium to begin working with line ministries and agencies for a successful implementation, the Liberian leader noted that National Vision 2030 implementation is not the task for government alone to perform.

The National Vision Conference has been convened in Gbarnga, Bong County December 10 to 12 and assembled more than 500 delegates from all counties, the Liberian Diaspora and observers from the International Community.

The Conference which provided the space for Liberians to select a possible future, has ended the design phase of the visioning process, which drew its legitimacy from the retrospective analysis and extensive consultations in five geographic regions involving the 15 counties, in 156 administrative districts and in the Diaspora (Africa, Europe and North America).

The Conference was held under the aegis of Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affair and the Governance Commission serving as sponsors. The Conference was organized by a 21-member National Conference Committee.

A milestone in the journey of the Liberian people, the National Conference marks an end and initiates a beginning: an end to the process of a long-term perspective study on Liberia, and the beginning of the process of operationalization and implementation of the Vision.

The Vision, as adopted by Liberians, is the expression of citizens’ faith in the future of the country, and commitment to mobilize resources to achieve the aspirations as expressed.

Components of the Vision gleaned from retrospective and structural analyses of Liberia as a system and consultations throughout the country and abroad include an economically prosperous people, a socially and demographically harmonious nation united in diversity, a democratic political system, an environmentally beautiful flourishing country, and a country culturally vibrant, and technologically innovative. Such components of the Vision suggest a holistic approach to development, addressing at once the social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and technological aspirations of the Liberian people.

It can be recalled, in 2010, the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MOPEA) and the Governance Commission (GC) began the initiative that led to the formation of a new project document (Vision 2030).

The Vision is precipitated by Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) which has borne considerable fruit in establishing institutions and processes that contributed to the consolidation of peace and security, the revitalization of the economy, the entrenchment of institutions of good governance and the rule of law and the reconstruction of the nation’s social and physical infrastructure  for the delivery of basic public goods and services.

At the end of the PRS period, the Sirleaf administration saw the need to integrate development policies in a holistic development framework, inscribed in a long term perspective in which reconciliation and development, peace and democracy would  share the same space and mutually reinforce each other.

Unlike previous efforts to initiate or carry out national visioning exercise, the latest attempt was followed through with the establishment of various organs including, a National Core Team, a National steering Committee. The project yielded significant results.”

Following the conclusion of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in 2003, President Ellen Jonson Sirleaf-than Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC) recommended the undertaking of a long term perspective studies and developing a National Vision.

The idea sought the endorsement of the Chairman of the then National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) to establish a participatory process leading to the development of the vision, which is aimed at fostering reconciliation, cohesion and self reliance, sustainable and equitable development.

Prior to the Gbarnga conference, the GC and MOPEA sponsored several nationwide regional, district and Diaspora consultations.

The essence was to solicit the inputs of Liberians relative to what kind of Liberia they envisage within the next 18 years.

Three Conclusions

The conference reached conclusions drawn from the deliberations that led to the adoption of the Vision.

Amongst other things, the Vision acknowledged that many of Liberia’s problems are deeply rooted in the country’s social fabric, economic structure and governance arrangements. Others find their roots in the external environment. As the issues at stake are structural and systemic, long-term perspectives and timeframes are required to address them satisfactorily.

The delegates also believe the Developmental State Scenario, as contained in visioning process, is the optimal framework for sustainable growth and development.

“This scenario posits a significant departure from the current resource-based development model to a model that is knowledge-based, open to strategic intervention, and supportive of social capital development,” the conference conclusions also acknowledged. “The development contemplated will be possible only if we the Liberian people are committed to change.  Citizens’ participation in the formulation and implementation of the vision will therefore be critical for its success and sustainability.”

Now that the Vision has been determined, the operationalization or action stage should follow, said the delegates in a statement, adding, “The challenge can be expressed as moving from what we desire to creating the conditions that will make the desirable achievable.”

The conferees also noted that there would be a need to develop a clear post-conference implementation, coordination and Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms that support the achievement of the Vision.

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